After Stef was gone for three days, I got jealous of him and his solo mission. I kissed the two remaining crew members on the forehead, told them to have to most fun and pointed my wheels in the direction of a group of mountain lakes close to Trikala. I had no phone, map or compass to point out where Athens was, so I decided I’d follow my nose instead. After a refreshing morning dive I came across a family of free horses and asked them politely if I could join them for the descent. They were easily convinced of my good intentions and with pomegranate juice still dripping from their mouths we made our way to the bottom of the hill together. The next few days were mostly filled with giggling at my own thoughts, climbing trees and swimming in the most irregular places of which a water tower was not the least. In Thermopile I spotted steam rising up from a river, and discovered a hotwater spring with a little waterfall. With a single gracious movement I backflipped off my bicycle into the waterfall, and surfed the turtles until I was tired enough to go to sleep.
The next day I saw the first sign that said ‘Athens - 190 km’, so I decided the time right to meet up with Stef. On the way there I found ‘the endurance club’, a ranch for Raspaarden where Musli and me explored the forests a bit. The owner of the ranch sent me on my way with a horseshoe for good luck.
Clearly, this lucky piece of iron did its job, because I made good friends with the local police and 6 highway escorts later I put down my head in a cotton field, ready to ride the remaining 30 km to Athens the next day.