Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 5 - Xanthi to Hippie Beach Camp (75km)

We lightened our bags today, sending a few kilos of unnecessary items home (ex. my punctured sleeping mat, some of Carrie's five pairs of underwear). Xanthi was a small enough town that Greek was the only language option at the Post Office, so I had a friendly charades-style interaction with the woman behind the counter. At one point she slapped my face (in the most kind and motherly way). It was the sort of thing you'd see in a movie and it was at this point that I really felt that I was in Greece.

The sun and heat picked up around 9am. We had to stop a lot for shade and hydration, visiting sleepy inland towns and pieces of Greece that are probably not on the usual tourist itinerary, but nevertheless nice to roll through. It seems that even the people (or the kids who do the graffiti) in the towns have a sense of humour about the character of their towns.

When we reached the coast, it was a different story. We saw many hotels and there were restaurants that had huge seating capacity but no patrons. We realized that we haven't really seen any obvious tourists here. It feels as though they are ready for the masses - big roads, big restaurants - but there is only us. I suppose that this is one face of the crisis.

We found a campground along the beach, surrounded inland by fruit growing land. Secluded and calm, yet not too far from a tourist town. We were not alone at the camp, but we were the only tenters. All of the others seemed to be permanent trailers or shacks. In the town near our camp we found a small bridge. The water was packed with little turtles. It was so nice!


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