After 7 months on the road, it happened. For the first time… with Harry, that is…

I expected it to happen at some point, just not now. Harry’s been down for the first time, since he is with me. Not something to be proud of, but all firsts are special in a way.

 

What happened?

Nothing really, I just slipped on a sandy hump and couldn’t keep him upright. Even before I could take off my helmet and take a moment to mentally prepare myself for lifting the fallen one up again, a shepherd came around the corner. Yes, really. It was just like a too predictive movie: I heard the goat bells ringing and there he was … Universe provides, right? Read more

Goosebumps over Easter eggs

A little throw-back from the way from Kalambaka to Kozani (Greece)…

The roads are empty – and so is my stomach. Shops are closed and I’m not up for the emergency food I’m carrying, so I enter a random tiny village and see what I can find. One of the 5 streets holds a taverna – it seems to be open. A woman answers my call for attention with a look that makes me believe she’s slightly annoyed with me showing up at this Easter Monday. The kitchen is closed, she says, and the best she can do fis some fied eggs. Ok, that sounds wonderful.

She disappears and comes back to set the table a few moments later. She asks where I’m from, then spots my bike… her eyes grow big. After I answer her questions where I’m going and what my professional background is, her eyebrows raise up to her hairline. Within these few moments of conversation she turns into a different woman. She finishes setting the table, then calls het daughter, who appears instantly from inside. The lady pulls me over to my bike and orders her daughter to take a picture of her and me together. ‘You are an interesting person’ she says, ‘very strong’. A moment of silence – a serious  look. ‘I want to take your picture, so I can show to my friends what life is about’. Her look of amazement shows me: I made her day. She however, has no idea what she did to me; she can’t see the goosebumps that her reaction had caused to me…

The entire village comes and goes, stares at me and Harry. In the meantime the table is filled with much more food than ‘only some fried eggs’. Even a portion of noodles is collected from a house down the road … it’s too much … I can’t finish it all (which is rare… I’m a good eater). The Easter gathering seems to be ending: everyone is leaving back to the city or surrounding villages. When I too want to move on, and ask for the bill, I receive a firm shake of the head. I’m not supposed to pay – the food was a gift. For Easter, she says, and to wish me good travels. The only thing I can say: ‘efgaristo (thank you) and happy Easter’!

Don’t believe what they say about Greece!

After hearing not-so-positive stories about Greece from several fellow travellers, I was a bit hesitant to pass through it. Greece isn’t even on the most direct way to Vladivostok, but the endless coastline thus constant proximity to the sea pulled on me like magnet on a piece of iron. During a phone call a while back, a friend from Holland (Kitty) suggested rather spontaneously to fly to Athens, rent a motorbike and join me traveling for 2 weeks. And so I had another reason to go to Greece. What a good decision that was! Read more