190530-Not As Bad As I’d Feared

Unsurprisingly, I arose before my backpacking companion, even after a horrible night’s rest. We’d been out late, and then mosquitoes kept waking me by whining in my ear. My blood and two of their corpses decorated the sheets in the morning.

I walked to a nearby market. Returning I pinged Mark, and he scrambled out of bed for a morning coffee before we headed our separate ways. Two months remain on his trip. He’s headed for Delphi, and then the Greek island of Ios, which he’s heard is a “party island”. He has a thing for dragons, so is eventually headed to Ljubljana. He’s also planning a return to Naples, as he had some unfinished business there.

My first encounter with the reported wild dogs, 5 km outside of Igoumenitsa. They slunk away into the underbrush. I had several other dog encounters which involved a lot of shouting and walking away slowly.

I climbed a number of mountains across the day, but at least the Greeks know how to build roads – long, steady, even grades.
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I’m now following EuroVelo 8, with the same on/off relationship I had with Eurovelo 5. Today a superhighway paralleled my course, so I chose to follow a major highway. That would be better graded, less likely to have animal encounters, and hopefully be low traffic given the superhighway. Indeed, I had wide shoulder and almost no traffic throughout the day. The road was so good that I didn’t bother switching to the adjacent service road.

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Nearing the end of the day I had a long string of campgrounds ahead of me. I passed my first opportunity, instead heading to one on the other side of town. That road proved to include a lot of steep climbing. Glad to not have that to deal with in the morning, I approached the second to discover it only permitted RVs. Normally the 2 km back would have made the most sense, but not with those hills! I now had two campgrounds in front of me, and then nothing for far further that I wanted to end the day.

The third campground–themed after Burano, a Venician island I visited last year–proved closed. But the person who told me that, when realizing I was a cyclist and only interested in one night, told me I could stay free of charge. I just needed to let him know before I left between 8:00 am and 9:00 am. Due to the closed state my expected cold shower was delightfully warm. Power on the other hand was turned off; I had no ability to recharge. I carry a spare battery for that reason, but started conserving power, and went to bed early.

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