Serres and journeying north 

We woke to rain for our last morning at Camping Semeli at Leonidio – no last sunrise over the Myrtoon Sea; no last breakfast on the beach; but fewer regrets about having to leave and start the long journey home. We’ll certainly be back! 

The weather picks up as we head northwards along the coast and it’s toasty again as we pass through Athens and mentally tick off the crags we were climbing on just a couple of weeks ago. About 7 hours later we pull into the seaside campsite we used for our first night in Greece – buzzing then, but completely empty now. 

The following morning we are treated to crystal clear skies and uninterrupted views of a snow-capped Mt Olympus (someone has been cheered by our imminent departure!)… 

We drive a couple of hours further to the town of Serres, just 20km south of the Bulgarian border, There are half a dozen crags here, not covered in the Greece selected guidebook but with details at the excellent climbing-greece.com 

See http://www.climbing-greece.com/en/crags/content/serres

We picked sector Australian’s Flake Sidirokastro – certainly not the most impressive, but very handily roadside for a quick few drive-by routes to break the journey. 

Then onwards, over the border, to stop at Camping Kromidovo – a very handy and welcoming spot run by a couple of ex-pat Mancunians. The communal fire and evening banter was grand. Yes, fire… After weeks of throwing off the covers and having all the windows open, it’s seriously cold in Bulgaria, with a hard frost overnight and views over snow dusted mountains in the distance. 

An early start for another long day behind the wheel. A good blast on the 140kph Bulgarian motorway soon gives way to a tortuous mountain road winding up to over 1500m on a patchwork of tarmac repairs and a bit of snow on top, then down to the brand new Danube crossing near Vidin and thus into Romania. A couple of hours later, about 8 in all, we pull into Baile Herculane

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