Goodbye Europe

DSC01914We had spent just over 6 months cycling through Europe and now it was time to head into the Middle East. The last leg of our ride through Greece would be a good test of the coming months as there were few places to stay and mountains to climb. We would be back to wild camping but now in winter,

We started off with warm weather and sunny days leaving Chalkidiki in sunshine. We camped in some beautiful spots with fantastic views. We followed the coast as far as Kavala and then headed inland.

We camped above Pigadikia with great views across to Mount Athos and Sithonia

We camped above Pigadikia with great views across to Mount Athos and Sithonia

We met a couple of touring cyclists on the road to Kavala, Borise and Simon who were heading to China. They had 7 months off work and looked pretty loaded. DSC01892

We passed the ancient statue of the Lion of Amphipolis 400 bc

We passed the ancient statue of the Lion of Amphipolis 400 bc

We had one day of heavy rain which filled the rivers. In most cases these just crossed the roads as fords rather than bridges so we often ended up with wet feet. Fortunately we stopped at a garage for some coffee and water and managed to dry out our shoes and socks by a brazier just before we hit the mountains.

DSC01907

The roads were almost empty with just an occasional car passing every hour or so as we climbed. The temperature was steadily dropping and we were battling a head wind. We camped by the side of a gorge for the night. We managed to stay warm in our sleeping bags despite the temperature dropping to below freezing.

DSC01906

We carried on climbing the next day up through the snow, through stunning scenery, and were glad when we were over the top and dropping down below the snow line again. We had another night in the forests before reaching a few small villages the next day.

all layered up

We tracked along the Bulgarian border before reaching the border crossing to Turkey. We met the most cheerful customs officer on the Turkish side who was full of enthusiasm for Turkey and after paying 15 euros each for our 90 day visas we were into Turkey and the next stage of our journey.

2 thoughts on “Goodbye Europe

  1. Marijana Stechow

    Dear Pip & Bill,
    Happy to follow the news of your progress. Enjoy Constantinople and safe journey beyond! We are looking forward to your next visit.
    Michael & Marijana di Momiano

    Reply
  2. GIll And Tony

    Wow! Cycling – and camping – in the cold and snow must seriously test your enthusiasm. I take my hat off to you both. We’ll be in Dubai and Muscat in April – and will look out for you.

    Reply

Leave a Reply