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Stories from a cyclist #2

After more than 7 weeks of cycling with a distance of almost 3,500 kilometres, I start to feel the pain. The seat is less and less cooperating. I have to replace a pedal on my bicycle, because the rubber is wearing out. In short, I'm starting to look forward to arriving in my new home port of Kefalonia and seeing my girlfriend again. Still, the last few days have been great. I arrive via boat to Igoumenitsa with my friend Ben where we are warmly welcomed by the parents of my girlfriend’s best friend. Igoumenitsa is the Greek port where we arrive by ferry from Italy.

This is a beautiful example of Greek hospitality. The following days Ben and I cycle along breathtaking coastlines in the north of Greece. We set up our tent and fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves in the background. During our last bike ride after 55 days, we take a ferry from the Greek mainland (Astakos) to Kefalonia (Sami) for the last time. The last stage, of more than 30 kilometers, goes from Sami to the capital Argostoli. We cycle through a large mountain pass, passing the highest mountain of the Ionian islands, Mount Ainos, sideways. Then follows a beautiful descent with considerable hairpin bends to sea level. After all that toil, this really feels like a victory.

We are welcomed with open arms by Katia and I dance the Sirtaki with my father-in-law. The party would last until the wee hours. A few days later I can proudly announce that we have collected 7,700 euros for scientific research into cancer.

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