Elbasan to Lake Ohrid
49 miles and 5 hours 18 mins in the saddle.
Total miles 1632
Last day’s cycling with Hare ☹️
Sadly it was raining again this morning, when Team Maddy set off from Elbasan, a busy and bustling large town. We worked our way out of the centre and followed the road up into the hills, with the river running down beside us on the right. Cycling beside a river usually means it should be flat, but this road was very up and down, for about 30 miles! It did have much less traffic than yesterday and delightful fields of rose trees, stalls selling baskets and fruit and vegetables again. Particularly, pumpkins, figs and pomegranates seemed to be today’s rich store! Goats being led to pasture, cows being just led somewhere and we finally saw some donkeys - hurrah say Nicki and Dinie!
After 30 miles we managed to find a very basic and simple cafe for lunch, the kind owner giving us bread and cheeses and pickles even though there was no menu. This prepared us for the 6 mile (actually 6km in the end!) climb we had all been dreading all morning! The road zigzagging up into the hills, had some very steep parts but also some recovery sections! Sometimes the thought of a climb is much worse than the actual event and sure enough, before we knew it we were there, all buzzing at the top- especially as we were greeted by a sign showing both Greece (for the first time!) and Macedonia (where Hare is off to tomorrow!). My only worry was that Greece said it was 296 km away and I thought we were cycling there tomorrow - to be discussed with HOO later!
We then had a fantastic descent with Lake Ohrid in view, on a beautiful surface - you then realise how awful the road has been for at least the last 2 days! Our last 10 miles around the lake was also easy cycling and we have arrived in good time at a hotel smack on the lake. We had a celebratory drink on arrival and watched Hare swim in the lake! Ugh it looked SO cold. These youngsters! After my Weds evening interview with Shine Radio - thank you Will for participating too and Noni for checking in each week, we were all showered and having our last supper together, with Maddy’s candle once more. A fitting end to a fantastic few days with Hare, who now has a well deserved break from cycling too many miles with two old tortoises!
So Greece awaits tomorrow- 40 miles to the border actually so HOO has just told me - I am suddenly starting to think we can do this! However, one day at a time is still the best approach. Now while pondering the fact that we might actually get to the Parthenon, I had a thought today about whether it is open, whether we can take bikes to it and generally its accessibility - maybe an oversight but haven’t really thought about that! If anyone can find out for us and let us know we’d be very grateful!
Last x 3 who said what …….
Ah the herons are with us again
Did someone say ‘Stop!’
I think the Italians built that railway.
We want to thank Will - our dear Hare who has been such a great sport these last few days and who we have loved sharing some of this journey with, enjoy your very well deserved rest and we think you are fab XX
Meanwhile dear ones at home, we thank you again for all your lovely comments, emails and messages and will hopefully be writing from Greece tomorrow- 8 days to go- how did that happen?
With much love HOO and Hare and little old me XXX
Mad as a March Hare!