Cape to cape and further

Richard is on the road for his major trip.

Destination: all the way..........


Working in Greece as a Dive instructor.

Week 17 - 35, monday 22 April - sunday 25 August  2013.

After my break in Asia I was finally back on the motorbike again and I loved to feel the wheels turning again. Without any hesitation J.Lo started her engine after three months in a warm and dark parking garage in Athens. After checking the tyre pressure and the oil which were both ok, I went for a ride in the nearby hills. It felt so good to feel the wind again in my face, with the visor open riding around in the warm Greek weather. It made my day again and later in the day I went out to see my good friend Nick for a beer. He took me to a cafe called ‘Planet’ from where you had a beautiful view of Athens. I had lots of stories to tell of my visit in Asia and we made  plans to do some riding around Athens to shoot some footage for a little movie Nick wanted to make of me and my trip.

Because I had missed the riding I also went out for a ride to Kalambaka during the Greek Easter and found many motor riders enjoying the nice spring weather. I stayed for three nights on a camping ground in Kalambaka to visit the surrounding monasteries on top of the mountains. The  atmosphere on the camping ground was great since it was a national holiday, many were using the barbecue and some of them invited me to join for food and beer. After three great days I went further to the west coast of Greece. Close to the Albanian border the country became more desolated, but also the roads became more winding and nicer to ride. At the end of a long day on the bike I ended up at a campground near Igoumenitsa. Igoumenitsa is located opposite of the island of Corfu.

During my stay in Asia I had contacted some dive centers to see if I would be able to work during the summer season as a dive-instructor. The dive-season in the Mediterranean is from mid- May till mid-September. Of the five dive centers I had contacted, two of them asked me to come, One was not in the need of a Dutch-English speaking dive instructor and two didn’t respond at all. Between the two dive-centers  that invited me, I chose  the one in Kos, Greece. During my stay in Igoumenitsa, Athina, the owner of the dive-center contacted me by email asking me  when I was planning to come and we agreed that I would be heading south the next day, so that I would be able to board the ferry to Kos the day after that. So it happened that I arrived in Kos on the 12th of May.

During my first week on the small dive-boat “Clio” I was freezing since the water temperature was around 17 degrees, a temperature that was far below my acceptance. During my time in Egypt the water temperature was around 25-27 degrees and in Taiwan and Thailand the temperature was even higher. Still I wanted to spend the season in Kos to gain experience in teaching, the solution for this was to order a 7 mm shorty on top of my current 5 mm full-body dive-suite. Together with this I ordered a BCD, regulator, boots and fins. Now I had all my own equipment and I was excited to keep on diving. After about a month we went out with the big dive-boat “Apollo”. The small dive-boat was able to carry up to 25 people and the big dive-boat up to 90. Personally I found the small boat nicer to work on, since the groups of tourists were smaller than the big dive-boat. The advantage of the big boat was that everything was onboard and during the ride back to the harbor we had already cleaned all the equipment of the divers. With the small boat we still had to wash all the equipment that we had used that day when we came back to the harbor.  Another good thing of the big dive-boat was that you had more fun with more colleagues. During the months in Kos I learned a lot about teaching and diving in general. I got to know a lot of people  and had a nice time with my colleagues, Bart from the Netherlands, Iris from Germany, Veera from Finland and Said from Spain, all of them also foreigners who came to Kos to teach diving.

After three months of working as a dive-instructor, I was glad to be on the motorbike again since Kos is a small island I had not driven so many kilometers over there. Kos is an island of approximately 75 km in length and 15 km width. Back in Athens I stayed for a couple of nights in the same hostel as always and went out for some coffee and beer with my friend Nick. During those days we shot some more footage for the little movie. After this I was finished with Greece and wanted to ride in a new country. On the 6th of September I drove to Patra from where I took the Ferry to Italy. After a long time in Greece I finally made it to another country again. Here I’m planning to meet my very good friend Sheila from Malaysia who is coming to Italy to  ride together with me on the bike for about 10 days. In my next update I will tell you all the experiences in Italy.

View of Athens taken from cafe Telescope.
One of the monasteries I visit in Kalambaka.
On the small dive boat Clio with Iris.
The pregnant triggerfish in our diving bay.
One night partying with our dive-team and a guest.
View of Kos city during a ride on the motorbike.
Kos old port.

Countries I have visited: