Saturday, April 30, 2011

Marathopolis to Zaharo

Today our ride took us through a rich agricultural area of Messinia. We saw some very old olive groves. Some of the biggest trees looked like this.

This must be one of the two hundred year old trees that Panagiotis (our olive farmer friend) told us about. There were also fields of maturing melons grown with buried drip tape on mulched beds, greenhouses full of huge tomato plants, and fields of potatoes, zucchini, and lettuce. Here was a crew harvesting some iceberg lettuce.

The soil is a dark red clay and in Messinia the fields are not full of rocks. Drip irrigation is extensively used and the farmers work up the ground to a fine tilth. The early fields were covered in row cover as shown in the background of the following picture. The shrine of the day appears to be made of slate.

Early in the ride, we were surprised by this monument in a small town's park. What connection could Filiatra, Greece have with Paris?

Our route today was flat to gently rolling. We made good time. The Greek drivers saw it as an opportunity to make good time as well, and some passed us going breathtakingly fast! It was also the first time we have seen traffic cops working the road, radar and everything, just like at home.

Tomorrow we hope to make it to Olympia, home of the Olympic torch!


Diana said...

We're enjoying your blog and pictures immensely. Your notes about Kalamata inspired my latest creation: Garides me Feta (shrimp in a tomato sauce with feta cheese and kalamata olives). We're with you gastronomically!

Dave and Belinda said...

Diana, the tomato sauce is very traditional. We've had giant beans (butter beans) with it and meat balls with it. It seems to be very simple, but very flavorful. The Greeks really know how to use herbs. The Greek sausage is awesome with large amounts of herbs used. We've had it for dinner two nights in a row and it was different each night.

anne said...

this trip of yours is amazing. i am so enjoying the pictures and love hearing of the people,food and surroundings.. what a beautiful country ..keep the pictures and stories coming.. (glad to hear only 1 flat )

Dave and Belinda said...

Hi Anne, Greece is beautiful, and Spring is definitely the best time of the year. The hills are green and the wildflowers are absolutely astounding.