It’s Sunday morning and the appointment has been arranged for Ancient (Old) Epidaurus. The weather is clouded but not menacing. Vangelis, Giannis, Ioanna, Manolis and Giorgos Z. have come to Nafplio the day earlier and we all set off for the meeting point.
The Ancient (old) Epidaurus’ beach is set as the meeting place with our Athenian co-riders; Sakis and our new friends Tasos (Honda VFR800), Manos & Syrma (Yamaha TDM900). After we have drunk some coffee along with the necessary chat, we rehabilitate and start our ride.
We ascend the road to Hermione which provides us a magnificent view of the bay. Then we reach the valley of the Tracheia. A semi-mountainous landscape flooded with olives – alternating with pastures – accompanies us till the edge of the Didima mountain.
Approximately 15km. after the Ancient Epidaurus, while the road starts to ascend, we meet the crossroad to Pelei village (1km.) where we turn right. We cross the village which consists of a few houses that have the picture of neglect. We reach the end of the asphalt-road which is succeeded by dirt-road. By general confession, the road is very compatible on its most part and only a few parts need further attention. After 5-6km. of dirt-road we meet a junction and follow the right direction. The road descends and soon ends up at the Saint Dimitrios Monastery, also known as “Egg” Monastery.
It is a small abandoned monastery, recently renovated. The landscape compensates us for the dirt-road! The monastery is built in the middle of the slope on a steep step. Underneath there is a gorge that falls in the plain of Erion and one can discern the sea on the horizon. The landscape gives you the sense that it is coming out of a painting table! The monastery, built tangently on the rock, looks beautiful. The picture refers to other ages, giving a nostalgic tone to the landscape.
After the necessary photo shoot-out, we return to the main road to Didima mountain. After about 4km., we meet a narrow road on the left that ascends to the top of the mountain (10km.). We follow it believing that the view from up there will be magnificent. Our guess is confirmed a few minutes later…The valley of Hermione lies in front of us, while we discern the islands of Hydra and Spetses on the horizon.
We descend and continue our road that brings us outside the Didima village. We find a sign for Small and Big Cave. We turn right and after 500 meters we meet the Small Cave.
These caves are geological subsidences that have created round dents on the ground. This phenomenon is impressive. Specifically in the Small Cave, one can only enter through a small tunnel. Inside we will find two temples. We sit there for a while to enjoy the spectacle…
Full of those beautiful pictures, but with our stomach empty and protesting, we turn back to Tracheia. We follow the same road with the intention of going to Karatza village. More specifically, at a point before Tracheia we meet a marble on our left hand and immediately afterwards a little bridge and a junction with a sign to Karatza village. We turn right and after 5 km. we reach the only and most craving traditional tavern of the village. Mr G. Mpazavalis is its hospitable owner. He has a special love for motorcyclists. The food is good and the portions are big, confirming that way the tavern’s slogan! The deserts and the drinks are an offer from the owner to the 2-wheel visitors.
Now the sun has begun to set and the way back is a fact. On the road to Athens and after Ancient Epidaurus, we make a stop for coffee and exchange of impressions. A little later we say goodbye with promises and plans for our next ride.