Wednesday 19 July 2023

Road trip in the Balkans - part 3

I woke up at 8, had breakfast, packed my things with stuff I wanted to use in the backpack, forgot the cold pack in the freezer, packed the bags on the bike and headed off to the port about 3 minutes away. I had to circle around a coupe of times to get over the roads and structures. 
Latest check in time was 10:30. Not knowing how much queue I was going to find, I decided to be there early enough. I must have been there around 9 or 9:15. The I was directed to go towards the pier 13 to wait flow embarkation which by then already was about one or two hours late. 
The ferry showed up around 13:00 and passengers continued to get here as well, making one wonder if they just checked in or if they went for lunch somewhere in between. 
The disembarkation took about two hours and the imbarkation as well. 
At some point they told us bikers, there were about ten bikes, to go for it. So we geared up minimally for this shortest of trips. For the wait, they had packed us under a tent which allowed us not to suffer heat stroke too quickly. That and the fact that I took off all motorcycle gear for the wait. So with my vest and helmet on, I drove off towards the boat. 
Inside we had to go down a level, but a Bouygues Telecom with Swiss plates blocked the way on the somewhat uncomfortable ramp down. 
After a little honking and engine growling, he finally decided to move forward a bit so we could get through.
Then the wait started over, but at least I had a cabin to lay down and rest. I slept twice, once around 16:00 and later almost the whole night. I woke up when the so announcement came to inform that the self-service restaurant was open for breakfast around 7:00.

Alas we alighted in Igoumenitsa. Before we were able to see islands, some really close up. As soon as they informed the motorists should go down to their vehicle, I took all my stuff and packed it onto the bike. It was a furnace in the garage. I started waiting next to my bike, but not for long. Going back to the staircase was enough to get a little draft of aircon, which made the wait supportable. We had to wait for some cars to get out of the way anyway. A French motorcyclist started his engine to warm it up. Seriously?!? We ended up shrugging when he made a dash at the first opportunity. No patience at all. We were all in the same boat. 
I left the boat and the port as quickly as I found my way out, only to find myself with a fork with two options. I had to stop not ten meters from the port gates to sort out my direction. 

Next step: The hills of Greece and a goat in Albania. 

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