The road to the East ↑ all posts

The road to the East

I retrace my route from the day before, back through the little villages and olive groves of Corfu. The ground underneath the olive trees is covered with black netting. I asked Aleko about this and he told me that the nets are there to catch the olives which fall from the trees when ripe. The trees are a bit too tall to be easily harvestable by hand, and this way they can just bundle up the fresh olives every few days.

At Corfu town I catch the ferry back to Igoumenitsa, mainland Greece. From here the road stretches eastward for another 1000 km or so before crossing the Turkish border and then reaching Istanbul. For the first time this trip I really feel that reaching Istanbul is achievable, and that I’m going to manage it. In the beginning, the first few days and weeks through Scotland and England, it seemed impossibly far away and I very often didn’t tell people where I was heading when asked. “Oh, I’ll see how far I can get into Europe”, or “I really want to get to the Alps and then I’ll see how much time I have left”. I was afraid of failure, of promising too much even to strangers that I would never see again. With every border crossing, and every new town, this feeling has slowly ebbed away, and now looking at a map of Europe it’s clear just how little I have left to go. The fear and anxiety is gone, replaced by a quiet confidence in myself, my mental and physical fitness, and my trusty bike.