Heading west

Trip Start Mar 30, 2010
Trip End Dec 13, 2012

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Where I stayed
Anatalia rooms

Flag of Greece  , Northeast Aegean Islands,
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chios is a small Greek island just a 1 hour boat ride from Cesme Turkey.  Now three days before I had decided to come here, I had never heard of it.  It was one of those last minute change of plans.  The plan would also see me go to Athens via boat as well, and it is a different feeling to enter a country via ship.  The sun was setting just behind the mountains as the boat pulled into the harbor.  The town itself is quite small, even though it is the largest town on the island.  I walked to my hotel and unloaded the monster pack.  I decided to do a little exploring on the water front, seeing as I was too lazy to go out and party.  Plus, it wasn't really high season, so it was mainly locals that were out, and very few of them.    Day two, I decided to rent a motorcycle.  Since I had seen so many people driving around on bikes, I was getting a craving to get back on two wheels.  What I was extremely surprised by, was the amount of women that were riding around on scooters and motorcycles.  Not that it really that shocking, but usually you will see the odd one here and there.  Here....they were riding one handed, no helmet, while TEXTING!!   Now that...is talent.  After consulting a few places, no company had a bike for me to rent since it had rained over the night and all the bikes were stored outside and having issues starting from wet wires (or at least this is what they were telling me).   I ended up having to settle for a mediocre Hyundai, which I ended up beating the snot out of while driving.  I think that thing ended up being on two wheels on some of the sharp corners.  I was just happy to be behind the wheel of something again.  I missed driving.  This is what I have been missing the most almost.  Now the night before I made a rough plan of places that I wanted to see while able to be mobile.  First stop, a ancient village in the mountains called Anavatos.  I took the long way to get there, as an excuse to see as much of the island as possible.  As I got closer, through a break in the trees, you could see the village...barely.  It is amazing to see because it blends in with the natural landscape since all of the homes were built from the stone of the mountain.  It was a natural fortress back in the day since you could only approach if from one side.  The other sides were a sheer cliff.    I parked the car, got out....and wasn't even sure if it was open.  I was literally the ONLY person there.  At first I wasn't even sure if I was allowed there.  There was 2 older Greek construction workers off in the distance, restoring some old building, and one man in a one room museum, who told me I had the village to myself.  This is the bonus to traveling to places like this in the low season.  All of my photos here have no one getting in the way, some funny looking character with a weird hat on ruining your pics.  I took an hour or so walking around playing with my camera.  But really....an hour was more than enough.  Back to the car....   I continued to the south side of the island to Mesta.  On the way there, I found a nice little grocery shop, bought a few supplies, and went and found myself a nice quiet road to make a little picnic.  Sitting on the hood of my car, watching the sea eating ham sandwiches and having a beer.  It was so peacefully quiet...I actually went back into the car and had a nap.  Rough life.  Made it to Mesta, but really, there wasn't too much going on there, so I briefly walked the town, and decided to make my way back to Chios.  I didn't want to rack up the kilometers as it was some insane extra fee if I went over my alloted 100 kms.  When traveling this long...you really have to try and save the $$.  Doenst always work, but kms is one thing I can avoid.    The last few days, nothing too exciting happening.  I wish I could say that I met the President of Greece or something, but I really wanted to try organizing my days in Athens, where I would be staying, how to get there, etc.   It is honestly a challenge and a half trying organize that I have to do.  Looking after a home back in Canada, planning what place to visit next, transportation, places to stay, trying to enjoy myself in each city, write this blog....it gets to be too much at times.  I apologize for delays, and if some of the entries are boring as shit.  I try!     My last night in town, I had to kill a whole day out of the hotel, which again I used trying to be productive online.  I booked my ticket (27 euro for a boat ride), via the European Express.  It was a massive ferry that would pick me up at 10 pm, and arrive in Athens at 7 ish am.  The bonus to rides like this, is that it is one night you don't really have to worry about where you will sleep.  Over night buses and boats and the way to do it.  Only down side is that you miss some of the scenery.  I past out on a park bench hugging my backpack, with my passport shoved down my pants, hoping that if someone went to steal it...I should feel it.  You would think so at least.   Once on board the boat, I found my seat on the lower deck.  The whole seating room was filled with people sprawled all over the floor with blankets.  Seemed like a good ideal, so I claimed my corner of the room before it got too crazy busy.  After I had marked my territory, and the ship set sail, I went up to the upper deck to see what sights could be seen, even though it was night time.  Since it was midnight....not much.  But it was kind of a surreal moment, the sea breeze, moon light on the water, a few small lights on some of the little islands we past.  Even though I have been going strong for 7 months...I still couldn`t believe where I was, and what I am doing.  I just sat there wondering about all my friends, family and loved ones.  I wonder about the things I am missing and what I will do with myself when this dream comes to an end .  This was really the first time I really thought about going back to normal life.  But there is still too much of this amazing planet that I still want to see, and things I want to do before I can truly answer this question.  Sometimes I wonder if I am really doing the right or responsible thing by keep this trip going.  But something deep inside, says screw it.....you live once.  Enjoy it to the fullest!
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