Balkan Stage 35 Epidaurus to Schinos, Greece

Oct 16, 2022

Stage 35 of 36, day 42 of 43: 98.6 km, 1947m climb, 5:13 Moving, 6:08 Total,  63.9 kph max

CountryDistanceClimbing
Slovenia352.25149
Italy29.3346
Croatia950.911,430
Bosnia & Herzegovina211.01444
Montenegro29.3185
Albania688.29749
Greece889.814,882
Total3150.743,185

Sleeping next to gently breaking waves on a beach is great! I slept almost eight hours and it was quality sleep. Yesterday’s clouds were blown away leaving clear skies and everyone was in a good mood at breakfast. I talked to Katie and showed her the camp and the beach too.

Sunrise from our campsite

We started riding at 9, knowing there was lots of climbing and the winds would be in our faces. After a little warm-up with up and down, the largest climb started, a bit over 600m in 13 km. It turned out to be pretty tough but the view at the top sure was nice.

Our shadows heading up
View from our first summit, about 850m elevation

The descent was a disappointment – all that elevation gained only to descend into raging headwinds, never able to satisfy my need for speed. It was Sunday and there was a local bike race or big club ride going – as I started down, the winners were just coming up and they looked so strong.

Down in a town after 50 km many of us stopped for coffee or cold drinks. Then we continued to the Corinth Canal at 60 km. Lunch was there, just by the lower viewpoint of the entrance of the canal. I had wanted to see this canal since I first heard of it as a kid and saw some interesting photos. After lunch we checked it out, then rode to the upper viewpoint, at a bridge over the canal.

From the lower viewpoint at the start of the canal

It’s so narrow that it’s really only a tourist attraction nowadays. You can bungy jump into it and there were a few people there at the visitor center.

It’s deep and narrow, quite a feat in the 19th century. First attempt at building it was in the first century AD!
Modern use of the canal
Construction photos

Soon, we headed off, and pretty soon, we were climbing steeply into a headwind again. Bob was leading us up and he was kind of on fire. Sigi and Anita held on but I let myself be dropped and rode at my own pace.

My Garmin acted up a couple of times but I was able to find the way. I caught up to them playing around with an abandoned VW bus. Then we continued and the major afternoon climb started. It went on and on, but they do always end.

Helmets…check. Windshield…not so much.
View from the second summit

I blasted down the other side (still into a headwind so not really fast), then had one kilometer of climbing to camp.

I set up my tent, had a shower, then lots of soup and other snacks. Next up was a nap – I slept long and hard, then woke up in time to write this before dinner.

Dinner was massive, with unlimited wine, although it was Greek and not full quality. We sat out for a while but we are starting an hour early tomorrow, to try and get to Athens earlier, so no one wanted to stay up late. We’ll be eating breakfast 45 minutes before sunrise, at the proverbial O dark 30.

2 thoughts on “Balkan Stage 35 Epidaurus to Schinos, Greece

  1. Epidaurus Theater and Corinth Canal also good memories for me from 2017. You are nearing your end location and i look forward to seeing you here next weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

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