Wednesday 03.10.2001 - Mortar-shells

Gennadi - Lahania - Prasonisi - Apolakkia
64,6 km
203,1 km


Today it is going to be a flat ride and so maybe we can save some strength for the next days.
After breakfast we ride along a bumpy sandy road (not very pleasant for the painful bottom) to Lahania, a beautiful village with a cosy square. The ideal place for the first refreshment.


From Lahania to Katavia is fairly flat, followed by a hilly piece until the southern Prasonini. The army is doing some heavy exercises in the area and the mortar-shells whizzed past our ears. Not surprisingly, a soldier at a watch post asks us not to leave the main road. Luckily we didn't take a shortcut earlier...

The large beach at the southern point of Rhodes is not at all deserted as described in our travelling guide, it is crowded with cars and tourists and so we decide not to take a swim. After a much too fatty meal we can leave our bike bags in the restaurant. We are going to ride to the ultimate southern point of the little peninsula and since there's much of sand and rocks it will be much easier without the bags.

We are the only bikers here and the further we get on the peninsula, the fewer walkers we encounter and the tougher the road becomes. Gert' knees are really starting to hurt and for a moment he considers to return early to the village, but he doesn't and hangs on. That's the spirit!
Again we are happy to have triple gears on our bikes and to have left the bike bags in the restaurant. The sandy road is very difficult and is full with gaps. Even our experienced biker Piet has a tough ride and he even gets hampered by a motorbike. It's hard work all the way with climbing and descending until we finally reach the lighthouse.

Lighthouse   Top!

We enjoy a rest and the beautiful view before returning along the same route, which seems to be a lot easier than in the other direction. We collect our bags at the restaurant and then ride along the flat coastal road to Apolakkia.

The wind is blowing from the west and at first we had the wind against us, but a bit further on it is coming from the side and that makes it easier. The road is flat and straight for several kilometres until Apolakkia. Luckily for Alain there are no more slopes now because the ride on the peninsula has cost him a lot of strength and he is really searching for every bit of energy left in his body. Piet takes the lead (and the wind) and keeps up the tempo.
In Apolakkia it doesn't take long to find a hotel. We take a room in the hotel at the village square. An advertising sign says there's a swimming pool but apparently it is unused and the water is green. No swimming today.