Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 6 - Hippie Camp to Thessaloniki (154km)

Escaping the heat, we took refuge under some trees and met three cyclists heading in the same direction as us. They were from Serbia and were on a 10-day trip to an important Bizantine monestary. We rode together for a few hours with our Serbian biker gang, stopping every 10kms for some shade, which allowed for plenty of conversation.

It is really interesting to observe personalities and relationship dynamics when people are travelling. Especially when they are travelling by bicycle. I think that traits ad power dynamics get exaggerated somehow - or maybe they just become more visible because there seems no point in moderating one's behaviour in these situations - it's better to just be real.

The 'main' guy in the gang spoke very good english and was very curious and chatty. He was full of information and stories and we felt that we could have talked all day. I imagine that he was not the one who had the idea to do the trip in the first place, but he was the one who made it happen.

The 'second' guy spoke some english, but not enough to express everything that he wanted to say. He was in charge of navigation and the other two relied completely on him for this task. He shared some helpful details on which roads to take in Macedonia and Albania. He was really excited about our adventure and seemed to want to come along for the ride. I imagine that he was the one who

The 'third' guy was quiet and more serious, though he had a cool handlebar mustache that suggested there was a funny guy somewhere below the surface. He seemed anxious to keep moving every time that we stopped. I imagine that he was the guy who made sure the group stayed on schedule and out of trouble.

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We ended the day in Thessaloniki, taking a 25 euro room at an old, but kind of charming hotel. The owner is a large man with a deep, deep voice and a slow laugh that sounds a bit like a frog, but is so genuine that it makes you want to laugh with him. When he heard what we were doing with our bicycles, he let out a slow chuckle and said 'We don't have girls like you yet in Greece'.

1 Comments:

Blogger BikingBakke said...

that last line is probably true, but surprises me in the birthplace of democratic ideas.

June 23, 2013 at 6:27:00 PM MDT  

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