Day 16 Athens, Greece to Thessaloniki, Greece

Tuesday  Dateicon  25.08.2015  Globeicon  Countries:10  Tigericon  502km Total:4539km

This is moving day. We have a very long day ahead of us since we've decided to try and transit through all of Greece in just one day and a half to get the afternoon in Sofia the day after.

A pretty uneventful day with some really nice riding, especially in the afternoon when we're riding a long the coast of the Aegean sea.

When we arrive at the hotel for the day it turns out it's by far the worst stay of the entire trip.
The first thing that happens is that they claim they haven't received any booking but out of the goodness of their harts they can still give us a couple of rooms.
Hardly an achievement since it's evening, the hotel has more than 50 rooms and there isn't a single person in sight anywhere.
When I get to my room the stench hits me like a punch in the teeth, it really smells like someone has died in there.
I talk to the reception about a possible switch to a room that doesn't smell like the inside of a garbage disposal but with normal Greek nonchalance but completely lacking both humour and charm he explains that they don't have any non smoking rooms and thus they all have the odour of unsanitized ax-homicide (ok, so that might not have been his exact words).

Opening the balcony door was not a very viable option due to the scorching heat and the fact that a bird had occupied the balcony which meant it was pretty much covered in birdshit.
Considering how few between the backfires are to booking non refundable rooms at bargain rates I guess I can put up with this, after all it's just for one night.

While I had taken a shower the bear had asked about getting some supper and yes for a small amount of just one million euros (a slight exaggeration) they could offer us something from a ridiculously limited menu but we would of course have to wait until a newly arrived busload of Poles had been fed.
But that was to be expected, we were after all only paying them eighty euros to sleep in a four star latrine.

My spontaneous reaction to this news was that I'd rather chew of my own arm than pay this place one single cent more than what's absolutely necessary, we head out on a quest for food.
It was a pretty uncertain bet that we would find anything since we had chosen to stay outside of town to get the cost down.
The fact that reception had said that there was nowhere else was definitely not something I took as the absolute truth, that this place had some skeletons in the closet was pretty obvious by the smell.

We get to a soccer field with a few kids playing ball so I ask them about getting some food and they point us in the right direction which by the way is the only direction, but at least we now know that there is food to be had.
Bingo! Just a hundred meter down the road we find a kebab-shop. The Greeks can call them Gyros as much as they like.
Was it not Shakespeare who said: What is in a name? That which we call a kebab by any other name would smell as sweet?
Despite some language difficulties we manage to get a round of Kebyros and due to the fact that it was my stubbornness that had gotten us here I gratuitously paid for what could very well be a triple food poisoning.

Back at the hotel we remount my aux light while drinking beer and getting completely massacred by mosquitoes.

 

A much needed water break.

Bates motel.

Operation let there be light.