Ebike Crete Coast to Coast – Day 5

Day 5: Agios Pavlos – Lentas

DAY 5 starts with rain.
There was a thunderstorm overnight, with lightning and all. The bikes are wet. I thought I would finish planning the route and accommodation in the morning, I was too tired last night to check out the last details, but there is no internet.
We have breakfast together cramped in Rick’s room with view on the rainy bay.
Then we wait for the rain to subside a little. Around 9:30 it does, so we set off.
We start with a steep climb, the motor goes on medium power from the first metre.
The road is good and scenic, up-down up-down.
We get to a rough part, we had been warned about it. 4km off road, but the scenery is distracting our attention. Paximadia islands, Matala bay, Kalamaki.
When we approach Agia Galini, we decide to keep going and stop in Tymbaki.
We are still going up and down for a while, then we join the main road and it’s straight and flat, greenhouses left and right, trucks.
Arriving in Tymbaki is good, we’re dirty from the splashes. We find a place to eat, Cretan cooked meals, very filling. Tymbaki is certainly not a pretty town, but the hospitality is typical Cretan, warm and friendly.
We have another 40km to Lentas.
We take a turn towards Matala on the fast flat road, then we wind through small villages where houses have detailed stonework and pastel colours, a little Tuscany made by and for Germans in Crete.
We continue to Moni Odigitria, then we descend into hell. The asphalt stops and the surface is very rough. The gps stops working, so we can’t estimate distances as well.
The slope is steep. We pass by Agiofarago entrance where we see lots of cars. The landscape is barren, white and ochre.
After a long while, the ugly sight of Kaloi Limenes opens up before our eyes. This would be a beautiful place, but it’s impossible to ignore the huge tanks of the ship refuelling station on the pretty little island, and the giant container ships looming around.
The mood is not great.
We feel like it’s getting late, and we have another 20 km of road ahead of us. We press on as fast as the terrain allows, and the terrain is really bad, really hard rock and small ridges, extremely bumpy.
The scenery is cool though, and eventually we get to Lentas, where we bump into Michael and Maya from back home and into our local landlady.
Just the time to get changed for a quick swim, the sun has set behind the Lion’s rock and it’s making some big cumuli all pink, some distance away over the sea.
We come back to shore after 10 minutes and there is no light left.
Lentas is all narrow alleyways and houses for rent stuck close together.
We have dinner in the small square. It takes a long time to get served, but the owners are friendly.
We are all extremely tired and we talk about having an easy day as we go into what should be the toughest part of the route.
Our host drinks too much raki and so do we. Then he comes up with the brilliant idea for us to give his friend with a boat a load of money to take us to Koudouma monastery.
My good knee was pretty painful today and I can’t really push much.
We go to bed quite late without a plan for the next day, but so relieved to get some rest and determined to have easier days with more time to enjoy activities other than cycling for an hour or two.

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