Day 11

From:  Astakos

To:  Mitikas

Miles:  19

Total:  204

There is no reason today should have been so difficult. The weather was perfect, the road was wide, there was some elevation change but not too bad, and it was not particularly long. But Dave and I were both doing some whining by the end of the day. 

We set out from our hotel in Astakos about 8:30. The breakfast wasn’t that great, and we knew we would not be passing through any towns for lunch, so we were both armed with a Snickers candy bar to get us through. Immediately after leaving town, the climb began.  It wasn’t too steep, but it went on for 6-7 miles. We passed several goat herders along the way, and I stopped and taped a video for Ava (granddaughter #2) with the goats in the background. You can see the video on YouTube under “The Walking Aggie” or just click on video above. 

The scenery was awesome all day. We were hugging the coastline and we could see our end of day destination from probably 15 miles away. I’m not sure if that was good or bad. After the 6-7 mile climb the terrain flattened out and it was level or downhill for most of the remainder of the day. 

We made it into Mitikas by about 2:30. There is one hotel in town and when we got there it was closed. Probably just as well because it was a dump. So Dave had seen on google maps another place in town that were apartments. We went there and it was also locked, but it looked really nice. There was a number posted at the door to call so Dave tried.  Amazingly enough, a gentleman answered who spoke perfect English. He was out of town but said his associate would meet us in five minutes. Sure enough, in less than five minutes, a very nice lady drove up, couldn’t speak a word of English, but showed us the apartments. They were super nice. Living room, kitchen, bedroom and bath, and even a combo washer/dryer. Unfortunately the washer/dryer was made in France and we haven’t been able to figure it out just yet. So Dave and I each have our own super-nice apartment for the night. 

After I post this, we’re limping down the street for dinner at 6:00 when the restaurant opens. 

We’ve got a 22 mile day tomorrow on up the coast. The weather is forecast to be sunny. This apartment would have been a great place to take a day off tomorrow, but there is rain in the forecast starting Saturday so we’ll walk tomorrow and rest on a rainy day. That’s about it for today. Hope yours was a good one. 

We saw some amazing coastline today.
There are lots of goats along the hilly coast of Greece.
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Day 10

From: Katochi

To: Astokos

Miles: 17

Total: 185

It was another bright and sunny day although a bit on the cool side and windy to start off, with temperatures in the low 30’s. We went back around the corner to our bakery from last night to grab a quick bite for breakfast. Just like last night the pastries were fresh baked and tasted great.

Our first adventure of the morning was to find a taxi driver that could understand us to take us back to the town where we stopped last night. Luckily the taxi stand was right outside our hotel and we quickly found someone that could take us where we wanted to go after we pointed it out on the map on our phones.

After we got back to our starting point for the day, hopped out of the taxi and started walking out of the town we soon found ourselves in the countryside. It was quickly obvious that these were small farms. It reminded John and I a little bit of the small towns in Texas where we grew up. We are both farm boys so we could relate to what we were seeing. It seems like every farm had a small tractor or two as well as some livestock, maybe a few cows, a flock of sheep, or some chickens or ducks. We again saw some orange and tangerine orchards. We also saw what appeared to be olive trees again as well as one large vineyard.

After a winding road and a slow climb up a large hill we eventually turned the corner and saw our town for the night below. It was an extremely picturesque town and we couldn’t wait to reach it. We were a bit concerned the hotel was closed for the winter, but luckily we decided to check it out anyway and it was open. On the way to the hotel there were many restaurants along the water. There was one very animated and friendly man who asked us to come into his restaurant and look around. He told us of his great food and gave John and I a shot of Ouzo. If you have never had any Ouzo it is an extremely strong liquor that taste like licorice. I don’t really like it but I was a bit cold so it felt good going down. I don’t think John is a big fan of it. HaHa! There is an old Greek saying that “ouzo makes the spirit” and this is especially true in Greece!

Once we got to the hotel we were very happy we decided to check it out. It is very nice and again right on the water with beautiful views. It is much better than the last few days.

After we got settled we went back down to the restaurant where we had the Ouzo and had a couple of wonderful pasta dishes. It was a great way to end the evening after an enjoyable walk in the countryside. I hope your day was as blessed as ours!

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Day 9

From:  Missolonghi

To:  Katochi

Miles:  13

Total:  168

Today was a smooth day. Dave and I were raring to go because it was going to be a short one. 

The walking day started at 8:30 after a very meager breakfast at the hotel. As we have gotten farther from Athens, the towns have gotten smaller, and the accommodations more “basic.”  While there is usually only one hotel in these small towns, we are only paying around 30 euros ($35) per night, so we can hardly expect the Ritz.  

Our walking plan for today had us only walking seven miles to Altoliko, the next town with a hotel.  However, tomorrow was planned to be 23 miles, so we decided to walk another six miles to Katochi, the next town down the road which does not have a hotel, and get a ride back to our hotel in Altoliko. So we came walking into Altoliko about 11:30, checked into the little hotel, and went back out to finish off the last six miles. Then we caught a taxi ride and were back to Altoliko by 3:00, feeling good about knocking six miles off of tomorrow’s walk. 

The town we’re staying in tonight is really neat. It sits on an island in the middle of a bay. The town is about 1/2 mile across, and has one bridge going into one side of town, and one bridge going out the other side. After finding a nice little restaurant here in town for a late lunch, and a quick stop at the pastry shop for some desserts for later tonight, it’s time to put our feet up and get some rest. We still owe ourselves a day off which we missed two days ago, but we’re saving it for perhaps a day when it rains. 

I’ll close by saying Happy Birthday to my oldest daughter, Jessie. I hope she has a great and relaxing day!  

The bridge into Altoliko.
Main Street in Altoliko.
Enjoying some quiet in Altoliko.
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Day 8

From: Antirrio

To: Missolonghi

Miles: 22

Total: 155

We weren’t sure what the weather would bring us this morning but when we woke up the forecast was for a nice sunny day most of the day and it looked nice outside, so we decided to skip the day off and go ahead and walk while the weather was good.

We started a long slow climb away from the bridge mainly snaking along the coast. We eventually moved away from the coast in between two mountains. Luckily it stayed fairly level through the two mountains. The views were again spectacular. There were screens along the side of the road to catch falling rocks from the mountains. Near that same area there were some caution signs with a cow on them. I told John that I didn’t know if they were for cows in the road (I didn’t see any pastures near the signs) or for cows falling off the cliffs, LoL.

We wound through several small towns and had a nice toasted foot long sub on fresh bread in a local cafe that would make Subway jealous, along with a large bag of Cheetos. Surprisingly the Cheetos were completely different than ours at home. They looked more like the old hot fries I used to get out of the vending machines in middle school (a long time ago) but had a light cheese flavor and were very good.

The last two hours of the walk it got cloudy, and eventually we had some light rain for maybe 20 minutes or so before we reached our hotel. The hotel is quite dated, but I was pleased to see a tub in the room so I can soak my feet and legs. The hotel is in the old city of Missolonghi behind the walls and we are less than a block away from the Garden of Heroes.  The Garden has a large section dedicated to the fighters of the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Turk Empire who fought for the freedom of Missolonghi. Lord Byron died in Missolonghi in 1824, during the second siege of the town. It is also interesting to note that American fighters died at Missolonghi fighting for the freedom of the Greeks.

We had some pork gyros for dinner at a local place around the corner. They were really tasty. Now for another night of rest before tomorrow’s walk. Have a great day.

On the road to Missolonghi

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Day 7

From:  Selianitika

To:  Antirrio

Miles:  18

Total:  133

Unlike yesterday, with it dreary cold and rain, today was a picture-perfect day in Greece. 

We started the morning at 8:15 with clear skies, temperature in the high 30s, and empty bellies.  The hotel did not have a restaurant so we headed out hoping to find a place for breakfast soon. We’d only gone a couple of miles when we walked by a little cafe along the road that was good.  

The road today was easy to walk on with light Sunday morning traffic until lunch time. We saw some beautiful views along our route, thanks to the break in the weather. By noon, it was short sleeve weather and we made good time all day.  By about 2:00, we had made it to the base of the Antirrio Bridge.  This bridge is one of the longest multi-span cable bridges in the world. Opened in 2004, it connects the Peloponnese peninsula where we’ve been walking with mainland Greece. There was a walkway beside the traffic lanes and we were able to walk across in about an hour. Once we made it across, it was a short walk to our hotel at the foot of the bridge.  

Tomorrow was scheduled to be our first day off, but we plan to wait until tomorrow morning to make that decision, based on the weather. If we walk, we will begin our route along the coast of mainland Greece and take a day off later in the week.  

OBTW: We published a new video, just for John’s granddaughter Bailey and her 2nd grade class. You can view it on YouTube by searching “the walking aggie” or click on the video tab at the top of our website.

Looking west toward the Antirrio bridge.
Walking across the Antirrio Bridge onto mainland Greece.
Snow capped mountains on the Peloponnese Peninsula west of Athens.
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Day 6

From: Krathi

To: Selianitika

Miles: 22

Total: 115

Today was a cold and rainy day. From the moment we left the hotel this morning until we stopped at our new hotel for the night it was raining, Fortunately it wasn’t a gully washer rain storm like we see in Texas and Florida and thankfully there was no thunder and lightning. Today took us a bit more off the beaten path through lemon, lime, tangerine and orange orchards. We also walked through several small towns/villiages. For the second time on our walk there was a vehicle driving around with a loudspeaker tied to the roof the car. We had no idea what the guy was saying although he was also playing music. We assume it is the same as the crazy people back home in the States that drive around with loudspeakers letting everyone know the government is out to get them or the world is going to end tomorrow. It’s nice to know there are crazy people all over the world like that, not just back home. Finally, with all the rain we had today there weren’t many opportunities to take pictures. I did take one picture that I liked. It was from the hotel room after changing out of my wet clothes and having a nice hot shower. We are lucky to have another wonderful view looking out over the beach. Enjoy your day and I hope it is filled with sunshine!

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Day 5

From:  Xylokastru

To:  Krathi

Miles:  19

Total:  93

Everyday is a good day when you’re walking along the coastline of Greece, but today was our second day in a row of wet conditions and we’re about ready for some better weather. Unfortunately, it’s suppose to rain again tomorrow before we have some nice days. 

We hit the road today about 8:45 after a great breakfast at the hotel. It was already drizzling so we put our rain gear on from the start.  We had a really nice walking route today right along the beach with light traffic. Most of the day was spent on nice sidewalks. We took a break in a small town about 11:00 and had a nice talk with a bunch of local guys who were there to have some coffee and conversation. Later down the road, a nice man (didn’t catch his name but see the picture below) came out as we walked by and decided to walk down the road for a while with us.  

Our uneventful day ended on the seaside town of Krathi where we found a very nice hotel at about 3:15. If you do the math, we’re walking about 20 minutes per mile with a couple of rest stops added in. 

Tomorrow it’s on down the road 22 miles.  Hopefully it will be flat and dry!  

You meet the nicest people when you’re walking.
Nothing like a random truckload of chickens to brighten your day.
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Day 4

From: Corinth

To: Xylokastru

Miles:18

Total: 74

We had a hearty breakfast at our hotel just outside of Corinth and although it had been raining earlier that morning it looked like the sky might be clearing. Unfortunately that was not the case and we had rain showers all day but thankfully they were very light and the temperatures were much higher that the last few days reaching into the high 50’s to low 60’s. Today’s walk was almost entirely along the coastline. Not only was the scenery spectacular, the terrain was mostly flat making it a pleasant walk. We found a nice cafe about halfway through the day for lunch that had really good pizza but many shops, restaurants and hotels were closed for the winter season. Luckily, in Xylokastru, our stop for the night, there were more businesses open. Once again we found a modern hotel in the heart of the town with restaurants nearby. So far the meals have been delicious and we hope to have another good one tonight to refuel for our 19 mile day tomorrow. I hope everyone has a wonderful day!

John on the coastline between Corinth and Xylokastru with mountains in the background
Local fishing boat
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Day 3

From:  Kineta

To:  Corinth

Miles:  21

Total:  56

Another solid day on the road. We walked an extra 3 miles to knock out some of tomorrow’s planned 21 mile day and were rewarded for our efforts. 

The day began with an amazing sunrise along the Greek coast. I think we were the only guests staying in our hotel, mostly because it’s not tourist season here. We hit the road at 8:30 after a nice breakfast at the hotel and were greeted with flat terrain almost all day. That was a relief after yesterday’s ups and downs. 

We were in and out of little towns most of the day and unfortunately had to put on the rain gear due to some showers just as we got to our destination of Corinth at 3:00. We found our hotel in downtown Corinth, and it looked nice enough, but we decided to go on down the road another three miles to another little mom & pop hotel along the Gulf of Corinth coast. And TOUCHDOWN!!  This place is awesome!  Rooms with fireplaces, steak dinner, and when I asked the owner if he had laundry facilities, he said just bring our dirty clothes to the office and he’d take care of it for us!  SWEET!  

So all in all, it was a great day for the John & Dave walking extravaganza.  Tomorrow it’s on down the shoreline to the next little town in Greece. Wish you all were here. 

A beautiful January sunrise on the Greek Coast.
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Day 2

From: Eleusis

To: Kineta

Miles: 20 miles

Total: 35 miles

Today’s forecast was for snow and blustery winds but we were blessed. We woke up to partly cloudy skies and a light breeze although it was brisk and in the low 30s. Our walk today took us mainly along the coast. As John mentioned to me it is somewhat similar to route 1 in California where it runs along the coast. Most of the route was a long uphill climb until we finished along the beach. The last couple of miles we went through the area that saw devastating fires this summer. While most of the homes appeared to have been rebuilt, you can see the evidence of the fires from all the burnt trees. The coastline is very beautiful and you can see the mountains off in the distance. Many of the hotels along the coastline are closed for the winter, but we were able to find a place right on the coast with spectacular views.

We are looking forward to a less hilly walk tomorrow. Thanks for following along.

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