03-May-2007 -- The unexpected hunt in Greece
Three of the five members of the Yip-Bannicq group (Sierra, Florence, and Ray) traveled to Istanbul with a plan to meet up with the 4th member - Marika – at Odessa on May 1. Marika started her trip from Singapore on a tall ship - SV Concordia.
On the evening of 28 April we got a distressed call from Marika that her boat got diverted to Athens due to heavy congestion of boats entering the sea Marmara, before the Black sea. We managed to get our air tickets changed from Odessa to Athens in a hurry and meet up with our sailor.
We stayed 5 days in Peiraieus, the main harbor of Athens where SV Concordia docked. Toward the end of stay, the prospect of hunting for the near confluence point from Athens came up, but everybody preferred to do more checking out on old ruins in the ancient city, so only Ray did the hunt.
The group split up after lunch near the bottom of the most famous site – Acropolis, and Ray headed toward Rafína, the second main harbor on the opposite side of Peiraieus. From Acropolis the confluence point was 27 km away as measured by GPS. The first half of the journey took less than 30 minutes with two transfers of subways to a town called Pallíni. From Pallíni, it took more than an hour to catch the bus headed to Rafína because of lack of familiarity with the way to get on a bus - wave the bus to stop, but Greek character for Rafína does not resemble Rafína what so ever. Eventually, after stopping half a dozen buses, the right bus came.
With the help of GPS, the bus was stopped about 2 km north from the confluence point, right before reaching the Rafína harbor. The hike started around 5 pm, and it was a pleasant approach through a mixed of residential area and various types of plantations. The confluence point was located in the middle of a pistachio orchard with about 300 trees in a prefect square formation. There were many wild flowers in the surrounding areas.
A different path was taken for the return hike, and reached Rafína harbor right around 7 pm. A combination of bus, train, and subway brought the solo hunter back to Peiraieus and reunited with the rest group for a great dinner at a family restaurant known as the Nine Brothers.
Rating of this hunt:
Degree of Challenge: 1 – a pleasant walk in the Greek country side (1= very easy - drive to the point; to 5= a death march – glad it is over)
Scenery: 3 – a mixture of costal and farming communities (Scale: 1= not interesting at all; 5= take your breath away)
Culture-social factors: 3 – the rural part of Athens (Scale: 1=dull; 5= most stimulating)