Today has been a long day on the road – my car’s GPS records show it was 9hrs 31mins of driving time, plus stops with added 1hr 50min to that. I’ve covered nearly 500 miles in a single day!
I left Potos after breakfast and getting some rolls in the bakery to make my packed lunch with – Then it was straight on to the road to get the ferry back to the mainland.
Today that was easy – No reversing on, No reversing off; Straight on to the ferry when I got to Thassos Town.
Today was changeover-day for the British tour operators; the ferry was full of Brits and when I checked the Kavala Airport departures board (see left) I saw there was a flight due to leave for Manchester a little over 2 hours later, so I guess they must have been heading for that.
(Sidenote: A German car on a Düsseldorf number plate drove in to the Airport as I was driving past the turning – I assume it was meeting someone flying in from there).
For me though a day on the road lay ahead – When I got off the ferry at Keramoti an estimated journey time of 7 and a half hours was showing on the sat nav (not counting stops).
An easy enough journey: Take th A2 to Thessaloniki, the A1 (previously known as the Π.Α.Θ.Ε) to Athens, then the A6 (Athens’ version of the M25) until I see a sign for Porto Rafti.
I was surprised at how clear the traffic was – None the whole way, a little bit busy going round Thessaloniki and coming in to Athens, but otherwise the motorway was – if not empty – certainly virtually clear – for most of the journey.
Perhaps the highlight of the journey was when I came out of a service station on to the motorway, and then overtook a police car with its blue lights on – He was only doing about 80km/h in lane 1, in a 120km/h zone.
There was one small problem I had along the way: Zipping a long at 120km/h suddenly I started losing power and the Engine Management Light came on. The car had gone in to its ‘Limp Home’ mode.
I made it off the motorway and found a petrol station where I thought it might be an idea to ask for help (if nothing else to find out where on earth I was if I was going to have to call someone out – I have European wide breakdown cover but saying «I’m on a Greek Motorway somewhere between Thessaloniki and Athens» to Green Flag won’t really help them.
But of course, the minute I took the key out of the ignition it seemed to reset itself…Typical! Without the light on, no mechanic’s diagnostic computer will detect any problems. As a precaution we checked the oil level (all good), plenty of fuel, water, etc. and it drove fine with the light off. So I – cautiously I might add – set off again.
According to my GPS records I believe this small breakdown happened not far from Lamia, still a 3 hour drive from tonight’s destination. In the end I made it to Porto Rafti without any further incidents.
Perhaps some dirt got in to the system – My windscreen was collecting a lot of dirt (seems like quite a few squashed insects too) so it would be possible for some dirt to get in to the engine system; when I stopped for fuel at the services, the forecourt attendants cleaned everyone’s windscreens too. Or perhaps it was a faulty sensor. Whatever it was, it can’t have been too serious for the car to drive as normal as though nothing had happened for the remainder of the journey – but perhaps something to get looked at before too long.
Eventually, after first setting off at 09:45 this morning, I arrived in tonight’s accomodation in Porto Rafti at 20:52. It has been the longest day of driving so far this holiday and I think possible the longest day in the entire 3 weeks.
A good meal and a drink was needed after all that.
Got to be up early tomorrow to get the ferry to Tinos, so I’m off to bed.
Today’s Mileage: 493.8
Accumulative Mileage: 2121.7