It’s not very often that I go cycling by myself, but when I do I have a great time! I love the freedom of being able to stop and enjoy places whenever I want, or stop and eat wild fruits from the side of the road, rest as much as I want or push my self to the point of exhustion without having to worry about the others. I feel free and I really enjoy the trip my way. A trip like this happened few weeks ago when I decided to go and visit an interesting rock/mountain I found on google earth. No one wanted to come because of the heat, except from my friend Orestis who joined me for the first 4 hours before going his way to the house of his Parents-in-law. It was nice cyling together to the first, not so exciting, part of the route.
It was a very nice trip to an interesting place that few people have ever visited. A destructive fire destroyed a big part of its trees, but remains beautiful and majestic.
You can find the route
Here is a photo travelogue:
Half of the route is flat and very close to the sea. We started our trip at 05:30, so didn’t see much cars! Look at the rock, people call it camel head.
Heading to Eges village. From now until the end of the route, the gradient will always be like this. The sun is starting to feel hot but the scenery is nice and I don’t pay much attention to it.
Looking the rock from a distance. It looks majestic! Imagine sitting there on the edge and looking at the view!
An abundance of almond trees at the side of the road kept me fed while I was climbing the big hill. What a taste!
Look at this small trail! I was cycling slowly on it enjoying the scenery, when I saw at my right the majestic ancient theater of Aegira! What a sight!
I still remember vividly the moment I saw this beautiful ancient theater and its breath taking view on over the Corinthian Gulf and the surrounding mountains. Remarkable is that the whole thatre has been cut directly into the bedrock! Fortunately It is not touristic, so I could sit there completely alone on the rock seats, enjoying it in silence.
After many kms under the hot sun, I found this old spring. I sat at a table near by and eaten a delicious piece of Prasopita (Spinach pie). This spring constructed in 1922.
As I am approaching the rock, it looks more and more intimidating. I have to cycle all this way to the top of the rock at 1250m. I don’t complain though, the scenery is fantastic.
I really Like N. Kazantzakis and while I was cycling on those hard hills, I could imagine Kazantzakis describing this scenery in his books.
I found this cave thats called “The green cave” and I collected some clean, cold water!
This is the main square of the village Monastiri (means monastery). It has a spring and few benches. I sat there and ate some more Spinach pie. After this village the really hard part of the trip was waiting for me.
After the Monastiri village I had to turn left. I had a difficult time trying to cycle this steep climb!
After some hard climbing I found a gift from God. Cherry trees everywhere full of the most delicious cherries I have ever tasted. They were at 700m altitude! I ate so much, I could barely move!
This is how most of the mountain route was looking. The heat was making me sweating like crazy, but I could stop and rest under the shade of big pine trees.
Finally at the top of the rock! A beautiful road ahead leads to a nice small chapel very close to the edge of the rock.
This was a very strange construction at the very edge of the rock. I struggled to stand there and look at the view! Very interesting!
Coming back from the chapel to the north/east part of the rock, I was looking at the beautiful mountains of Korinthia.
This is the point I was looking at when I was still at the Eges village. I sat there and relaxed looking at a 360 view.
This is the place I chose to sleep at. As I was laying there, reading my book, I could see the eagles above my head, gliding on the sky!
I miss this view so much!
Next morning I sat there to see the red sun rising as I was sitting there eating banana and cookies. Unfortunately my small camera doesn’t do it justice.
As I was cycling back, I took a photograph of the place I slept on. Not bad for a place completely destroyed by a wildfire.
I had a flat, I patched the puncture and tried to pump it up. But as I was placing the pump on the valve, I accidental broke the plastic lever of the pump! I was alone 1300m above the ground, with a flat tire and a useless pump! The trick on those cases is to push the pump towards the valve as hard as possible , while keeping it level so air can’t leak out, and pump furiously until it’s rideable.
To ride a bike on gravel or on any difficult terrain while you have an under inflated tire, you will have to ride with finesse. Like you would ride a horse maybe. You are off the saddle tilting in front – if the problematic tire is the rear one – and you jump slightly when there is an obstacle in front of you (like rocks or holes). If you do it right you can ride for miles like that.
I love images like that. Typical Greek village houses (and tree).
I spent the night up there!
If I wasn’t cautious I could get seriously hurt. I was rolling down the slope when I suddenly saw a huge truck covering the whole road! Fortunately I managed to avoid it but I got a good scare. The good thing is that I got off-course because of the truck and I noticed this beautiful house…
…Everything about it was nice!
If I had the time I’d love to explore this green jungly small gorge!
On the way back, I saw the camel head again and the nice beach close to it. I should have stopped to enjoy a quick swim..
20 or 30 km from home and I had a small break in a small village to buy and eat a delicious melon! What an energy boost! After that sweet watermelon everything seemed easy, I was back home in no time!
I really enjoyed this trip. It wasn’t very far away from my home, and I was very nice and peaceful. I sat at the top of the rock for hours enjoying the view and the silence. It’s amazing how healing small solo tours like this can be!