January 20

A good day today, with a lot of lovely flat ground meaning that we could move very quickly.  Were out of the hotel by 9am, with the proprietress telling me she loved what we were doing – young people should go and see the world while they are still young!  I tried to convince her that she was more than able to do what we’re doing, albeit on a longer timescale perhaps, but she was having none of it.  Ryan headed off ten minutes before me to get to the bike shop so he could get his brakes looked at, and I planned to meet him at a great pastry shop in town.  As I was waiting, I got peckish, so went in to take a look at what delicious treats they had and got talking to the lady behind the counter.  She told me to get a bacon wrap and a chocolate croissant, and I was loathe to disagree with her.  As I was leaving she pulled the owner out from the back and asked if a shop like that opened in London, would I go to it?  Definitely, was my answer, if only for the baklava. 

I’d been waiting for Ryan for an hour or so by this point, so I logged onto some wifi to pass the time when I got a message from him telling me it’s taking longer than he expected and to come on over.  I headed over to the shop, and about an hour and a half later we were able to get his bike out of the shop and head off.  We’d lost a lot of time, but were able to make it up, getting to Trikala (20km) in an hour.  Flat, straight ground may be boring to ride on but damn you can go fast.  We rode around Trikala for a few minutes then headed straight off to Larissa – there were a few small hills which slowed us down a little, but we got there about 345.  We rode around the city for fifteen minutes, and I liked it immensely.  The grid pattern reminded me of Bari, and the back streets were so quiet, it was like riding on a Sunday afternoon.  We went and grabbed a cheap burger (€3.80 with chips!) before heading off in the direction of Elassona.  We made camp just outside the town of Tirnavos, and are hoping to get an early start tomorrow.  By the end of the day I’d really like to be descending towards Katerini, but I’m not sure how realistic that is going to be.  We’ve probably got a lot of climbing in store for us tomorrow, so a good thing today was nice and relaxed.  I imagine by Thursday, or at least Friday, we’ll be in Thessaloniki. 

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