In Bitola, my last stop in Macedonia, I'm couchsurfing again. The host, Milco, works for a Macedonian NGO which aims to. When I'm visiting he's busy moving places and we just share a brief chat in the hallway before I spend the night all by myself in their office/apartment building.

The next day I'm in Greece already! The way along a big lake leads me through kilometers of apple tree fields, carrying probably dozens of millions of apples. They are only outnumbered by little flies, which linger in big clouds on my route. Feels almost like riding through rain!

That night I'm being hosted by Amyntas, a young Greek guy who was born and raised in Edessa. He works as a harvest helper and lives on a separate floor in his parent's house. He shows me around Edessa and we grab a few drinks together at night.

My first flat tire

Finally! A flat tire, just short of 3000 km! I couldn't have had it any more comfortable: I had been going on a very good road at a fast pace, averaging around 24kph. In a village on the way I see a Lidl and a restaurant. Perfect place for a lunch break! Walking back to my bike some 30 minute later I'm greeted with a flat front wheel.

I'm taking my time to fix the flat. Suspiciously I don't find anything inside the tire which might have caused the tiny hole, so I just patch it and get it back up to pressure at using a gas station's air pump which conveniently enough is located just across the street.

Either way I'm not feeling like making it all the way to Thessaloniki now (I don't have any accommodation booked, anyways) and decide to seek a camping spot on the way located close to a canal.

In the area I see no less than 3 bridges which are partially destroyed...

That evening just around dinner time, I'm being disturbed by violent noises once more. Something is cutting through the grass, at slow speed but relentlessly. Turns out it is a small turtle! At one point it just stops and I have to be careful not to step on it the next morning because it has chosen to stay overnight only a few meters away from my tent (no picture unfortunately, as it was hidden too deeply inside the grass)

Getting to Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki! Having camped only some 30 km away I arrive early at the hostel/hotel I had booked that night and wait around in the lobby for my bed to get ready. A few hours later I'm all set up and want to embark onto a little sightseeing trip with my bike when I discover that I have another flat tire: the air from the rear is completely gone, and the freshly patched front tire is going soft again, too. Arrrrgh!

So I spend the better part of a day checking tubes and tires on the hostel patio patching a handful of tiny holes in both tires. Weirdly enough I still cannot find anything that might have caused the flats. Could it have been tiny stones that somehow got inbetween the tube and the tire, slowly grinding against the material? I'm at a loss. A nearby bike shop comes in handy because I'm already running low on patches...