Thursday, May 19, 2011
So last night we are at this mountain top resort which is absolutely spectacular. We go into the main dining room and are served the most unbelievable 5 course meal with wine. It was really over the top. They had some sort of dial up internet and one connection but nobody could make it work even the staff.
I was in a room with three other people but is was a huge room with individual beds. I have been having trouble getting to sleep as my internal clock is so out of whack so I told this to one of the room mates and they immediately handed me a sleeping pill. It really worked. I took the sleeping pill and was out like a light. I was so knocked out that I snored them out of the room. I am told that they got up and turned me over and I stopped for 30 seconds before I was back at it. I took a lot of teasing today but at least I got a good nights sleep.
The morning was perfect bike riding weather and from the mountain top you could see for miles in all directions. It was really an unbelievable treat to stay in such a marvellous place. Best of all we had 15 kms of down hill right off the start.
All of the villages are built on hill tops so the next thing you know we are on a long grind up to the next village. The roads here are a minmum grade of 10-15%. I don’t understand the fascination with building such steep roads. You are either in dead low gear cranking as hard as you can to keep enough speed to stay vertical or riding the brakes for all you are worth to keep from flying off a cliff. It maybe for the views. There are certainly lots of them. They are just stunning.
So after riding for 40 kms I hit the big climb of the day. It was approximately 15 kms and wicked steep. It took about 1km to get down into the grind of about 9 kms/hr. |So this is going to be about 1.5 hr on this hill. At the top was lunch which was on this hill top from which you could see in every direction. In fact you could see the mountain peak where we stayed last night. While it was probably 25 kms away, you could pick it out because of the big cross on top of the mountain. I am only guessing at the 25 km number but the roads are so twisty and have so many ups and downs, I would not surprise me that you have to go 2 kms to cover 1 km of distance.
After lunch there was only 30 kms to go to camp, and it was mostly down hill. In fact some of it was so steep I had to stop twice as I was afraid that the brakes would over heat my rims. The camp is a lovely spot under these huge olive trees. We are only a kms or so from the sea and there is a very nice breeze otherwise it would be dead hot again.
Also of interest I saw my first Roman ruin today. It was a temple to one of the Gods. There were a series of columns and a large temple. I was very tempted to ride up and see it. However it was on top of a very steep hill. So a picture will have to do.
This is really exciting stuff.