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J142 - Sunday, March 7: Koufalia - Myriofito

75.01km – 10H13’
Altitude : 172m

A milky sky gives way to beautiful sunshine this morning but the temperature remains low: 1°C at 8h30.  Serge covers up, uncovers and covers up again…Tonight we are at the north end of Greece, 4km from the Macedonian border, to the west, level with Lake Doirani, and to the north there are the Kerkini Mountains, which are the natural border with Bulgaria.  The weather report for Sofia announces four days of snow starting tomorrow.  We must not forget that in spite of the lovely days in Greece, it is still winter and Eastern Europe has a continental climate with harsh winters.  So spring is not yet at our door step.

In spite of the fact that it is Sunday and we are on a secondary road, we meet a lot of trucks, mostly Bulgarian and Romanian, which are often  in convoy of 2 or 3 vehicles.  Between chains of mountains, the fields are well irrigated so they are suited to growing cotton.

Tomorrow we end our stay in Greece, which has lasted three weeks, during which we have made some loops and detours.  For the past 3 days I have had my nose glued to maps and guides and the Internet to learn about Bulgaria.  This country is unknown to us and my curiosity is at its peak.  I am eager to see what life is like for the Bulgarians and to learn their customs and habits, etc., etc. My only worry is the roads Serge will take, because there is not much choice, especially until we reach Sofia.  Inevitably it is a truck route, but my motto is: Wait to worry!  Serge has just finished another good day and he is happy, especially because we have found a hotel which is being renovated and so it is not officially open but they have accepted us.  It is located near Lake Doirani and though the restaurant is closed our hosts, Olga, Giorgos and their parents are preparing grilled pork chops on the barbecue and homemade French fries, the traditional Greek salad and yogurt with honey, all delicious!  Tonight we will celebrate our exit from this big hearted country, with smiling people who were happy to see us.  Today two elderly men stopped to ask what were are doing.  They wanted absolutely to speak German with us and had their picture taken with Serge.

Tomorrow: Promachonas – Bulgarian border

Town : Myriofito ( Macedoine Centrale)

GPS : N 41.13487° E 022.49054°