I woke up just before 10 am, in time for the hotel breakfast (I had cereal, orange juice, an egg and some bread with honey). After eating, I went back to my room and fell asleep. This is the benefit and the problem with hotel rooms: when you have one, you will use it. I slept until just before noon, when I woke up and quickly packed my things before I had to check out. I noticed that my armpits smelled terrible despite my having taken a shower...so I gave them a quick shampoo, towel-and-sink shower before heading out of the room. Still classy after 129 days.
By the time I got through my Internet work and got something else to eat, it was well into the afternoon, and I needed to run to Oropos.
I maybe walked about 4 kilometers out of Thiva before I started running, on a dirt road that took me through all sorts of beautiful farms. Often times it wasn't a road at all...just a farm. Somehow I kept getting back on the path on my map, and the run went on on roads like this for about 15 km. It was beautiful. I ran by very many people herding goats and picking grapes.
The rest of the run just kind of dragged on, and at some point (about two hours in) I stopped in a small town convenience store to get something to drink. They charged 2.50 for a bottle of Powerade...but I payed it (bitterly) because I just needed it.
Towards the last 10 km of the run, I felt a strain in my left calf, like my muscles had just tightened up...but I kept running because it was getting late and there wasn't really anything I could do. I was, however, running very slowly.
In Oropos, I called Stefanos, who had contacted me after Giorgos in Kalambaka put my story up on a Greek blog. He had only sent me a very short email, so I didn't really know anything about him except for his name. Usually I meet someone or know a little bit about them before I bind myself to sleeping at their house. I was thinking "man, it would be really great if this guy was a crazy serial killer...right at the end of my trip."
When I got into town, I gave Stefanos a call and downed two bottles of "Milko" chocolate milk from a nearby kiosk. As soon as he showed up in his car, I could tell that he wasn't any of the crazy people I had imagined in my head. A really cool young guy. AC-DC was playing as I stepped into the car.
We drove back to his house (only a few hundred meters away) where I met his dog (a nice dog, in Greece!) and his mom. I sat around for a while stretching, drinking water and talking to them before we went out to go eat some Souvlaki in a nearby town (one that I had run through earlier).
At dinner, his older brother Babis showed up, and we spent the rest of the evening talking about a lot of different things. Their dad works on ships, and as a result they are pretty well travelled. Actually, we learned that their dad was working on the ship that I took from Brindisi while I was on it! A very small world.
After dinner I took a shower and had some home made rice pudding. We talked for a while about music (Stefanos is a big heavy metal fan) before I wrote a blog for the night and went to bed.
I fell asleep excited and a bit nervous for the coming day. It was destined to be one that I had been waiting for for a very very long time.
30 September 2009