Saturday, 2 June 2012

From Barcelona to Tehran: Day 32

Day 32: Greece—A Huge Village; From Perveza to Astakos in Greece

May 31, 2012; Distance covered today: 91 Km; Total: 2265 Km

I couldn’t have an early start because I had gone to sleep really late, at about 3 am. Most of my time was spent on uploading pictures on my blog. So, I left the campground at 10:30. On my way, there was a submerged tunnel for fine Km. As I was wondering whether I was allowed to go through the tunnel or not, I was stopped by an official. He radioed a pick-up truck and the truck transported me and my bike to the other end of the tunnel. From there, I started again biking. All day, I biked through farms after farms after farms. There was nothing. Not even any villages to see the people. I was expecting to see villages and talk to some locals, but nothing was there. It was getting boring when I arrived in Astakos, a very small village in a valley by the coast. 


 In the early afternoon, it was too hot to keep going without a break, so I stopped on a hill, overlooking the coast. I parked the bike by a tree and went down to the water. The water was irresistible. So I took off my clothes and jumped in. It was so refreshing.
Where I took a dip in the water

According to the GPS, there should have been a campground there, but there was nothing. I was not surprised to see the controversy given the quietness of the region. I decided to look for a place to spend night in the bush. So, I bought some water and food and hit the road. Just as I was leaving the last houses in the village, I found a possible spot on the beach, I checked it out, and parked in. Although I was very close to the people, the spot was somehow hidden and I was in a very small village. People are generally nice in small towns and villages. 
Some Flowers on the Way

After pitching up my tent and washing myself in the sea, I was getting ready to cook when I saw an old woman walking leisurely on the beach. She said hi and we talked for a while. She, Catherina, asked me to walk with her on the beach. We walked to the end of the beach where there were some rocks on which there were some seashells. Catherina, taught me how to break them and eat them raw. They were delicious. After 2 minutes of hunting seashells, she invited me to have Soflakin in the village. I had to pass because I had all my stuff out and in the tent. I couldn’t leave them unguarded although she assured me that nothing would happen. I politely refused. 
The View from My Tent

The scenery is beautiful if you ignore the garbage on the shore.


  1. Cycling up and down hills is an exciting experience, isn't it?

  2. Dipping or skinny-dipping? :))
    I still remember Valasht. :)

    1. Madio,
      Valasht was a lot more fun. And yes, climbing and coasting down hills are very exciting.
      In Italy, on my last day of climb, since I was having a really hard time climbing a very steep road, I didn't want to see the steep road to finish since I knew that after each downhill, there would be another uphill. So I was happy to be climbing and climbing.
      It is very ironic, isn't it?

  3. Watch out for the wild dogs in Greece and Turkey. I allways kept some stones in my shorts. Have a great trip.

    1. Thanks for your advice Luis. I am done with Greece. I am in Athens now. But yes... I have read about the crazy dogs in Turkey.
      In Greece, I had fun with the dogs. They would bark at me like they have never seen a cyclist, but they were always in a property. So it was fun to see them getting angry.
      Hope you find some time riding too.
      Keep in touch.

  4. Hi Mansoor,

    this is Thomas again. Unfortunately back home again :-)
    I follow your blog to make sure, that you are in the right direction. Well done so far! And al lot of climbing as well :-)
    If you ask yourself: "Why the hell I'm doing this", I'm sure, you know the answer: "Buongiorno!" If you need some information or help don't hasitage to ask me. Once I told you about this magic area of "Cappadocia" in Turkey. It's close to the city of Kayseri and the most famous village is "Göreme". Hopefully you've will see it. It's on your way!

    Take care:


    1. Hi Thomas,
      It is really great to hear from you again, my ride mate. Does "Boungiorno" still works in France? Magic word,eh? I hope you had a great time riding too. As for climbing, I didn't have much climbing after the first day of cutting Italy. It was mainly flat.
      You were absolutely write about the east coast of Italy. It was boring, industrial, ugly, etc. Not comparable to the West coast at all.
      As for the area in Turkey you mentioned, I have written it down and looking forward to visiting the place. Tomorrow, I will go to the port to find a ticket. All the agencies are closed tomorrow since it is a holiday.
      You know which route I took on this trip in Greece. Do yourself a favor and never think of riding on the route I have been taking. Go south maybe.

      Thanks for keeping in touch and don't forget your "umbrella".

  5. Agha postat kheili bahale! Gharar nabood camp ground beria! Couchsurfing chi shod pas? Rasti emrooz Ride for Heart bood. Koli yade oon dafe ke raftim Hamilton oftadam. Keep posting!!

  6. Alireza,
    Good to hear from you. I think of you when I see a sports car. I thought of you a lot in Italy.
    CouchSurfing sucks. I have commented on the problems with CouchSurfinig.