Only hours later, not being punched by the hangover just yet, we started dinner for breakfast. When ‘ausbauching’ (the process of letting food settle after a heavy meal) had commenced, we started getting sleepy again and headed for the seaside park. Here we took turns napping, shopping and tossed the frisbee around a bit. It’s fair to say we didn’t have much energy left and hung out all day getting to know each other while enjoying the sweet sun accompanied with a hookah, prepared by a true connaisseur, our Syrian cycler Shukri.
Fully regenerated 24 hours later it was time for some productivity and we tinkered on our bikes, purchased some fresh chains, fixed a derailer and did some allround mending. Anton scurried all over town searching for a tailor to transform his old hang-u mat-u into hang-u mat-u PANTS-U! Mighty fine lookin’ hammock trousers indeed. When the evening came around once more, we headed to an internet cafe to do some blogging.
Since Karo and Shukri’s finish line was Thessaloniki and they still had ten days left before they had to return to their university in Köln, we decided to meet up again after they said their farewells to Lewis. Even though we didn’t know each other that well at the time, we knew our pack was two wolfs richer.
In order to fill more than a week, the duo wanted to extend their trip to Larissa, a city about 200 km further to the south. Since we spent a bit too much time in the cybercafe, the duo went ahead to our next stop, where they arrived while we were still mid siesta. During our snoozing, we didn’t have the cover of night and some sneaky but courteous thief stole Mr. Flavour Savor but left our passports, credit cards and the rest of our stuff alone. We should mention, however, that Oli and Stef were in town at the time and took the most valuable items and cash with them, leaving this thief with limited options. We hereby would like to thank this person for the wakeup call and want to ask you to take good care of our precious six string. He likes bluesy tunes and loves to sing along to the harmonica.
When we had packed all our stuff, a message came from Shurki to take the highway, which provided a private lane for cyclists. A bit sceptical about this and with a heavy heart having lost our 5th member, we followed the advice and set course to our new friends to fill the void. The bike lane turned out to be a lane every highway provides... for emergencies. Since traffic was minimal and everyone seemed to be using the left lane anyway, we kept cruising until we hit a toll road. There was no way back or out, so we went up to the booths, expecting to be yelled at or even receive a fine, but instead the officer casually let us know there was some construction work up ahead and told us to be careful when passing through. He wished us a fine evening and a good trip. What a nice guy. Upon arrival at our first sandy beach crafty Karo and shisha Shukri had prepared us a fine meal and smokeables to enjoy around the campfire.
With the temperature well over 20 d’Greece it was still summertime, and in the summertime you go to the beach and do beachy things. So we did. To you, the reader, this will probably seem as a boring day but we hadn’t had this much fun in a long time doing pretty much nothing at all. When you travel in a group for months, being around each other all the time, you start talking about anything and everything just to keep eachother entertained. When meeting new people there is always a certain excitement familiar face won’t provide and this was just what we needed. Shukri and Karo fit right in goofing around, sharing our humor and going crazy with nothing but sand, water and wine.
When we had spent two days at the beach carving sporks out of wood and building sandcastles, though, we all felt like getting active again. Being only 70 km away from Mt. Olympus it was obvious what we had to do next. When we first got the idea everyone was very casual about it. You know, just a hike in the mountains, to the home of the Gods, maybe a picknick, snap some selfies and sing some songs about big boobies.
On our way to the next destination Stef went ahead from the group to scout the terrain, without us noticing. The next moment we heard a loud barking, repressing the music from Shukri’s stereo. Arriving around the corner we saw Stef in the distance, wildly swinging his dogstick at a pack of stray dogs to prevent them taking a bite in his calves, all the while remaining in his saddle. After establishing dominance, Stef dismounted and glanced over his shoulder to look at the rest. At that moment he saw the rest of us taking halt under a tree, drawing our weapons to cross this hostile terrain. He chuckled and thought about how funny it must have been from their point of view. We reached the town of Litochoro at the foot of the mountain and had our first six headed hang on a beach that was being prepared for a wedding.