Monday, May 25, 2009

Cycling in Zante - May 22

What a difference a day can make. While the night before, I was stressed trying to find a place to stay, I awoke in Zante relaxed and eager to enjoy a hearty breakfast before our cycle.

Breakfast at the Astoria Hotel was served buffet style with tables adjoining the beach. I ate my typical cereal - Almond Fitness Flakes. I also grabbed a chocolate chip muffin and fruit served with yoghurt. One thing to mention, the yoghurt (yes, with an h here) is thick and rich with a texture more like sour cream than U.S. yogurt. Murray and I relaxed, enjoying coffee (me) and tea (him) before we headed down the beach for a stroll.

The beach at Alykes had golden sand, chairs and umbrellas. It was a peaceful place attracting mostly retired couples. We walked a ways in barefeet and when the sand felt too warm, we put our feet into the sea.

By the time we were back in our room, it was nearing 11. We weren't sure where to go, but the hotel clerk's husband, originally from Canada, suggested we head south to the beacch area. That seemed like a better idea than tackling more steep mountain roads.

We made good time traveling on the road that ran along the sea. The only downfall, there was a lot of traffic, especially through Zakinthos town. It felt like we were in rush hour. Well, not quite, but this was definitely a shock to our relaxed cycling mode.

After Zakinthos, we continued south, climbing some hills to our destination of Gerakas. This is the southern most tip of the island and known for their loggerhead turtles. The beach where the turtles lay their eggs is a protected area. During the day, beach-goers can visit. At night, the beach is closed to tourists and the turtles return to nest. The beach was very hot, and we were roasting so we didn't stay long. We jumped back on our bikes to find some lunch and return to the port.

Finding a lunch stop was not an easy task. Every place we stopped was either very busy with screaming children or closed. Then we arrived at a small village where I spotted a coffee shop. We had a delicious lunch. A tuna baguette for Murray and a huge pizza for me. The prices were so cheap. Less than 15 euros for food and drink.

After lunch, it was back up the hills to the port. Now, our legs had certainly become used to climbing. But the 100 degree temperature, toting bike packs combined with the hills was starting to make us tired. We rode slower - having plenty of time to reach our destination - and stopped frequently for cool beverages. We made it to the port an hour before the ferry left. I sat down at the cafe sipping not-so-cool white wine which I put ice cubes in. Murray did a swan dive into the sea and then came back for some beer.

The evening ferry ride lasted two hours. I slept part of the way - and thank God, Murray's brother-in-law, David, was there to pick us up. Murray gave him a warm embrace, he was so grateful to see him. Yipee! We wouldn't have to ride any more hills back to the villa.

Total miles: 54

No comments:

Post a Comment