Peloponissos part 1

Athens June 12th

It was really nice to just jump in a plane, fly to Athens without the hassle of having to bring bike boxes and duffel bags full of all our gear.
Upon arrival we got on the X96 bus direction Piraeus and we got off in Glyfada and took a cab for the rest of the way. It was less than half the cost of taking a cab directly from the airport.

Athens June 13th

Today we just relaxed met with all the relatives and acclimatize. We double checked our cycling route to the Athens train station.  Later on we took our time checking our bike’s and putting all our gear together for tomorrow.

June 14th
Athens to Akrata beach camping 55 kms

We were on the road by 07:00. The route took us through the center of Athens but at this time (just before the morning rush hour) it was an easy ride. As we got closer to the station we had to ride through a rough area full of gypsies, junkies and illegal immigrants. Not a pretty site and definitely not an area to be after dark.
Train tickets from Athens to Kiato (end of the line) were €10 each, bikes are free. After waiting for about an hour we got on and the ride took about an hour and a half.
By 10:00 we rode from the Kiato train station and headed straight for the coast and looking for a bakery for a croissant and coffee. The ride to Akrata was great, a bit warmer and less windy from our March attempt.

Back on the familiar old national road right after Kiato

Taking a break at the wooded area in Xilokastro

And our view

The roads were really smooth for the most part of the days ride.
It was nearing noon by now and the getting pretty hot

Near the village of Likoporia we found this little oasis were we rested in the shade with a nice ice coffee

It also came with a great view

Between Stomio and Ligia

Once again at the Akrata beach camping. We had a strange encounter while having a cold one. We saw this German shepherd walking around and though it was the same camping dog that was here in 2010.

Well it turned out that the dog belonged to this Dutch couple that vacationed there every summer for many years and the dog we photographed (pictured above) was their previous dog which sadly passed away.
It was very touching chatting with them and they asked if we could send them the original photograph.
One of the many reasons we love touring so much.
Camping facilities are dated but everything works. Host very helpful and the restaurant is pretty good.

June 15th
Akrata camping to Camping Tsolis 45 kms

From early morning the temperature rose quickly and looking west we could see large clouds

The ride was quite picturesque

Looking back at Akrata

Just before Pounta

Crossing the Rema Kerinitis river. After this the weather became really hot and we just concentrated on cycling. We are not used to riding in this heat and it was very difficult for us to cope with.
By the time we reached Aigio it began to rain. We stopped for a couple of sandwiches and waited it out.
Just before our destination it started to rain so once again we waited it out.

Looking west from camping Tsolis.
Once at the camping we just had time to set up the tent before it started raining again.
As soon at it stopped we tried to get something to eat but the camping restaurant was closed. The cook and waiters went to watch the world cup. In the end one of the local camping guests phoned the local fast food and we had a couple of souvlakis delivered.
Camping Tsolis is pretty good, facilities are new and the host is OK. He could have done more to help us find some food instead of us relying on the help from the local camping guests.

June 16th

Camping Tsolis to Camping Kato Alissos 45 kms

The morning was overcast but nice and fresh. That lasted for about an hour or so, the sky cleared up and it started to get very hot again. Today we had to ride through Patras which like every city is always a bit difficult.

Having breakfast. We found this camping to be pretty good.

And what a view from our tent.

Probably gets pretty crowded during peak season.

Once back on old national highway…

we were treated to some great views.

Just before Panagopoula we caught our first glimpse of the huge Rio-Antirio bridge.

Before Drepano.
After this photo we didn’t take many untill we reached the camping due to the midday heat and the heavy traffic.

Well it doesn’t happen often to our Schwalbe marathon plus tires.
All in all we’ve only had just a handful of flats since 2006 on various tires, that’s pretty good in my book.

Our route took us close to the Cemetery of Patras and our family grave.
So we took a few minutes to light a candle for my dad who passed away 25 years this August.

Panorama of the coastline from Camping Kato Alissos. Patras is in the distance.

As soon as we set up camp I got us a couple of beers but we didn’t have time to finish them before the heavens opened up and it started raining quite heavy. Thankfully it didn’t last long we were able to check out the coastline which looked like a bomb hit it. It was a disaster.
The camping was not that good. The pitches were not taken care off, the facilities were really dated and the communal kitchen had an awful odor to it. The camping has only got worst since we last visited in 2007.

June 17th

Camping Kato Alissos to Camping Kourouta 60 kms
A very hot and boring day on the saddle. Very busy road with many trucks only upside was that we had a good shoulder the whole day. Being such a busy road also meant there were many animals along the way in different stages of decomposition.
We stopped several times to get something to eat and cold drinks when the heat became unbearable.

07:30 in the morning. We didn’t get very far as it started to rain so we took shelter by a fruit and vegetable stand that hadn’t opened yet.
The owners did come out and offered coffee but we thankfully declined

09:30

10:30

11:30
After this it just got too hot to bother with more pictures.
The huge clouds in the distance moved to the right and the road turned left.

And by 14:30 we were at Camping Kourouta enjoying an ice-cold beer. Before we even set up camp.

Later on the afternoon I sat down between a bunch of Germans to watch them loose to Mexico in the world cup. A huge surprise and disappointment to all.

But it would be difficult for anyone to find a better setting to watch a football match.

Later on we enjoyed a great sunset from the restaurant.

Now about the camping. The first time we came here was in 1988 and several times since and nothing has changed. We couldn’t believe even the facilities were still the same. It’s truly a shame since they have such a nice location and competition not far off. Which we took a walk the next day (out of curiosity) and found it be much better and cheaper. The downside to the other camping was the beach, not as clean. A lot of sea weed and bamboo.
Also the restaurant at Kourouta, they took our order and didn’t have half of what we ordered. The food was OK but the management was terrible.

June 18th

Rest day
We rode to the town of Amaliada for some supplies, didn’t care for that restaurant again. And for the rest of the day was spent just relaxing and swimming.

Nothing beter than just relaxing with a cold beer and a good book. And if it gets too hot go for a nice swim.

June 19th

Camping Kourouta to Camping Tholo Beach 60 kms
Another beautiful day on the saddle. We stayed on the main road. Again the day was perfect for cycling, a little busy but all the drivers were courteous and gave us plenty of space. There was a good shoulder for most of the way, we didn’t have any problems. It did get very hot around noon.

07:00 and all ready to go

08:00

09:30

10:30

11:30 and dark clouds started to appear from the NE with thunder in the hills.
About an hour after this picture it started to drizzle. We made it to the camping wet.
As soon as we set up camp we went to the bar for a few beers and wait out the rain.

There are kilometers of great beaches here.
This is looking south and on the bottom right of that hill is Kyparissia.

We took a nice walk along the beach than went for some nice homemade dinner at the restaurant.
Camping places here are OK at best, very rough pitches and most of the electricity outlets don’t work.
The facilities and restaurant are very good tho.
We have found that most of the camping’s are really geared up for campers and trailer not good for tents.

Part 2