|2022-06-10||Europe: 2023-01-08 20:00 (UTC)|
Going to Greece without a proper visit to an island would be like if you didn't visit the Neumayer Channel. You know, if you, have already been to the South Pole.
Immediately knew that I'm not interested to see all the logos of global brands squeezed onto a narrow dryland all around. That's one reason why I didn't go to Crete. Also the schedule of the ferries usually do the return trip 5-7-14-30 days later to maximize the sunbathing experiences. I didn't fancy to stuck on an island, right on a weekend, in high-high season for these many days — although I'm aware Crete is a worthy visit otherwise. The eastern islands on the Aegean Sea also look spectacular, naming the most popular showpiece Santorini, the white houses with blue roofs built into the steep rocks above the sea. And Rhodos was very much on the list, but it was just too far to drag the bike there and back for a few days.
After making decisions on Olympic grounds, I did my research and figured out the destination: Kythira/Κύθηρα. Close and compact enough, and a ferry right departed from Piraeus on the 10th of June at 15:00, returning 5 days after.
Be my guest to notice that the itinerary of recent days' seems senseless…wholly improvised: indeed, I was in Monemvasia 17 days earlier, then going to Neapoli/Νεάπολη and the island would have been much closer. Didn't happen that way, that's life on the next corner.
And while two-hundred something kilometers is nothing for the bike's odometer, I chose the ferry as I certainly did not want to ride the same direction, the same roads, the same asphalt again getting down there.
It was a windy, very windy day
The traverse was rough, although far not Drake-rough.
From daylight into the late night
The approximate 230 km ended 7 hours and 30 minutes later in the port of Diakófti/Διακόφτι.
After the disembarkation I joined the long queue of the two-track vehicles to follow the single road leading away from the port into the island, meanwhile the climbing beam lights illuminated the ahead hillside and the curves like a Christmas tree in motion. Kilometers went by and crossroads changing directions made the lights disappear in front and behind, and ultimately I rode forward alone in the darkness through the deserted midlands of Kythira with the quarter moon leading the way.
As far as GPS logs…memories go, I arrived to the accommodation around quarter past eleven. Usual chores, loosening the D-rings, packing down, inspect and tap the bike on the shoulder, put on the cover to protect against whatever surprises or thin pine needles may drop from the dark chirping trees.
It was a long and demanding day from 7am to 1am — still it was one of those two nights during the whole journey, when I fell asleep dead tired but content. The definite crown was riding the nightly hills and outback. It was the exact essence of adventure, to accomplish something you've never done before.