In a hurry, we left in a hurry. So much of our pre-departure-focus was on getting the motorcycles done and the visa sorted that in the end I had to pack and leave before I was truly ready for it. So, I left home deadly tired and nowhere near as organized as I would have liked to have been, as I need to be. Combine this with the high paced travel we chose for our first days and the result is a long string of small stupid mistakes and issues.
In northern Italy, we detoured past an outdoor store so I could get a cheap pair of clear cycling glasses for night riding. I managed to lose these within mere hours. Luckily they were cheap, optional and easy to replace. More troubling is that I also managed to lose one of my custom fitted earplugs, expensive and very hard to replace.
Then there were some technical issues, a supposedly waterproof phone that wasn’t (it seems nothing is really waterproof, least of all Goretex); a remote control for our helmet communication that seems to eat batteries at a rate of one per day instead of one per six months; and very annoyingly, it seems the side stand on my motorcycle is not made for the heavy load on it, so I can’t use it, out of fear of the bike falling over.
We consciously chose to speed through Germany, Switzerland and Italy, mainly taking the motorways, but there was little fun in it, it was hard, hard work. All in all, the first few days were stressful and exhausting. I don’t mean to say that our time in Italy was bad, it was just too rushed.
We realize this while sitting in Jesi with Roddolfo, an old friend who exudes a rest and calm that fits with his simple lifestyle and we understand that this high pace is not one to keep. So instead of doing another hard day of riding south to catch a ferry from Bari, we choose to spend the folling morning relaxing in Jesi, enjoying Rodda’s hospitality and to take a ferry from Ancona in the afternoon, effectively saving us almost two days.
The boat is big, filled with teenagers trying to get drunk and utterly uninspiring, but, it’s quick, mostly clean and gives us a chance to catch up on sleep. When we wake, we are in Greece!
I start the morning in a foul mood however when I find out I’ve lost the earplug, I wante to kick myself and maybe also kick over my own bike. But then we findthe Greek back roads… Endless beautiful twisting roads, almost no traffic and stunning views, what a joy! This is why we headed out on motorcycle! As per plan, we are now sticking to smaller roads, making good time as Persig defined it, and it feels great. Maybe we should not have raced through the first sections so fast.