I was feeling a bit weird. After all this time away, today was to be my last long day in the saddle as I positioned myself for finishing tomorrow with a ferry and short ride into Athens .
No two cycle tours are the same. Mine had evolved dynamically since I started, with things like daily mileage, accommodation and route planning all being amended from how I originally thought it would be . Being able to make these changes was of course the whole point of touring in this way, but the point is I’d tweaked it and I’d got into a rhythm that suited me, the conditions, the local situation and what I wanted to achieve. I only had myself to consider . I was having a great time but of course I wanted to finish, and get home. I think I wasn’t fully prepared for the ride to end-I’d only been planning one day at at time, focussed only on tomorrows route and place to stay, and it was almost like the end point had crept up on me.
So a forty mile route today saw me heading inland away from Loutraki before riding parallel with the Corinthian Canal . Once I reached the Aegean coastline I needed to turn left and ride along the coast with the sea on my right . At Megara a small ferry (yay!) would take me the short hop across to Salamina, an island popular with holidaying Athenians. I’d be crossing the island to finish at Selinia on the Eastern coast .
First things first. Breakfast was a feta and potato pie,still warm and really delicious and worthy of a photo for sure ….
It was a baking hot day . I left Loutraki along a service road that ran parallel to the main road out of town, and for a while the landscape was quite industrial and busy. A mile or so alongside a number of oil refineries made me realise how loud they were.
After about an hour though I was free of all that and back into open sea views. The road wound around the coastline in a way that I become so familiar with and I enjoyed taking my time
Before long I was diverting off the main road to the grandly and optimistically named ferry terminal .Think more a waters edge car park with some bored looking men waving people up the ramp to a waiting ferry. Once again, no tickets required for this free service .
In fact the journey was so short I imagined it’d be cheaper to build a bridge but for now the ferry was a fun and quick way to get across.
Once on Salamina it was about seven miles round to Selinia on the other side . I was intending to catch my final ferry of the trip from here tomorrow, over to Piraeus, the port of Athens. The “port” that I’d seen on the map was no more than a short slim jetty, and there was no sign of ferry activity.
The man at my hotel told me apologetically that the Piraeus ferry service only ran in the Summer, so I’d need a rethink. I’d sort that later, I needed, in no particular order, a shower, a drink and some calories