A day in the life of Brian and Sharilyn

Trip Start May 22, 2009
Trip End Feb 16, 2010

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Flag of Greece  ,
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It’s amazing how routine life can become even when you’re on the road.  It seems like it wouldn’t be, but really it is. 

Every day the alarm goes off around 6:30am - just when the dawn starts to provide a little light.  We get dressed and Brian goes out to make coffee while I start packing up the sleeping bags and sleeping pads.  We usually drink coffee while looking at maps and deciding routes and distances for the day. 

The Brian does some work on the bikes - daily oiling of chains and anything else that needs doing while I continue packing up the panniers and start on some breakfast. 

Wash up, tear down tent, load bikes and we’re ready to go!

Then it’s the joy of local scenery.  The  other day we had quite the climb up through hilly olive groves where young boys shouted ‘hello’ as they lovingly pruned the trees with chainsaws.  Through little villages - each one seems to have different archetecture and building materials.  Every once in awhile I catch a glimpse of little old ladies clad in black, or priests with robes and hats. 

Shortly into the morning a severe hunger starts to strike.  If we’re lucky, I have some fruit or granola bars for easy snacking.  But if not, we need to hunt for local fare. 

One day we had the treat of cycling through citus central.  For one or two kilometers there were road-side stands everywhere.  Next to one another, across the road from one another.  About 20 jam packed together.  Being parched, I couldn’t help but want a big juicy orange, but they were being sold in 20lb bags!  I finally saw a stall that had some loose fruit and decided to try.  When I took up my megar purchase of 4 marnadrines the man just waved me away saying ’present!’ which was just fine with me!

Lunch tends to vary.  I used to carry sandwich wraps because they compress so well and then we had food readily available.  But since they’ve become increasingly difficult to find, and as local food has become increasingly good to eat that has been changing.  Lately I pop into a bakery and see what filled pastries there are, stop in a market for some olives and bread, or go to a restaurant and have slovaki or something else. 

Then it’s on the road again,  The last few days it’s been amazing to see how the land is changing.  No longer lush, it’s rather barren and rocky.  Olive trees are almost the only vegetation springing out of rocky-terraced hills.  Then seem to be growing sideways, but it’s only because of the slope of the land.  Huge rock faces and deep gorges littered with caves and caverns.  Then it’s clear views out over the water to see endless penninsulas and more peaks.

Then it’s the perpetual search for a place to camp.  Some nights it’s easy, others quite challenging.  The other night my map inaccuratly showed 2, but my book of listings indicated none in this area.  The couple we turned into were deserted.  Gates locked and the only inhabitants were grazing goats, chickens, turkeys and horses.  At the next campground we became a little more daring out of desparation and tried the gate (which opened).  Inside it was obvious that someone had been there recently as trees were freshly pruned, some olives harvested, and a car was left with doors open.  With no other options, we decided to stick it out. 

We eventually saw a man wandering about and asked bout camping.  He told us they were closed and recommended the other campsite down the road (been there, closed).  Brian asked it we could stay anyways and he said there was no electricity and no water, but we could stay if we wanted.  Yay!  We were both just glad to find a place we could soundly rest tonight.  After hearing stories of hefty fines and tent slashing for wild camping, we were not too excited about this option. 

Usually we work on getting cleaned up, so I found an old rain barrel to wash my hair in and Brian had a cold shower.  Then it’s time to cook up some dinner.  I have a few specialty dishes which I cook on the road:  Tuna surprise (tuna and rice),  pasta (tomato or pesto), crazy man soup (courtesy of a cyclist me met),  curried lentils, or couscous.  One particular evening the owner of the campground returned to give us a big bag of oranges from his tree!

Then it’s time for reflection and writing in my journal.  Almost every day I’m amazed at what we’ve seen and the people we’ve met.  Also amazed that we’re still going and haven’t divorced one another yet!  We have a tea to warm us up as the nights are cold and get dark early.  Then I usually read - got a book on Greek mythology for our travels through Greece. 

Then it’s sleep so we can wake and do it again!

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