Eastern Europe was now behind us and we’d decided to shoot across Northern Greece to the port of Igoumenitsa on the western coast of the Greek mainland and just over the water from Corfu. The road west was incomplete the last time were there but now it’s finished and is an incredible feat of engineering, passing as it does through some of the highest mountains of the Pindus range. But the weather was foul. The rain was equal to that encountered in Poland and lasted without abatement for around 200 miles. Rukkas were no match for rain of these proportions and we arrived at the port looking like drowned rats. Needless to say that the port was bathed in beautiful warm sunshine. People there in shorts and Tshirts looked at us and seemed to wonder if we’d perhaps attempted to board a ferry and missed! And then came the worst night of the trip – and possibly my life to date! If the maximum capacity of a ferry of this size is say 2,000 people, then this one probably boarded more than 10,000! This was an overnight ferry to Italy and people bedded down on every square inch of deck space. Some even pitched pop-up tents for the night! No cabins were available so we opted for recliner, airline-type chairs for the night at obviously extra charge. All night probably 1,000 travellers in one room coughed, sneezed, snored and changed nappies, plus a variety of other unpleasant noises and smells. The temperature was stifling. It was impossible to move without treading on someone and if you did manage to get out on deck there was no room out there either! Be warned. Don’t do this trip unless you’re certain of a cabin. The sea though was calm which was String to hold up bikes Greek-style!
The SAM Observer December 2010
The December 2010 edition of "The SAM Observer"