Conquering Greece – Intro

It had been a while since I last went on an adventure riding trip. I was overdue for some motorcycling around. Going to Greece was an excellent opportunity to get my fix. I knew the countryside was full of beauty and there was no better way to check them out than with my own set of wheels and at my own pace. Greece is famous for its islands and apparently they are a must see, but they’ll still be there for the several decades older version of me to enjoy. For that matter, most travellers I encountered were heading there, which further motivated me not to follow them and go my own way.

The plan almost fell through. In a great spur of wisdom, I had decided not to book the bike in advance in spite of now being the high season. The result was that I was left hanging in Athens. There was only one rental agency for motorcycles there and all they were offering me was a large bike at 80 Euros a day with a 250 km daily cap on distance. As experience has shown me, that is not nearly enough, but more importantly, if I’m going to be paying this much money for a bike, I’ll ride it until I can no longer feel my ass.

Luckily, Thessaloniki, the country’s second largest city had an agency and through them I managed to book an Honda Varadero 125. Not a powerful bike by any standard, but roomy and comfortable. Also a machine I was extremely familiar with, since I used to own one.

Greece motorcyle map

A look at Google maps back home had indicated that Greece was very mountainous. On closer inspection of a map I had bought in Athens for the trip, I confirmed that this was indeed the case. Some section of roads that the makers had deemed worth driving through were highlighted on the map and most of them were north and west of the country.

That’s the direction where I decided to head. With a full week of riding ahead of me, I’ll have time to improvise the rest.

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