Living on the road

Cycling through Greece, during the summer, isn’t the best idea! I’m glad I did it though. Gaining wisdom through experiences and anecdotes to write about!

I was staying at this cafe for four hours, reading my book, charging my phone, using the WiFi. Avoiding the 32° heat!

The Serbian waitress face lit up, when she found out I was from England.

“You’re from England! I love England!” she shrieked

As I’ve spent most of my life in England, I don’t appreciate it as much as a tourist would. I find it a bit boring. Especially comparing it to the rich Greek culture.

She went on to ask me loads of questions about where I lived, London, what my favourite boy bands are!

I reeled off some nostalgic boy bands that I would scream out the words too when I was a teenager and occasionally now and then haha.

“The Kooks, Scouting for girls, The Hoosiers”

She diligently wrote these down, then stated “Mine’s One Direction”

Of course is was, I thought. I was at school when they were on X factor. Whether you like them or not, Harry Styles was a common lunchtime topic amongst the girls.

Although the Serbian waitresses was enjoying my company. Most people don’t stay in cafés for four hours. I was trying to read the energy of the owners, are they thinking “when is this girl going to leave already”

The thing is, I would have love to get back on my bike and continue my route, but it was just too hot! I started cycling from Loutraki and was planning on cycling to Patras where I could get a boat to a Greek island or to Italy.

As the land curves round, I could see Loutraki, where I started off! “I was over there, now I’ve managed to get here, by pedalling myself, well done Naomi!” I proudly told myself.

The first night of sleeping out in nature, I kept passing potential places to set up camp. “There’s gotta be a better spot” lying to myself, I was nervous. As once you’ve found a spot and claimed it as yours for the night, it becomes real!

As it got later, darkness crept in, which made me worry even more! I settled for an abandoned area in Corinth, it really stank of poo, but thought “oh well at least I’ve found somewhere.”

You don’t realise how loud the outside world is, until you sleep in it. Sirens, dogs barking, cars, mosquitos. If you focus on the noise you’ll never get to sleep. Focus on your breathing. I started deep breathing.

Felt relaxed, until I heard footsteps, coming from the abandoned house. It was a middle aged man. My eyes widened. I darted straight for my pen knife. He saw me. He slowly started to undo his belt. Fuck! This is it! I shoved my feet into my shoes. Then looked over, to see him squating down, having a shit! Then he just sauntered off, as that was the most natural thing to do!

That smell of poo, was his! It grossed me out, so I ended up getting a hotel room.

This was a message from the universe, gently reminding me of what I already knew. Our thoughts become reality. I attracted that situation. I was already in a state of fear, before the man arrived. So naturally more fearful situations are prone to happen.

When I tell people my plans, some well meaning people project their fear on to me, I don’t discredit them, but I don’t hold on to these ideas.

Actually, the statistics show that you’re more likely to be murdered by someone you know. SOO yeah!

After this slightly scary situation, I became alot more chilled out to camping. There’s loads of vineyards in Greece, where trees are a perfect distance apart to hang a hammock. You might be gifted by falling fruit during the night!

Crickets sing through the night. Olive branch silhouettes illuminated by the stary sky. Gently rocking myself to sleep, was soo in love with those moments.

Although the birds woke me up at 5am, how could I be annoyed? They’re celebrating a brand new day! I’d wake up full of pride that I’d manage to sleep outside.

Sleeping under lime trees

I managed 3 nights outside and 1 night in a hotel room, covering a distance of 27km. Okay, it’s not a huge amount, but I’m happy I gave it a shot! I was wasting alot of time just avoiding the heat. I’m now on a ferry to Italy! Looking forward to new adventures ahead!

I still have a few unfinished posts about Greece that I may finish and publish! So don’t be confused if I’m still talking about Greece!

Miss these two!

An Athens Love Story…

It’s not soo much a love story rather things I love about Athens.

But then you could say that I’m love with Athens…

Lepooonn… Soooo…

I was on a search for a secret ingredient.

What is it?

This oil that my French/Portuguese grandmother would put in her crepes to make them taste even better! She called it “Fleur d’oranger”

I don’t know where she learnt this from. Perhaps a trick passed down through generations.

I desperately hunted for it in cake shops, even in French shops they weren’t sure where to direct me.

Until I came to Greece.

Although the streets are filthy.

The bright sweet smell of orange blossom saves the day!

Most streets are lined with Orange trees. Sadly they aren’t edible. But they smell gorgeous! Everytime I smell it, I imagine my grandmother.

I found the Oil in a health food shop in Athens. Forget getting your friends Olive oil as a gift! Get them what Greece actually smells like on a spring day. Its very moisturising too, I rub it on my hands, neck, hair, cakes and crepes!

Other prominent smells are Lavender and Rosemary. They’re planted everywhere in Athens! I’m Grateful because they’re such useful herbs. I regularly go trim bushes, hang them up in bundles and make tea/ cook/ burn them.

I feel that Greeks are very much connected to nature. There’s loads of these cute little shops. I call them the Witches Market. Where you can buy dried plants, permice stones, natural sea sponges and all kinds of magical things. Some shops take care displaying goods in glass jars.

My favourite is this little messy shop. You might find an earwig hidding in the leaves. The wise old man foragers himself. Gives away nuggets of wisdom on the power of healing using plants.

Although Athens is mainly concrete, Greeks make use of their balconies growing big beautiful plants that cascade down. Seeds, leaves and bugs blowing in from the neighbours balcony, creating its own little eco system

Okay so there’s soo much I could write about Athens… I’ve decided to stick with the nature part for this post. My next blog post will be another aspect of Athens.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the rest of your day!