Day 23 – Aetos to Giannitsa

Today – as expected – didn’t start that well. I woke to see the roads still covered in snow and gale force winds still blowing. The sun was up though so I was hopeful that soon I would be on my bike. A frustrating few hours passed and eventually I got fed up and headed out… Unfortunately; in the wrong direction. I had to ride back to where I got a lift from yesterday – simply because I wouldn’t have been satisfied knowing that I skipped part of the route. I popped into the petrol station to see the same people as the day before; I think they were more than a bit surprised to see me. I said thank you and once again tried to offer money but again the owner refused, so I decided to buy a couple of very mediocre croissants. Anyway, I headed back in the right direction with a good conscience but still a bit frustrated. The wind hadn’t made it’s mind up and was swirling in all different directions. It also turned out that it was just the road through town that was still bad and I probably could’ve set off a bit earlier.

I made it back to the hotel and went inside to pick up the bags I’d left behind. Unfortunately on returning outside, I saw my bike had been blown over and the contents of the handlebar bag all over the floor and being blown away by the wind. The bike is fine, but I couldn’t retrieve everything. I spent about half an hour trudging about in the snow trying to find my waterproof gloves but to no avail. The wind had taken them far away.

It was 1 o’clock when I finally got going and I wasn’t in the best of moods. As ever; the wind decided to add to my grievances and decided to change between crosswind and headwind, but never a tailwind. After 60km I stopped. Called home and decided on a finishing point for the evening. By then it was too late to hit 100 miles despite my body feeling good. After numerous chocolate bars and a reassuring conversation I felt a lot better. The wind also changed and out of nowhere it started pushing me along.

The rest of the ride passed brilliantly. It feels strange having my mood change as quickly as it does. This morning I was cursing everything about Greece, and this evening I was disappointed to stop so soon. Basically I’m in a good mood now so hopefully I can carry that forward to tomorrow.

In non-cycling related news, I think my not shaving has made me look older. Before setting off I could probably have passed for a 16 year old (not something I’m particularly proud of). However now people seem very surprised when they hear I’m 19. I got told I looked mid-twenties yesterday!.. However he was Greek so maybe he just made a mistake. Nevertheless I’m as of yet, undecided as to whether I keep my ‘beard’ or not.

I’d also like to apologise for whenever my dull mood transpires to my writing. As I’m sure many of you have realised; little things often really play on my mind. Something that seems (and probably is) insignificant can really irritate me – maybe it’s due to the constant mental strain. Either way, I just want to thank everyone for the support I’ve been getting, it really does go a long way.

The wind sort of balanced out by the end..:
Distance: 60.89miles / 98km (plus the 12km I didn’t record when riding to the petrol station and back)
Riding Time: 4:06:02
Av. Speed: 14.8mph / 23.8kph

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15 comments

  1. Don’t worry about the ageing, it’s all that wind and fresh air playing havoc with your complexion. Sounds like you are entering a decent stage, keep praying for that westerly wind.

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    1. Huw – when you’re not busy spoiling your amazing son rotten this weekend, look out for my friend and a probably not very quiet group of girlies on a weekend away in Istanbul! I’m sure they’ll be happy to help you enjoy a bit of the local culture! In awe of Thomas who is making Strictly Mac feel even more inadequate! Cx

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      1. Hi Charlie, we’ll be in the Hotel Renaissance Polat Istanbul Hotel – near the airport I think. But will keep my eyes open. Happy to stand anyone a drink who pitches up!!

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        1. Noted. Just in case …..what day is he hoping to arrive (snow/wind/rabid dogs/food poisoning permitting) and when is he leaving for India?

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  2. Thomas. I thought it was time I made a comment despite my aversion to social media. Well done on your amazing efforts so far. Having had a stomach bug last week I am very impressed by your ability to get back on the bike so quickly as I am still lacking energy (comments about my age are not welcome). Not sure this will help your spirits but just think when struggling with future snow just think that it won’t be long before you will be battling against the heat and humidity.

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  3. Tom, don’t apologise for letting your mood influence your writing. Your blog is fascinating and seeing how you are coping mentally (good and bad) simply adds to its appeal. You’re doing great. I am impressed every day with your achievements.

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  4. hi Thomas. Eleanor here, David’s wife. We skied together a long time ago when you were young but I was a long way behind (which is generally still the case). We saw your parents a few weeks ago and since then I have been hooked on your blog. When they said you were cycling round the world, we didn’t really cotton on to the fact that you were cycling round the world. Utterly amazed by what you are doing. Well done so far and we are following you as you go!!

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    1. I’m an old school friend of Alison and Huw. My brother in law is called David Trunkfield, and I’ve never heard the name before, how weird is that? He’s not married to an Eleanor, but that is my daughters name!

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