Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Monasteries of Mateora 13/09/08 Day 58

Link for climbing in Mateora provided by Constantinos

After a long sleep I went for a walk around the area at dawn. I like doing this, and I’ve done it many times. The pictures turn out better and no one is up yet to bother you while I fumble with the camera. I sure wish I had a better understanding of my camera. I must work on this. The mornings are also nice when I have things on my mind. I need to think of a plan to get north. For some reason I feel I have to keep moving. Last night, just after having my salad I went to the bus station to get some information about getting to Croatia. I walked up to this counter and asked “Can I get a bus to Croatia” The crazy girl in this little shop looked at me and just said. “NO” I thought she was marking a cross on her chest as she said it like I was a dead man to try such an adventure. “No what” I thought, but I didn’t want to push the issue then. I figured I would go to the Hotel and talk to them first.

So this morning I’m remembering that Constantinos and Nikolaos had told me they went to the Dolomites in Italy by ferry. Maybe this would work. I took a few pictures and returned to the hotel after a few hours. On the computer I found a lot of information on the Ferries and the prices weren’t too bad. If I could get a ferry to Bari, Italy then cross back to Dubrovnik, Croatia then that would work.

I found the hotel manager, a real nice guy and he really wanted to help me. I told him of my problem and he agreed with Constantinos that Albania was a bad idea and then he started to make some phone calls and one hour later he had me a reservation on a ferry from Igoumenitsa, Greece to Ancona, Italy. I told him I wanted to go to Bari but he said I shouldn’t because it is better to travel farther on the ferry and I could go to Croatia from Ancona. It sounds alright to me and I didn’t have a good map to look at so I went with it. The ferry is 22 hours long so I upgraded to some airline seats so I would be a little more comfortable. The cost was 78 Euros, the upgrade being 14, I think. What an adventure, I am set for tomorrow morning, just like that. It was now noon so I asked him how long to walk around the Mateora rim road. He pulled out a map and told me 6 hours but if I hitchhike I can make it quicker. I like that idea. I took off and had a great walk, just what I needed after Mount Olympus.

It was a little warm but not to bad and I meet a nice couple from Canada, I think Alberta but I can’t remember. They were real nice and we decided to meet for dinner. They mentioned this place where the grapes hung down over your head and the food was real good. They under sold this place. I was in a good mood and loved it. We sat under the grapes and meet a few locals who were very nice. There was lots of wine and food. I almost forgot the nice couple from Florida that sat with us too. It was a lot of fun. I keep asking myself why I was leaving. It was strange because my feet wanted to go but my mind asked why.