Well today was, as always, with its own special challenges. First off, waking up on the dance floor of the bar makes for a good story but in comfort terms it wasn’t all that much different than any other wild camping site except for the loos nearby. The real bonus though came when the owner returned with a few things in tow. Some milk, bread and warm ham and cheese croissants. We wish most camping experiences were like this!
Just before we took off, Niko took us on a two minute climb in his truck to see what awaited us for the day. Mount Olympus.
After repeatedly refusing any more cold iced coffees we rolled away with our panniers full to bursting from all the goodies Niko gave us to take on our journey.
All went well until lunchtime when we picked the wrong spot under a tree. Just a few meters up the road after we’d finished our meal and Andrew discovered a puncture in his back tire. Yes, the first flat tire of the whole trip.
In fact, on closer exaination we were surprised we didn’t have four flat tyres since there were a number of thorns stuck in our tyres, all at about the same spot. We pulled all the thorns out with tweezers, changed the inner tube, got our hands good and greasy and then go back on the road. It seems we rejoiced too soon though because after just another short distance Friedel said, “Oh No, guess what?”
Yes, her rear wheel was also completely flat. Well, after 16,000km we can’t complain too much. We were a bit faster changing the inner tube this time and managed to keep climbing before long. By late in the afternoon we finally approached the base of Mt Olympus and were surprised at how small it looked for 2,917m. We’d hoped to make our way nearly all the way round the mountain but our flat tyres took their toll and instead we camped near the base exhausted from a late night with Niko and the extra work of the day.
26th September 2007 at 6:49 pm #
Road notes: Elassona is definitely the place to get groceries if you’re heading for Mount Olympus because there aren’t many towns of any size for quite a distance afterwards, not really until you reach Katerini. There are a few hotels in Elassona if you need to stay the night. Otherwise there are plenty of wild camping opportunities in the farmland around the base of Mount Olympus.
What we Spent: €4 telephone card, €4 groceries