Saturday 16.09.2000 - Centro

Paramonas - Lefkimi - Kavos - Perivoli
49,7 km
86,8 km


We slept like a baby and only woke up at 9.20 am. Greek breakfast here appears to be some slices of white bread with jam and honey. Hopefully it will be sufficient to get us through the day.
The trip immediately starts with a strong slope but after a while it's rather easy riding. We pass through olive tree orchards where we meet a farmer every now and then, sitting on some queer vehicle.

Olive tree orch

After about 6 km we arrive at the Gardiki fort. It is nothing more than a thick ramparting wall, so actually not really worth the trouble. Since we left rather late this morning, it is getting really hot now.
A bit further, Gert wants to take a picture of an old farmer's wife, her entirely packed up mule included, but Piet warns him that the elderly women here are usually not very fond of having there picture taken. Piet is right: she starts yelling and making some angry gestures at us. Gert wisely decides not to take the picture.

At the Issos Beach we take our first break. Mmmm... gently relaxing in the sun with some para sailors and monoskis (or were it monokinis?) in the distance. Gert is calling the home front to make them jealous about the nice weather here. "It's raining cats and dogs over there!", Gert says with a big smile...

Apparently we missed Korrision Lake. From the top of the sand dunes we can see that the lake is too far for a walk, so we take the bike again. By taking a small road across some farmer's land, we finally reach the lake. But it is rather desolated and dirty over there. We drive along the shore for a while but then decide to go back and continue the rest of the planned trip.
Via Perivoli, one of the first villages on our way, we arrive in Lefkimi. We want to visit some churches but unfortunately they are all closed.


Two people on a scooter ask us whether this is the way to the "centro". Piet answers a bit distracted with a Dutch "jaja" - not quite comprehensible in Corfu - but then they appear to be from Belgium as well. We have a short chat and continue our trip to Kavos, on which we have to face a couple of nice climbs! When we start to notice more traffic we know that Kavos has to be nearby.
A bit later we find ourselves in a world of tattoos and bars full of drunk English hooligans who are watching a football game or some stupid program on TV. Terrible.
At the fork with direction Spartera we have a small break and a few minutes later we meet the Belgian couple again. They had a scooter, we had a bike, but we were faster! Good for the spirit.

We have to face with several irregular, difficult slopes now. The higher we get, the tougher it gets. A nice guy notices us toiling up the mountain and invites us to his bar "Taverna Bella Vista". Right on time, the spirit is rather low at the moment. The taverna is certainly worth its name: the view is breath taking.

After regaining our strength we are off for some more climbing, but we are soon rewarded with a great descend on a winding road. How this feels good! We cycle along some cosy villages: Dragotina, Neochori and Bastatika.
It's 4 pm now, a time when the Greek come out of there houses again. From time to time we friendly raise our hand to some old men.
Due to the several descends and the nice environment we miss the turn to Kritika and arrive again at Lefkimi. As desolated the city was a couple of hours ago, the more lively it is now. What a difference! From here on, we just have to follow the road to arrive in Perivoli, today's final destination.
The search for a room brings us back to the coast, where we can easily find one at hotel Naos for hardly 7500 GDR. We cool down our sweating bodies and relax our tired legs in the extremely calm sea 100 meters further on at Kaliviotis Beach. After calling the home front we go back to Perivoli to have a drink.

Phone home at Kaliviotis Beach

We pick a taverna where a couple of Greek are having some big discussion and order the Greek beer Mythos. We seem to be the only ones drinking this beer, the locals all have Amstel or Heineken.
We ask them whether we can have some good food here, but the only choice we have is a take-away pizza, a crowdy beach restaurant or the more quiet taverna at the coast we passed by earlier.
It is already dark now, so we race back again (Gert in front) in the direction of the coast.
The taverna over there offers a full menu, when we order though, the food that is actually served is rather limited so we stick to tomato soup, stew with spaghetti in a sort of tomato sauce, accompanied with an excellent Greek white wine.
We finish the day with a view on the rising moon, reflecting in the quiet sea water. A romantic moment, unfortunately...