Thoughts and tales from the saddle - on my own in Europe.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Day 176 - Soufli - North East Greece

A momentous day today, sort of. For the first time in nearly six months, 176 days on the road, my compass points North. I've been heading East for what seems like a lifetime, ever since Decision Beach, but now, finally, I go North towards cooler, wetter weather, towards Eastern and Central Europe, then down into 'the flat countries'. I am also, for the first time, heading towards home, in a roundabout kind of way. A strange feeling, but not an unpleasant one.

I will enter Turkey briefly in the next couple of days, then straight up into Bulgaria. Entering Turkey will complete two big things which have been at the back of my mind for quite a while - a complete crossing of mainland Greece, from sea to border (in an August heatwave!) and, perhaps not quite as accurately but nonetheless noteworthy, a crossing of Europe, the whole continent, from the Atlantic in Portugal to Turkey, the beginning of Asia. I think Asia officially starts halfway through Istanbul, on the Eastern shore of the Bosphorus strait, but I'm not going all the way down there just for that.

My plan now is to cycle until around the end of October/beginning November. Hopefully I will get to most of the Central and Eastern countries in that time, as well as returning to the UK solely on my two wheels. It's unlikely I will get to Scandanavia before then and, to be honest, I don't really fancy that after November. Frostbite anyone?

More immediate news from the last week includes: A prolonged stomach upset which seems to have been quelled by cleaning the green mould out of my water bottles (I know - brains), a broken camera hastily replaced from the (small) selection on offer in the town I happened to be in, concern over my rapidly-running-out-of-space Moleskin journal (I could get some sort of replacement, which I will have to soon, but not Moleskin and it's just not the same!), lots of people asking if I'm German (to which I reply 'Nein' and leave them with a 'Danke' just to amuse myself, but probably not them), a man with a pushchair full of junk (sorry - 'quality merchandise') flicking open a four inch knife in my face and asking if I wanted to pay three euros for it (No, but do you have any clean pants?), getting a bit fed up with Greek summer food (meat and chips is ok for a few days, but all the time? Soon, I'll turn into a souvlaki).


  • At 5:09 am, Anonymous Friedel & Andrew said…

    Hi Percy! We follow you on the road every once in a while, when we can get online. We have found denture cleaning tablets are a cheap and easy way to get the green gunk out of your bottles. Just stick a tablet in each bottle, fill with warm water, let sit for 15 minutes and then rinse well. Works for Camelbaks too. Hope you are feeling better.


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