Friday 07.06.2002 - Antisamos

Katelios - Skala - Poros - Sami
70,8 km
120,3 km


While preparing the bikes for today's trip the landlady is hanging around the apartment pretending to clean up here and there. She probably thinks we might leave without paying but as said before, we can be trusted and we pay the rent as agreed.

Early as it is (8 am) there is not a single bar open yet to fill our empty stomachs.
We therefore start the day with a nice climb to Skala, 10 km further on. We have breakfast in the centre of the village, fill our drinking bottles and continue.

The landscape between Skala and Poros is gently sloping and we're having the wind behind us. After a short descent, Gert happens to look at his bike computer and notices he just made a speed of 78 km/h! We are doing well today!

Poros is a small cosy port where we cycle along the boats looking for some nice shots.


The next part will be some heavy climbing. There is still a strong wind but luckily in our advantage most of the time. We stop by at a shop to get some drinks. A man is standing outside fiddling at a ladder, completely ignoring us. He has no intention to serve us, since who is to expect a customer at this time of day while everyone is asleep, right?
Finally the friendly lady of the house helps us out. Though this place is not a real taverna she gives us glasses together with the cans. We take a seat at the only table around.

Meanwhile, our fiddling man has a lot of trouble in putting back the publicity sing the wind has blown away. He hardly falls over and we decide to give him a hand, after all we are nice tall guys with long arms, aren't we?

As we are used to do in Belgium, we press together the empty plastic bottles before throwing them away. This ecologically sound act appears to be very uncommon in Greece however, the lady of the house doesn't really seam to get the meaning of it all.

On our way down we stop at taverna The Moonlight.
The owner gives us a large menu to choose from but when we finally get to order our meal there are actually only five menus to choose from: those that are mentioned on the board.
Unbelievable, but common in Greece...

He even tries to settle us up with a hotel room but today's destination Sami is a bit to far away, so the answer is no. During the next part of our trip we will often notice publicity signs of this taverna, the man clearly has commercial feeling.

We continue our descent looking for the Drogarati caves. We did not have high expectations of it all but they are actually worth the trouble. The caves exist for about 2 million years now, were discovered 400 years ago and are open to public since 1963. Due to the great acoustic, classical concerts are often held here. Via stairs we go down for about 60 m, the temperature is dipping to a pleasant 18C.

Dragarati cave

We return to the heat and continue the trip. Principally we could directly go down to Sami now, but as usual we prefer to look for the smaller inner roads. This might end up in some extra climbing and kilometres but it is less busy, we are able to see more picturesque villages and see a lot more of the inland.

The next stop is the Melisani lake, well signed up we must say. The lake itself remains hard to find though, we only see a taverna in the neighbourhood. Finally we find out that the lake can only be reached after crossing the taverna's terrace. Another Greek with commercial feeling!

Melisani lake?

We have difficulties however to distinguish the marvellous colours of the lake as mentioned in every brochure. Have they exaggerated? Is the light not so good this time of day? We get back a bit disappointed (2 days later we will find out this was not the lake at all that is mentioned in the brochures).

From now on the intention is to go straight to Sami. But before we start looking for a room we decide to have a "quick" trip to Antisamos. A bit later we are heavily climbing again and it soon turns out we underestimated this last part. Antisamos appears to be all the way behind a hill.


At the top we have a marvelous view on the beach and the nice colors of the sea and surroundings.
We've had enough cycling for today and return to Sami.

Despite the fact most hotel owners aren't very keen on renting a room to 3 persons, we have no trouble in finding one here. At hotel Riviera we suggest to put an extra bed in a double room and we get a room with view on the harbor.

Sami has several beaches. We visit one at the eastern part, but it is rather dirty. We take a quick dip though before going to the much larger and nicer beach at the western part.
Since a couple of days we have been noticing a difference in the distance calculated and the actual kilometers covered. Is it Gert miscalculating or is there something wrong with the odometer?

With McGyver in the back of our minds, we start developing a system to measure the circumference of the tires using a simple A4-paper. We notice a 7% deviation and immediately make some changes to the odometer's settings to fix the problem. After recalculating the routes and speed of the last trips we come to the conclusion our actual speed record is a "merely" 72 km/h.

We have dinner at the restaurant in front of the hotel, excellently located at the quay. Wine is restricted to a minimum tonight we aren't superstitious or anything - but we do take into account the heavy climb of the Enos tomorrow...
We have a nice Kefalonia white wine.