Day 3: Theriso – Frangokastello
On day 3 we get up in the old villa and have breakfast in the grand kitchen.
We set off from Therisso, the air has a chill. We cycle through lush valleys, again pines and cypress trees on both sides.
The route is not obvious, we are trying to skirt around the mountain, avoiding the main road below and the dirt tracks above.
We zig-zag a lot, stop frequently to check the map. It’s good going though, beautiful to be outside and breathe in this great display of nature.
In the distance, we see two ghost cruise ships moored in Kalyves, mementos of the pre-corona recent past.
We take a wrong turn towards the mountain once, but we correct it soon enough. We go through some pretty picturesque villages like Fres, though we don’t stop to admire them as we have a long day ahead.
Roy reports another technical fault, “funny noise coming from the break”. We establish that the back break pads are finished and it’s starting to scratch the metal disc, we’ll see what we can find in the next big village.
We arrive in Vryses for our drink break, thinking we only need to have a short battery recharge stop. Sitting at the riverside cafe, we scoff some of the cupcakes Fiona made and brought us last night before we even get the drinks.
There is no bike shop in Vryses, we learn, but the petrol station should have spare tubes. We visit it after the drinks, however they don’t have the french valve tube that Roy needs, so no spare. We can get his tyre pumped up, and we decide to change his break pads with my only spare set.
This takes a little bit of time, so we are slightly behind schedule now.
We restart taking the side road via Embrosneros, where we stop to look at the Alidakis tower, which is a ruin of an old fortified house on a dominant position. Then the climb gets more serious. It’s a good surface though, we’re on the main road going to Chora Sfakion.
The sky darkens on the mountains, and the promised clouds do materialize. Roy speeds ahead avoiding most of the shower, while Rick and I get drenched.
I also feel very low on energy, it’s quite late now. As soon as the rain gets manageable, I have to stop and munch the last cupcakes and some biscuits, as I am shaking a bit.
Originally we had planned to stop in Imbros for lunch, but instead we stop in Askifou at the first taverna overlooking the plateau, where Roy is waiting for us. We have a good meal and rest. Outside it’s pissing down. This is a good adventure. It can get tough sometimes.
After the break I feel better, we restart fast on the high plain then we go down. The descent towards Chora Sfakion is super panoramic, with the coastline, the mountains, Gavdos island in the distance. We alternate between fast downhill and photo stops.
Then we still have a few km on the road that goes East towards our day’s destination, Frangokastello.
At this point of the day we’re pretty keen to arrive, so we pedal on without paying a lot of attention to the surroundings. And yet, we manage to spot a small cheese maker on the road, where we stop to buy fresh yogurt and honey for breakfast.
In Frangokastello at long last, I stop on the first beach and go for a swim straight away, without even going to the accommodation to get changed first. The sunset is fiery, there’s a strong offshore wind but the sea is flat and clear, I love it. I see many fish by the rocks, big breams of different types. Rick and Roy join me after a short while. We’re happy, life feels very good in these moments.
We go to the modern villa, our accommodation for the night, which is pretty comfortable and new. After showers, we walk to the local taverna, where we have a tasty and filling dinner. We go to bed content. It was a long day, but we’re ready for more.