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J125 - Thursday, February 28: E55 (Marker 21) – Mytikas

73.35km – 9H42’
Altitude : 62m

This stage was run almost entirely along the coast, in the sun and with spring like temperatures, so we could take off our hats and jackets.  Thomas and René went so far as to wear only a t-shirt at midday.

Since our arrival in Greece yesterday, Serge is happy and enjoys the scenery, a sign that his morale is high.

At km20, in Preveza, we take the famous   under sea tunnel.  Serge stops his watch during the crossing, which ends at a toll gate (5€ per vehicle) and starts his race again near Vonitsa, a pretty town on the bay with many conveniences: 3 supermarkets, banks and a post office.  This morning, with Thomas, we went to the post office of Preveza.  Luckily, our hostess of yesterday gave us the Greek name because the Greek alphabet is not easy for us, since we are used to the Latin alphabet.  Here it is impossible to understand anything.  Now we know the color and logo for the post office and that will make things easier.  There are 24 characters in the Greek alphabet, which is 3000 years old and has continued to exist through different foreign conquests.  We are trying to speak a few words, thanks to the phonetic translation, and in two days we have mastered: hello, goodbye, thank you, please.  If we learn 2 words per day we should be able to get along during our two-weeks here before we enter Bulgaria.  

Yesterday, Thomas took a picture of a small mausoleum, of which there are so many along the roads.  We think they are markers of accidental deaths because they are often flowered or have photos on them.  In view of the number of these we were rather worried but we learned this morning that some of them have been put there in thanks to God or a Saint by someone who escaped the worst.  It must be said that the roads are very dangerous; protective headgear is not mandatory for motor bikes or motorcycles.  Serge keeps his eyes open and is always on red alert, even when there isn’t much traffic.

Once past Paleros, during the last 23 kilometers Serge is able to lengthen his stride on a very quiet road where we have seen more farm animals than cars: sheep, goats, cows, and pigs, of which two sows with lots of adorable piglets.  All these creatures wander on the road and the nearby mountains.  

Please note that Serge ran 1,293 km in Italy.

Tomorrow : Astakos – Katohi

Town : Mytikas (Grèce centrale)

GPS : N38.65704° E020.99273°