The Reverend goes his own way...

Trip Start Apr 12, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Hotel Argo

Flag of Greece  ,
Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Many a week ago, around about the final days of the Spanish chapter, the Rev and I mapped out a ridiculously long and potnentially very hazardous train pilgrimage from Athens to Thessaloniki, up through Bulgaria, by way of Belgrade, Serbia, before arriving - hopefully - in the gloriouus city of Budapest, Hungary. As i've mentioned earlier, mammoth train journeys always look more fun and wild on paper than in reality. I think it dawned on both our minds on the overnight ferry to Greece that this plan was, in fact, a bloody stupid one. But more than this, we'd both developed our own loose individual agendas, our own possibilities for what might eventuate after Greece. I had Turkey suddenly lingering on my mind, and The Rev suddenly had very vested interests in heading back to Italia, and i think something clicked for both of us on the way to Greece that the death ride to Serbia was an inferior option.

This morning, the marvellous travelling freakshow threesome was shaved down to a lazy duo as the Rev journeyed on his merry way back to Pisa via Athens, leaving Brooks and myself to our own vices. We took the 'Hells Dorks' buggies back to the hire joint pre-midday, and took a very bloody cosy scooter ride to a reccommended breakfast joint, with me and Brooks wedged right up against the hire joint bloke on the one bike. With a lazy day of winding down ahead we hit the local beach for one last Greek island sunbaking session, meeting up once again with the Aussies ladies, and helping Brooks polish off his fluorescent yellow 'Carrotan' sun lotion, which we fondly labelled 'Carrot Spooge'.

I was thinking about the coming weeks in my head today. Tomorrow would be the first day on my own since the first day in London, and i'd no longer be able to rely on the meticulous organisational prowess of Rev and Brooksy. And in addition to this change of pace, I was headed East to Turkey of all places, a country that i didn't know a great deal about, only that it shared a border with Iraq, Syria and Iran and it was 90% Muslim. But to be honest, despite a very niggling sense of unease I was more excited than anything else about what might lay ahead, and felt that i was always supposed to go to Turkey, so i really wasn't too worried. Brooks and I shared one final meal together at a snackbar a few doors down from Hotel Argo, a few beers, one last sunset, and a session of typically sparkling, often abstract, but always entertaining, repartee. Though it's not quite accurate that i didn't know Brooks from a bar of soap 7 weeks ago, it's been a bloody privilege travelling with him (not to forget the almighty, imitable Reverend) and i now consider him a great mate. The trip without them would not have been anywhere near the same.

With inspirational precision, Brooks more or less wiped the table with me in pool this evening, shooting stick and sinking bottles of 'Alfa' beer till the late hours. The last night in Greece, one night left before Stage two of the journey - the epic solo mission
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