We head out from the Hotel but have to drop by BMW Hellas to pick up a bike for our Journalist from Rider magazine (Greg Drevenstedt). After a bit of a delay we head out into the Athens monday morning traffic - its horrible! But after a few KM's we can get off the motorway and start head out into the more mountainous countryside. We skirt along the coast by the Bay of Corinth. The air smells of pine trees and it starts to get a bit cooler as we climb up away from the city.
Early morning and the air is still a lillte damp from the previous afternoon rain. But its great once we start riding as its nice and cool. We wind along real tiny little roads until the stone bridge at Pyli. After that we get better conditions and some nice long sweepers, just have to be careful about some rock debris on the road. We picnic at Meteora then go to see the Monasteris from a distance. its truly spectacular. We ride to Metsovo, get caught in rain, but the last goat tracks to the hotel get us there safely.
"Rest days" on an Edelweiss tour could easily be part of greek mythology. Today we are riding to the Zagori region of North greece, famous for both its stone bridges and inaccessibility. In the early morning the skies are stll grey from the overnight wind and rain, but there is a glimmer of hope in the distance. By the time we set off the clouds have disappeared and the sun is shining, but it is still very windy.
At 7:30am on a Sunday morning nothing much stirs in Vytina. Its cooler up here in the mountains but the sky is clear blue, the sun is shining and you know its going to be a scorcher. Today we are riding to Ancient Olympia, home of the Olympic games.
Today we are riding to Areopoli. First we drive down towards Megalopoli, a not so quant town built around a lignite mine, and stop for a quick coffee the. Then it's onward to Sparta to see Leonidas's statue. From the we cross the beautiful Langada pass and head for Kalamata on the coast where we break for lunch. From there its a relativle short hop along the coast to our destination, Areopoli
When we get up in the morning the sun is hidden behind the moutains still. But by 9am it's already crept above them and it's warming up. Today we have a shortish ride to Agios Stefanos. I'm looking forward to this as last time it was done in the rain! We meander through the winding mountain roads and then its on and up until we stop for coffee in Lagia. So far it's been breathtaking. After coffee we head down to the port of Gythio and then on to lunch by the wreck of the Dimitros. Then on to Agios Stefanos and Monemvasia where we will explore on our rest day tomorrow.
Today we head to explore Monemvasia. The taxi picks us up at 10am, the sun is shining and we know its going to be another scorcher. As we enter the archway into Monemvasia it affords us some shade and the chance to cool off a little. Then we head inside the walls to explore the lower town. It's very pretty and very historic. Mid morning we stop for some well deserved refreshments and then head down to Gefira for lunch by the docks. It's a nice relaxing day, which is great, because tomorrow we are riding 300km to Nafplio.
Today we leave the idyllic luxury and peacefulness of our Kinsterna Hotel and Monemvasia. Its our penultimate day of riding and our mission is to find a secret road that doesn't even appear on Google or other maps for that matter. We stop for a coffee in Kyparissi after meandering our way through the mountains - it's well deserved. Then we depart and after a couple of Km's there it is - the secret road, winding along the coast, with a great surface, awesome twisties and no traffic to talk of. This 25km stretch of road makes our day and puts broad grins on our faces. After a quick lunch stop on the beach at Tiros we make our way to Nafplio for a gelato and then on to our hotel for the night.