Wild dogs and Meteora ↑ all posts

Wild dogs and Meteora

Feeling much better today after a great night’s sleep. After breakfast of bread and local honey, I head back into the heat, punishingly hot even at 9am. The road starts to climb right out of Ionina, rising above the huge lake overlooking the town. A sign tells me that the Katara Pass is open. What it doesn’t mention is that the pass is 60 km away, and it’s uphill all the way!

Still, I have lots of water with me, and make sure to stop and rest more frequently today. I’d read online that the road to the Katara Pass is fairly remote, and that vicious wild dogs have caused problems for other cyclists. I’m therefore extremely wary, scanning the horizon for what I assume is an imminent canine assault. Nervously I cycle through steep sided canyons, ideal for an ambush, and any movement in the trees beside the road gets my heart racing.

60 km later and I reach the pass without seeing a single dog. To be honest I’m slightly disappointed, I was kind of looking forward to heroicly fending off a pack of wild dogs. On the other side of the Katara Pass there’s a great 20 km downhill, reminiscent of the Alps: well paved road with wide hairpin turns, and I don’t see a single vehicle until reaching the main road at the bottom. I do pass one dog on the downhill stretch, but he’s chilling out in a patch of sunshine at the side of the road, and barely lifts his head to watch me pass.

It’s another 30 km or so to the towering rock formations of Meteora, but it’s gently downhill for most of the way and I arrive feeling much better than I did this time yesterday.