Balkan Flare – day 4

Monday was a great day. We started the day early as we knew it will take some time to get out of the city. 


Csabi had his second fall on the trip. Both the bike and him made it without a scratch. We actually had a green light at an intersection but a car completely disregarded the fact and raced through the red light. He almost hit me and my mate had less luck. He pulled the brakes but it was a tad late and he hit the car then fell off the bike. The driver was kind enough to slow down for a second before vanishing in the traffic. Csabi quickly pulled his bike up with the help of a taxi driver and off we were. Once out of Istanbul the traffic was sparse but we couldn’t take our eyes off the road as there were constant threats in the form of incoming traffic on our side of the highway or horse carriages crossing the motorway… On top of that you had to be ready for the potholes that appeared from time to time. We stopped for a coffee and petrol once before reaching the border. 


Everything went smoothly and we immediately noticed we were back in “Europe” once on the other side. The road conditions were far better and people spoke English at least. We stopped in Alexandroupoli for a coffee near the lighthouse and enjoyed the beautiful weather. 


Just 8 km short of our destination a huge thunderstorm caught us so we had to take refuge at a petrol station where we spent almost an hour before it ended. Temperatures dropped suddenly from 31 degrees to 18 degrees in no time.


We arrived at our campsite around 5.30 pm but the reception was closed. We went in to have a look and just as we arrived back to our bikes a couple showed up and opened the office. We paid 23 EUR for the two bikes, two tents and two person and went on to choose a spot.
Barely did we park the bikes as people came about from all directions. A Dutch couple from the spot next to ours offered us freshly brewed coffee while we slowly met all the inhabitants. The strangest of them were the Chinese couple who were on the road for 7 months on a trip from Beijing to London on bicycles!

A Greek guy invited us for dinner later in the evening while his mate turned out to be the local member of the V-Strom club and immediately made a couple of calls to help us replace the broken windshield. 
It was great. Csabi had a little trouble to set up his tent but that is OK since it was a first time for him. It took nearly 30 minutes though and I even made a video I laughed so hard 🙂

We had a look around in the campsite and bought a bottle of wine in the restaurant for our host. Dinner was served around 9.00 pm. Fresh pasta with steak and Greek salad. it was excellent. We had a great chat and exchanged contacts at the end before returning to or tents for the night. 

Daily trip data:

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