Friday, October 24, 2008

Messara Plain

Our favourite days on the bike are always in the mountains. There is simply no beating the crispness of the air, the vividness of the landscapes, or the sheer variety of scenery that slides by as you ride. The lowlands have their charm, but they are rarely as richly layered as life in the mountains. And this was exactly our initial reaction when we dropped out of the Psiloriti mountains and onto the Mesara plain to visit the famous wall of Gortys Law and the end point for Zeus's abduction of Europa at the ruins of Gortys. As in any of the more highly touristed areas of the world, the shabby quality of people clamouring half-heartedly for easy tourist bucks prevailed. Agriculture is also much larger scale here. Both cars and life in general seemed a little faster than it should be.

Whenever we hit an area devoted to commercial agriculture we always have a hard time finding a place to sleep. In such places it seems that, at the end of the day, there is no time or space for building the little churches we have grown to love over our months sleeping out of doors in Greece. For one last time we put our faith in the directions of our Anavasi GPS maps program which sent us through barren fields, vineyards, and olive groves to a very well hidden Agios Nikolaos. We shared our new home with a good number of snails and together we enjoyed what was our last night on this trip sleeping under a blanket of Greek inspired constellations.

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