|Thursday 04.10.2001 - Wine||
Apolakkia - Monolithos - Embonas - Kamiros Skala
We get up a bit earlier than usual because we are expecting a tough ride
During breakfast there's a few tables further a group of Greek men talking. Before they go to work, they come here to have a social chat. Stress does not seem to exist here.
We have noticed that the chains of our bikes could use a drop of oil and in the local petrol station we find what we need. Moreover Piet couldn't stand that the bikes were all dirty and he has cleaned and tuned them last evening. So now with the cleaned and oiled bikes we are ready for today's tough ride.
The first section after Appolakia is already a hefty climb and it keeps on climbing until Monolithos. Our legs are still sleeping and not yet warmed up, but they immediately have to make a big effort. Just outside the village there's a good view at the citadel of Monolithos where a local farmer has chosen this place to set up his little fruit shop. A banana and some energy-rich raisins are always welcome.
As the road continues to climb to Siana, we save our strength and take it
easy because the most difficult part is still to come. Meanwhile it's already
noon and so we stop at the first restaurant that we come across. We are the
first customers there today and with bit of reluctance a sleepy Greek man takes
our order. Looking back we would have been better off if we had gone a little
further to the cosy village square of Siana.
We are approaching the mountain Attaviros. Alain has reached (and passed) his limits a few times during the previous days, and so he decides to take it easy today and he chooses to take a shorter and flatter route by staying the left side of the mountain. Piet and Gert take the longer and tougher route on the east side heading for Agios Isidoros. We agree to meet at the village square of Kritinia and before our routes split up we boost our adrenaline back to the danger level by "singing" a song from the Chemical Brothers. No mountain can stop us now.
At first it's an easy downhill ride but that is just the lull before the storm: a few kilometers before Ag. Isidoros the climbing starts. The view here is fantastic, no beautiful coastline but a dazzling view at the pretty green inland of Rhodes. Until a few kilometers before Embonas the road goes a bit up and down, but just before the village there is another tough climb. Since Embonas is known for its vineyards, we are super motivated!
The first vineyard we encounter is Emery and this is also one of the biggest
wine producers. We stop there and taste the red, the white, the rosť wine and
cannot resist trying the liqueur. Loaded with two bottles and a little tipsy, we
continue our route to Kritinia, our meeting point with Alain. Along the way we
make another attempt to break the speed record of the first day, but we don't
dare to go faster than 65 km/h because there are too many curves. It's a pity.
At the village square of Kritinia Alain has been waiting for us for a while. We surprise him with our bottles of wine en take a rest before we move on to Kastellos, a well preserved ruin of what used to be a fortress. The low sun makes the view from on top of the ruin magnificent and restful. The old fortress suffers from the behaviour of some mindless tourists, there are cans and trash everywhere, outrageous!
Our final destination for today is the little harbour town Kamiros Skala. We
first start looking for a room close to the harbour, but no success. There's
only one double room available and we are not too keen on sharing one bed with
three again. However the friendly manager recommends us another hotel further on
the road: hotel Liros. But at first it seems that it is also fully booked, but
the even friendlier manager tells us to wait for a moment while he tries to
arrange us a room. A few minutes later he comes back and says that a room will
become available later on the evening at 9 pm. We're lucky because there are
no more hotels in Kamiros Skala, and otherwise we would have needed to ride
another 10 km to the next village.
Since we have some time to kill until the room becomes available, we head for a deserted pebble beach that we had just passed before entering the harbour. We crack one of the bottles of Emery and take some more pictures.
|Enjoying the silence with a bottle of Emery|
As it gets dark, a weirdo that lives here on the beach in a slum dwelling
comes visit us. Using sign language he tries to make it clear to us that we are
making too much noise and that we have to be quieter or leave since he will not
be able to sleep. Since we are getting hungry we decide to leave. Anyway the
bottle of wine we have cracked has made it impossible to be quieter...
At the harbour we find a good seafood restaurant with a nice view at the sea. While we wait until it's time to go to hotel Liros we order another bottle of wine. We will have no trouble sleeping tonight!
The reception in the hotel is super and as agreed a room has been prepared for us. Finally we can take a shower. After we have a dessert, ouzo and a chat with some other Belgian guests it's time to go to bed. After all, tomorrow is going to be another tough day.
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