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to Ohrid Lake, FYROM

Up early and still over 20 degrees...

Across northern Greece, into Macedonia. Tonight's camp is beside Lake Ohrid, on the opposite side of the lake from Albania.

We‘re now entering several countries which are not covered by EU mobile roaming regs...further posts and pics subject to WiFi, there may be delays to updating the journal...

...Making a start around 07h30 after breakfast, our route takes us through Thessaloniki centre itself. Some Greek / Roman ruins in the centre, then a mini Pantheon style building, both under restoration. Otherwise, the main artery is lined with the usual array of outlets and shops. The centre itself looks nice, though it’s a bustling main city, pragmatism at the heart of the sprawl.

All in all, it takes the best part of an hour to escape the city limits, out onto open straight roads, heading north towards the mountains. My Sat Nav circumnavigates Edessa, whereupon I hand the reins to PP, who takes us around a few more right village twisties, tortoises sunning themselves, before rejoining the main road.

Off the beaten track, we pass over yet another stunning set of hills, onwards to Florina, then the border with Macedonia / FRYOM...

...checked out of Greece, hassle free, the Macedonian passport official couldn’t have been nicer - asking us to park up, she holds our passports whilst we hunt our the Insurance office. You can’t get a Green Card to cover FRYOM, or our next four countries. At each, we need to pay for a limited 3rd Party only cover.

Insurance guy must make a fortune as he charges us €55, though receipt is for €50; I had expected this.

We check back with the official, I ask for my passport to be stamped, she smiles sweetly and I learn from her how to say thank you. Customs guy is a character; seemed to like our bikes and we think he’s a Chelsea football supporter!

Our camp for the night is only 90km away and pot holes aside, the remainder of today’s ride doesn’t take too long. We spot another nesting stalk...

In fact, the roads are pretty good in terms of surfaces; watching out for the infamous driving we’d read about, as with Greece, most drivers are reasonably courteous.

We arrive down to lake Orhid after some nice wide bending roads, running south, along the lakeshore, finding the Site pretty easily. Camping is on a small peninsula; whilst the ground is hard, we find two spots and pitch literally a stone this from the water’s edge.

Having sweated buckets putting up tents, we stroll along the front before taking a dip in the very clear and reasonably warm water. Little fishes nibbling at your feet and legs. We check out the shower block and it’s a car of squatting!?!...takes me back to the 70’s?!?

We’ve ridden along the lake this evening to a lovely restaurant (Hotel DVA Bisera) for an amazing meal of grilled trout, famed for the region. Bonus is they have great wifi!

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