I woke at 8:00 am, well-rested. Realizing the time, I hastened to pack up to meet the time I’d told the camp host. While filling my water bottles I stumbled across the fuse box for the bath house. I turned on the circuit for the outlets, and charged my battery.
Ready to leave by 8:30 am, I set out to look for the camp host … and failed to find him. By 9:00 am still no sign of him, so I headed out.
In reviewing my route for the day, the road near Preveza included a tunnel underneath the entrance to a large bay. There was no way they’d allow cyclists through the tunnel, but I saw no trace of a ferry on the map. An impassible tunnel meant cycling around the bay – 144 km and two days of cycling.
Researching on-line, the tunnel was indeed closed to cyclists. Great. While searching for a ferry, taxi, or any indication that other cyclists had hitched their way through the tunnel, I found a blog post from a decade ago suggesting that a service vehicle might provide a shuttle. Worth a try.
The road to Preveza proved gloriously flat. Following the instructions from the blog post, I cycled past the sign indicating no cyclists, and parked in sight of the security camera. Sure enough, in about five minutes a yellow van drove past me, turned back around, and transported me through the underwater tunnel! I had to stop at the other side and review the route for the day, because I had truly expected I was cycling around the bay.
In nearby Vonitsa I had lunch near the castle. When locking up my bicycle, a small boy walked up and waited near bicycle, making me nervous about leaving it. As I pondered what to do, his companion arrived with a small bicycle with the chain tangled and slipped free. I helped them untangle the chain and remount it, and they scampered off.
Despite my on-again/off-again relationship with EuroVelo routes this trip, I saw the first official EuroVelo sign today outside of Vonitsa. From that point on the EV route was well posted. While I occasionally ignored the signs, I’d eventually re-encounter the route, still signposted.
Except for a short period crossing the foothills of an adjacent 1171 m mountain, the day proved a reasonable definition of light grades. I pulled up short for the day in Mitikas at about 70 km, hopefully positioning myself well for tomorrow. After all, I’m now an additional two days ahead of schedule. I used the afternoon for some rest and relaxation, and laundry. I’m not camped on the Ionian Sea, but it’s across the street.
I have navigation choices to make tomorrow evening. Another cyclist reported repeated attacks by wild dogs if I cross the bay at Patras, but campgrounds are in short supply on this side.