We leave Kalamata and head for the mountains.
We then decide to cut through the mountains as it takes a lot of energy to leave and return to the sea each day. That night, we are lucky to find an olive grove on a hill with a panorama of the sea and the surrounding mountains. We feel ready for the mountains.
We made small calculations on internet, we know roughly how high we have to cycle every day. That day, it was about 300m. We cycled them happily, crossing huge orange orchards, where Pakistanis and Indians looked at us with curiosity. Then it was the turn of the olive trees to stare at us, and we met some specimens of more than 1000 years.
We arrive in a mountain village and take a break. Well, we still have 10 km to cycle, but it shouldn’t be going higher for today. We get back on our bikes. After a big bend, we see a long slope through the mountain. Ah, so we’ll go up again. Alice blows, swears, sweat, she can not take it anymore. We make a break on the top of the slope.
We get back on the bikes. A small going down and …. again? Yes, a long, intense slope was hiding behind the mountain we had just passed. In total, we did 950 m instead of our 300 m planned. We are still happy when we arrive up there. In the evening, we go to a restaurant because we have nothing to eat and we are happy to be able to warm ourselves in an authentic village bistro, where we are served by the son of the owner, who has just celebrated his ten years old and who is the person who knows the most english of the village. The next day, we leave 3 kg of our luggage on the bench next to where we slept. We are too heavy for this kind of cycling! Today, we will normally have about 1000 m of high to cycle, we must lighten ourselves.
We leave and go up a bit, then a long and beautiful flat in the mountains of Peloponnese. The vegetation is very different from the coast’s one; we feel that the air is cooler and a little less dry.
To our surprise, we do not go up at all that day, because suddenly the sea is right down to our feet, and all we have to do is to get down form the mountain to join it. Well, it seems it is useless to look on the internet the vertical drop!
We are happy to get to the sea again and accelerate the rate of pedaling to reach Athens as soon as possible. We go to the post office to send another 6kg of material. Once in Corinthes, after a long day pedaling against the wind, we finally see the famous canal that separates the Peloponnese from the mainland. We will cross it the next day and put an end to our journey on this beautiful island.
We decide to call the Iranian embassy to check that we will be able to make our visas on Wednesday, when we arrive in Athens. “We are closed this wednesday …” Ah, good. So there is no point to hurry. We decide to take a break in a campsite for a day, waiting for the embassy to reopen.
We leave on Wednesday, we have 50km to get to Athens. After 40km, we arrive on a very busy two-lane road. The signs are green, like the highways in Greece. Well it looks like we have to go by the highway to reach the capital! After a few km on this road, we decide that it is not for us. We take an exit and we cycle along a huge oil refinery on 10km. We become aware of our unconsciousness: to see in reality all what is necessary to feed our cars shocks us and leaves us speechless.
At the edge of this refinery, we have the idea to take a bus to leave this industrial jungle. We find one easily and we jump with the bikes in it. Two beautiful meetings in the bus; and suddenly we are there, we have to get down it is the terminus. A huge city is right in front of us, we just have to find where to sleep, thank you booking.com!
Watch our video here!