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Europe » Greece
January 26th 2010
Published: January 26th 2010
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Hiking a busy highwayHiking a busy highwayHiking a busy highway

Not too enjoyable, but almost unavoidable... These busy highways are the reason we spend most of the time in the mountains.
On our rest day in Messolonghi we decided to do an eight kilometre run! It was actually a nice way to relax!..
We then headed northwards...
We spent two days hiking backroads and farm trails through the hills. At one point we were being followed by pigs and goats, we had locals giving us free oranges as we walked by them and we had a few free cups of coffee too. In the small village of Gouria, a few of the locals called for us to join them for a drink. In broken Greek we said that we would stay for a short while but we have a long way to walk so we must move on after a drink... My theory was to drink the glass of homemade wine quickly so that we could head off, however that just got me a re-fill in half the time. And then another! There was a guy there who could speak Deutsch, so at least we could communicate fairly well, he insisted that we stayed and had more wine and pizza and that we stayed at his house. We did accept the offer and slept on Kosta's living room floor.

We crossed a mountain pass into Astakos.
Eventually, after a few hours we met up with Panos! We stayed a couple of nights and then took the ferry to the island of Kefalonia where we met up with Vaso. We stayed a couple of nights with her in the town of Argostoli on the west of the island. Of course, these were rest days so we climbed mountains and hiked along beaches!
We took the ferry back to the mainland (to the same place - as not to cheat on making progress) and started to hike through the mountains along an unknown route? We found a gem of a camping spot amongst trees and herds of cattle. The next morning, Andrew and I took separate routes to Paleros, he continued through the mountain roads, but I opted to go down and follow the coast, the distances were similar and we met the next day at Toni's house in Paleros. We met Toni and his friend Garovalia on the Kefalonia ferry. He took us to the island of Lefkas for the afternoon but then dropped us off right back at his house where we spent the night..
Toni walked with us for a couple of hours the next day, but we continued for another week before getting to the northern city of Igoumenitsa.. It was an amazing hike through the mountains. Lots of adventures! We had sheep and goats following us and a thunder storm. We met Stavros who put us up in his "other house". No one had lived in the place for over 30 years! He clearly knew we were low maintenence as we had to sweep the dust out of the place first. Stavros ranks up there with some of the odd characters that I've met on my travels! In breif he is a drunk and a chain smoker, and he claims he knows how to make a transportation system out of only plastic water bottles? He knows how to make a propeller that can transport people around the planet through a different dimension. He can forecast natural disasters before they happen. Everytime he gets these visions he calls the government in Athens... He has spoken to various American presidents on the phone and he funds his life by winning obscene amounts of money in the casinos! And by far, the place we stayed at in the tiny village of
OrangesOrangesOranges

There's no need to buy any oranges in Greece.
Chimedia (Casa Stavros) was the worst place we've ever stayed in.. Like 'ever' in my life, it was in such poor condition that it was hilarious, but it had electricity!
For the next few days we had snowcapped peaks and deep valleys. Our feet and legs took a beating as we went up, down, up, down mountain after mountain, passing through cute little farms and olive tree plantations. The generosity of the locals in these small dots on the map (or not even a dot in some cases) was heartwarming.. We were greeted with smiles and cheers, hot coffee and fresh fish, homemade bread and cakes, olives and oranges. These poor regions have by far the most hospitable and generous people. We were treated like family as we passed through their small communities. They definately thought we were strange though, once they found out that we had walked there from Athens....

We are now in Igoumenitsa in Northern Greece, a city on the coast overlooking the island of Corfu.
We will rest here for a couple of days... Perhaps?
D


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26th January 2010

ouch!
That foot looks sore! Try to take off the bandages at night so it dries out a bit. Remember that taking care of the feet now will ultimately save you time in the long run. Just celebrated Australia Day in Melbourne. Off to Perth (again) in the morning.
26th January 2010

The people in these villages and towns sound awesome.... I wish the whole world could be like this ! Between you and I ...I think Stavros is not compliant wih his medication !! Ha Take care of those feet!

Tot: 2.183s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 10; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0188s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb