Articles

Riding Bikes in Corfu, Greece


Shannon | August 2, 2013

Published on Star Clippers blog. Read the article here

Hello, my name is Ellie! Some of you may remember me from three years ago... That's when I blogged last, when I was on Star Flyer in Costa Rica. I'm fifteen years old now, and I'm back again, just on a different ship, Royal Clipper, and having more fun than ever. I'm from Oregon (in the USA) and my favorite sport is sailing, so this is a really fun experience for me.

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Our mountain-bike excursion on Corfu was too amazing for words, and our guides took great care of us.

I’ve had two very packed days while I wasn’t blogging! I didn’t have the time to sit down and compose a piece that would be coherent because at the end of every day I’ve been soooo tired from all the activities; on shore, and on the ship. Now I’m settled in my bed, being rocked by the happy swells of the Mediterranean. A lot of people don’t like it when the boat rocks or jostles about, but over the years of sailing that I’ve had, I’ve come to the conclusion that the swells are just these gentle things, almost like animals, who have to come and say “hi!” and rock me to sleep – so now I love them. Whenever I get nervous I tell myself, “Ellie, the ocean is happy. The boat is happy. Be happy!”

Yesterday was crazy. We were in Corfu, Greece. Again, I felt that same culture shock as I have everywhere else I’ve gone on this trip. I got up at 9:58 a.m. (breakfast closes at 10) and literally ran down to the dining room to grab a bite to eat. At 11 a.m. we walked down the gangway (we were on a pier) and found our bus driver. My friend Ryan and his family went on the excursion, too, so he and I had fun being able to talk to each other because we’re near the same age. The drive was relatively short, and before I knew it, the bus stopped at the bike store where we were to begin our 27-kilometer long bike ride.

The first bit of the ride was insane. I live in a pretty small town, so when I bike around I don’t really have to worry about cars and mopeds whizzing by me at a million miles an hour, so that first mile was a little bit overwhelming. We were riding single file on the side of a thoroughfare, and it was very difficult to focus on the road because the beach was literally two meters away and it was beautiful.

We rode about five kilometers up a huge mountain, and stopped for water at several little villages as the road climbed toward the top. Ryan and I were pretty tired, and were very hot, more than 40* centigrade (100+). The group continued journeying upward, through very mountainous and hilly land. After catching our breath, the guides told us all about a monastery that was 2 kilometers farther up the mountain. My dad and a few others rode up to see it, but I stayed back with my friend and my mom. We were all much too tired to ride anymore – at least, for a while.

One of the guides gave us a small tour of the tiny village, and when we arrived back to where our bikes were, there were a few tables full of food for us to eat. Oh my gosh, it was the most amazing food I’ve ever tasted: fresh baked bread, just-picked tomatoes with just-picked oregano on top, homemade goat cheese! And the best part of it, for me, was the lemon Fanta. We were all so thirsty we drank a river of water and lemonade when we were at the little restaurant.

 

But when you ride up, the reward is the ride down, and ours was glorious. Ryan and I raced all the way down the mountain, and we could hear our moms yelling at us from behind “Kids don’t be crazy! You’ll crash! Be careful!” Yeah, right! You know, the normal mom stuff. The end of the road brought us back to the beach and we got to swim for an hour. When our parents told us to get out we hollered back “Noooo!!!!”

We knew we’d have to get out at some point, so we climbed out and went to the freshwater shower. If you’d have seen us, you’d think we’d never seen a shower before. We just stood there in our bathing suits, cleaning off all of the salt water. It was amazingly awesome. I have to go now! Goodnight!!

Mountainbike Location

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