Crete by George Johnston, Submitted by HI volunteer Chuck Gooley.

As planned I biked into Piraeus and picked up my ferry ticket on Monday.  I then biked into Athens, had a good lunch at a place recommended by Trip Adviser, and took a spin by the Acropolis and the market near Monastiraki metro station.  It was easier biking back to Piraeus since it’s down hill and I found a more direct route than I took in.

I got a comfortable cabin for three with a  bath for about 30 euro’s extra and only one other man showed up.  I picked up a few Anek Lines souvenirs and got spaghetti at the self service cafeteria.  We got into Souda Bay around 7:00 am. I repacked the bike and rode the 20 km including a steep climb to the Naval Support Activity.  I got checked into the base with no trouble and checked my status at the air terminal.  There still seems to be a fair possibility of getting to Norfolk on Friday.  I went by the base pharmacy and got a refill for my antacid pills.  I ran out a few days ago, but they didn’t have any problems refilling the MacDill prescription. I reserved a room for Thursday night.  Roll call is at 7:45 on Friday.  They only had a suite for $94.  I didn’t want to pay that for three nights so I biked another 70 km to Rethymno and got a bed in the hostel dorm for 13 euros a night for two nights.  I’ll sight see here tomorrow and take a bus back to Chania Thursday morning.  If I don’t get on the flight I don’t know what I’ll do.  There isn’t anything else useful on the schedule yet.

The Skopje-Athens ride wound up covering about 880 km in eleven days.  It was challenging, but I got stronger on the mountains as the days passed, and was able to ride the bike all the way up from the ferry port to the airport, when I’d always had to walk and push the bike a good part of the way before.

I have a lot of pictures, but I haven’t uploaded all of them from the camera yet, and I haven’t started a Facebook album on the ride yet.

Maybe I’ll get some of that done tomorrow.

George Johnston

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