Day 15: We still had the southwest of the Peloponnesus to see, which is supposed to have some great beaches and the two old Venetian forts of Methoni and Koroni. We decided it would just be too miserable to have to see it all in the rain and leaving now would give us incentive to return on another trip. We began our retreat back to Patra. From Sparta we rode up valleys so green that if one was to see them out of context, they could never guess they were in Greece. The whole time we were riding under a hole in the sky. We had a charmed ride all the way to Olympia, home of the Olympic Games.
When we finally arrived at the campsite, it looked like whatever was holding back the rain was about to let go. We asked if they had a place undercover and they gave us a glass gazebo that was being used as a tool shed. Perfetto! It worked like a charm; we set up out of the rain and it didn’t rain. That night after dinner we called to reserve a spot on the midnight boat from Patra to Venice the next day.
Day 16: In the morning when we went to see the site of Olympia we were repulsed by the sight of masses of tourists. Incredible! And in the off-season! We discovered that you could see most of the sight from the road and we rode up and down taking pictures. When we got to the gate we found out you had to pay for the sight and the museum separately AND they were each more expensive than any other site we had been to. It was Luci who said we should bail and, as my Expert Archeological Advisor, I was inclined to oblige.
Instead we went to Kalyvrita, the sight of the beginning of the revolution. It began to rain just as we arrived in town and sat down to lunch. It seemed like our luck was bound to crack. The rain passed, the sun came out and we went on our way. I chose a road that, at a certain point, looked like it was going to slide off the mountainside. In places, you couldn’t see the valley bottom and the road was strewn with rocks fallen from above. Once again, we were happy to be on a bike and not in a car. When we got to Agio, about 50km outside of Patra, it began to rain on us. We stopped under an underpass to assess. The cars coming from the direction of Corinth had their wipers on and those coming from Patra didn’t. We hopped back on the moto for the last 50k to Patra. It rained lightly most of the way but had let up almost completely by the time we arrive at the ferry terminal. We picked up our tickets and parked the bike. We trudged up the 200 steps to the Kastro (Fort) overlooking the city to kill time before dinner. For dinner we found a TGI Fridays which is something I have never seen in Europe before. I feasted on the best burger I have ever eaten in Europe, too. At 10pm we boarded our boat for the uneventful and never ending trip back to Venice.