Day 4: Frangokastello – Agios Pavlos
DAY 4 has dark clouds on the horizon.
The villa is so comfortable and it’s not easy to leave it behind to head towards the throbbing sky.
But we do.
We stop in Frangokastello for an obligatory photo. We make it very quick. We get a first taste of the day, getting wet in the driving rain and strong wind.
Then we stop at mini market to get bananas and crappy wrapped croissant.
On the way we find someone renting e-bikes and doing tours! We pick his brains about his business, he says he’s been renting bikes every day all year round. He has the same Ideal e-bikes as us! We also buy some break pads from him.
We go on in the crazy wind, gusts must be blowing at 70km/h or so. When we’re into the wind, going down becomes going up, and going up becomes going up twice, even with the electric motor! With side wind, it’s all about balance, and cycling feels a bit like sailing. I learn to use the wind to my advantage, adjusting the body and windcoat like a mast and sail.
The scenery is spectacular, backdrop of mountains to the road winding through the villages.
And at least the power of the wind means that the rain dries on us almost instantly.
I have learned to make better use of the power available in the electric motor, yet I’m mostly riding behind the other two. I am utterly impressed by how tough they are, cycling on despite the harsh conditions.
After 32 km of struggle against the elements we get to Plakias. The last bit is a steep downhill with views on the bay. We can see the wind patterns on the sea surface. There is a patch of totally flat water, right next to it I see cat’s paws and on the other side comes a strong stream that opens up into white horses only a few metres from shore.
In Plakias we buy a tube from another bike rental shop and get ripped off, 20€ for a tube!
We stop for lunch and battery recharge on the seafront. We get dry and the sun comes out.
We restart towards Preveli, it’s clear and we’re fast. We stop at the bridge, it looks old but we don’t know how old, another photo.
We turn East, there’s a newly paved road descending next to the swallows gorge, it’s impossibly scenic.
We get to the sea again. We take a quick look at the path to Preveli, and we decide to leave it for this time and to keep cycling.
The road winds up and down just above the coast, we see lots of little beaches and shallow rocks.
We get to Triopetra and there is less wind, contrary to fame. We snap some pictures with the three stones in the background.
Then more up and down towards the day’s destination.
We meet a cyclist almost at the end, have a chat and he tells us about his 20 year old mtb, his trips around the island that took him 3 weeks. Roy insists on speaking German to him, but luckily he replies in English so we can all understand him.
When we get to Agios Pavlos, the sun is very low on the horizon and the bay is in shade already. Still, we go swimming. It looks super inviting. The sea hides many treasures. Big breams, grey mullets right next to shore. I swim West towards the cave, there are some jellyfish around. A lot of young groupers. The underwater drop next to the rocky cliffs is very impressive. The water suface is not super clean though, the bay collects some rubbish from the current.
I swim across to the opposite side of the bay. There’s a guy with line and rod on one of the rocks. The underwater rocks are amazingly full of fish. I close the circle swimming back towards shore, and I see large lionfish in 1m deep water.
The sunset display is colourful, with clouds painted all shades between pink and purple.
We have dinner at the hotel taverna, it’s good and friendly. We are tired, we go to bed happy.