woensdag 29 mei 2013

To see a world in a grain of sand

With the final two months under way (and the countdown subsequently switching from months to weeks, AAARGH), the traveling schedule is taking shape.

The first major part of the trip will be the ride toward Brindisi in Italy, where I hope to arrive the 27th of July. The 28th will then be a resting day, and the 29th the ferry to Greece awaits.
This left me with a problem, as there was only one ferry that day (and the day before), and they both arrived in the middle of the night. And as much as I'd like to be totally super-manly-hardcore and ride on through the night, I'd rather play this one by the book, and have some sleep first. Thanks to the amazing hospitality of the Greek people, this has now been taken care of.

After spending a day of trying to wrap my head around reaching Ellada, the ride then continues the 31st of July, using the following week to ride from Igoumenitsa towards Patras, Kalamata, Cape Tenaron, Athens and Thessaloniki before crossing the border into Albania, the 7th of August.

The sights to see are more than plentiful, and I am yet to circle them all in my roadbook... I probably need a whole afternoon for the sights in Greece alone, heehee. Accommodation arrangements are progressing, and left and right there are countless Greeks willing to lend a hand, which has left me quite humbled. All help (not just in Greece - Italy still needs alot of work too!) is truly appreciated!

The Balkan has been sorted more or less when it comes to the route, thanks to the help of a Serbian colleague of my father's. Much obliged again, Dragan! If anyone wants to tag along somewhere along the route (or if you have a place for my tent) feel free to drop me a line!

The prep on the beast is slowly progressing as well. I've renewed the brakefluid, chain and sprockets over the past month, and the coming weeks I want to replace the air- and oilfilter, spark plugs and coolant.

Right before the trip, the beast will get some fresh rubber and wheel bearings, and then it will hopefully be ready for the 7000km ordeal that lies ahead of it.

Me, I'm thinking of just doing a small test run as soon as temperatures start improving. Nothing fancy when it comes to distance - I just want to know how some of the new additions to both my apparel and the beast handle on the road. Just a last opportunity to trim off the excess fat.

I must say the booking confirmation of  the ferry - the final hurdle until Greece - has left me both apprehensive and melancholic. After three years, it's now getting pretty pretty close indeed. I guess time flies...

In any case, here's a major thanks going out to your support - the FB page has surpassed 100 likes, and the latest Youtube installment went past the 1000 views in under 3 weeks. So all credit where it's due: you guys are awesome!