Post 53: Greece
Before leaving the safety of Italy for the unknown quantities of the Balkans, Greece had shone from our map of Europe like a beacon of comfort and safety. Sometimes when your traveling the 'unknown' actually becomes the adventure and on this particular journey that has certainly proven to be true.
Croatia, Montenegro and Macedonia have been amazing and are certainly not to be feared. In Kosovo we had been alarmed by the UN and KFOR activities close to the border with Macedonia, ...... but there had been nothing to fear but the fear of uncertainty itself. Each Nation had warned us aboutt he next, ... and each had been wrong. Greece on the other hand was a 'known quantity' and we knew exactly what to expect.
Entering Greece from Macedonia was simplicity itself, .. Passports and Go. This part of Greece is unknown to me yet it all seems very familiar. We head for the nearest stretch of coast and hopefully a beach to rest our aching bones for the next few days, recharge the batteries, drink Retsina and eat fish until boredom dictates that we once again head east. The traffic in Greece is heavy but the rules of survival are familiar, ... be confident and ride like the road belongs to you, .. and only you, .. be selfish with the asphalt and you'll avoid being intimidated, .... think 'London' and you'll survive just fine.
We crack-on, we follow the compass for the nearest coastline and arrive as night falls at a place called Retikas. It's not on any of our maps and Alan's trusty SatNav suggests that we're actually in the sea, ... but that matters little, .. the ground is flat, the Taverna is open and the Retsina is cold, ...... sardines arrive and the night is complete.
I meet the Priest, he loves England and Beer, .. we talk for at least an hour in two very different languages but that matters little. He notices 'Buddha' around my neck, he chuckles, ..... he has one wife and five beautiful children. The bikes are blessed but the Priest has no more beer and decides that the Raki transported from Albania is not quite to his liking, ..... we say 'goodnight' and in the morning, we'll simply see what the day brings for each of us.