DAY 2: Sougia – Theriso
Day 2 starts with calm conditions. Back home they are expecting savage rains, but here the sea is very still for the moment.
We have our first breakfast in the common garden of the rooms. I haven’t had a great night sleep. It was hot so I left the window open. A cat came walking on me during the night and woke me up. There was also a loud noise from a spraying pump just outside my window.
Anyway after breakfast we set off, only slightly wishing we had time for a morning swim.
We go back on the same road we did yesterday, Sougia is a cul-de-sac. We climb quite fast for a while, all the way I am riding in Eco mode, it’s not very steep.
We decide to have a mid-morning break before Omalos, before our midday lunch break, as the climb is long. We stop in a small cafe in Agia Irini for a drink and a short battery recharge. Then we go up and up into Omalos, into the beautiful cypress and pine forest, with views all the way to the South coast. On the high plateau, apple orchards line the small roads.
We stop at the first taverna in Omalos, where we have a tasty lunch. We are still quite full of energy, Rick and I don’t even recharge our batteries. The raki at the end of the meal is actually good. We also get some freshly picked local apples, which again are really, really tasty.
After lunch we have a small climb to get out of the plateau, then a long way down towards Lakkoi and Meskla. It’s a beautifully smooth descent, with views on Chania and the North coast. It’s also a road I know quite well from previous excursions, so not many surprises.
Just after Lakkoi we take a right turn onto a small road, a shortcut to Meskla. It’s pretty steep downhill, and the road surface is broken in parts. We have a quick break on one of the bends. I hear a hissing sound as we are stopping. When we get back on the saddle to restart, Roy’s back tyre is completely flat. We find flatter ground to check the damage. A big long nail has made two holes, piercing through the tyre from side to side!
We swap the tube for the spare one, a relatively quick job.
We arrive down in Meskla and then we’re climbing again. This area is very green, the river has water, the conifers abound. Fiona and the girls have arrived in Zourva. After what feels like a long climb we get to them and we hug. I am tired, I have done the whole day in Eco mode and now I am really low on energy. I need a snack before the last hill. Roy and Rick are flying up, I come behind slowly. I shift into a higher motor setting for the first time in the day, about 10 minutes before we finish.
I love the scent of the pines and cypress as we cycle past vertical rocky cliffs for the last bends of the day.
At last we see Theriso, it’s a steep way downhill. The village is full of Chaniotes out for Sunday lunch. They are leaving as we come in.
We manage to find the accommodation I booked for the night, the host is not there yet. When he arrives, it’s a fast introduction and showing around.
The villa is stunning, an old stone building renewed with a lot of luxury touches. Marble, solid wood furniture everywhere, antique pieces. The rooms are a maze. The outside floors have stone mosaics. Some ancient column and church fragments in the garden make it feel a little like we are in the 1800s doing the Grand Tour.
The girls find us, we go out to dinner in Theriso together, it’s dark now and very quiet. The taverna’s owner is friendly, the meat is incredibly tasty and juicy. We have a good evening, with final raki. The girls leave and I will see them next weekend. We have a cozy night.