Monday, March 19, 2018
The highlight of the day was 107km on the bike. Perfect temperature, blue skies, another great day.
During the morning, I cleaned the boat for a bit, then signed in (the office is closed on the weekend) and moved the boat. I had been using the generator for power through the weekend as I was too far from the power post to run a cable, but the Lagoon 62 in front of me on the wall pulled out this morning, and I was able to move the boat up to get to the only power post on the outer pier.
By lunch I was set up well and the temperature was up to 20C so I prepared for a 100km ride. During the morning, I have also come up with a plan for the next two months, and so decided I would ride to Heraklion and back, to avoid taking the boat there. The cruising guide suggests it is a soulless tourist trap.
I have to say that it was a great day on the bike. I had tail winds on the way out, and the roads were mostly smooth. This was a contrast to the hills, which were consistent, but non stop. The reasonable grades allowed me to put in a good training effort and my total climbing for the day was almost 1800 metres.
To start the ride I took the ‘old road’ which is a bit bumpier, but the real issue is the bees, I got smacked in the face with a half dozen or so early in the ride and they kept coming through the day. About 15-20km in the old road dumps you onto the new national road. It is super smooth, with a great shoulder. I stayed on that road most of the way, but as I got close to Heraklion, construction dumped me onto another old/side road.
I never made it all the way to Heraklion as that side road continued to deteriorate in quality and it had heavy traffic and no shoulder. No need to take big risks to see a soulless city! I turned around and headed back.
I took just one photo all day, and it wasn’t very good because I was moving. The scenery was very good, but consistent. The mountain range was on the South side most of the ride and the ocean to the North; the juxtaposition made for some interesting views and even more interesting climbs and descents.
Tomorrow I will likely try to sustain a similar pace for another 100km ride.
As for my plan, I will lay that out over time, but I will leave here on Friday morning to find another interesting place to visit or perhaps drop anchor and ride on the trainer right from the boat while enjoying some quiet time alone. I need to get the boat back to Santorini by Wednesday night next week for weekend guests and the weather is going to be a factor (keeping in mind I am single handing and I need good weather to tie up safely, although Antonius at Vlychada gave me his personal number, so I can get some help, but still, safety first.)
So that’s the plan outline for the next 10 days. Leave here on Friday, perhaps to Sitia or Chania, but get to Santorini by Wednesday night. Spend the weekend in santorini, then head back to Athens, passing through some interesting new island like Naxos.