The last days in Albania & Greece
The southern coast of Albania from Vlorë to Sarandë and close to the Greek border is a great area. Good roads and a beautiful coast with lightblue and green coulored sea by your side. You have to do some climbing, yes, but you don’t have to go cycling if you are thinking about going that direction. Not touristic, and beautiful.
You have to watch this region for dogs a bit though. Especially by bicycle more south in the Patras and Olympia area. I had some serious dog attacks. And I’m talking packs of dogs all thirsty for the blood that runs through my calf. Fortunately I have played football and my delicate
kick you in the face skills have saved me from these crazy episodes.
But, there are situations that cannot be resolved by an Adidas on the nose. Especially when it comes to the herd and Mr. Bull defending his sexy cow harem. See and watch for yourself how this great animal turns around to give me what’s coming to me: #intherightcorner #bullseye #defence
Apart from the Greek wildlife it was great riding the bike. Even climbing at 40 degrees. You get used to it and have decided to interpret the situation with a smile instead of puffing the miles away. It is what it is.
Besides that I have met many people who gave me the energy that I needed to accomplish the ride. Like Joost, a good hearted Dutchy, or Lucas a crazy Brazilian cycling through Europe, and Doug and Kristine cycling the world (what an adventure) . All people who gave me that addictive energy that brings synergetic power to take on mountains and heat .
Eventually it was a relaxed and slow ride to Olympia. I took my time cycling to the ruins that remind us of the acient Olympics. I had done 15 days of cycling in a row so my system could use the mellow ride along the hills and distinctive trees. I decided to stay at camping Diana one of the many good choices I took based on what my intuition told me instead of what reason had said to me. Olympia is actually a pretty small and relaxed place, that is when it is not too crowded which wasn’t the case when I was there. Anyway, took my time to ‘land’ and let it all sink in a bit.
After Olympia I went to Athens, prepared for a flight to Belgium where I was happy to start cycling again.
Via Athens, Brussel Charleroi, Breda and Eindhoven I came back. And yes it was cold but it got warmer and warmer as I reached my friends in Breda. For those who know what I mean: thanks!
Experience & target
The last days before reaching Olympia felt a bit like a beautiful dance and all of a sudden the music stops playing. Did I enjoy the ride? Or have I been thinking too much about the fysical pain, Estrela da Favela, or perhaps contemplating the if’s of my life? Fortunately I have been conscious enough along the ride to be aware of what I was doing and what was happening in and around me. It’s because of this I randomly took detours and extra mountains that brought me the emotion to make this an experience with extremely high peaks. And I have done so for a great project in Rio de Janeiro. I’m privileged and I know it.
Then you’d think this ride seems pretty complete. I agree, it seems it is. Why does it seem complete? Because it is not. Two reasons. The 1st is measurable: I haven’t reached the financial target for Estrela da Favela. The 2nd is intuition: There is a route to Rio de Janeiro open and I need to bring the Olympic flame that’s burning inside of me.
Therefore, to be continued..