We started our mission to getting Mt Olympus from Rome after a relaxing morning near Ponte Galeria during which Van chillaxed and Matt went for a run. The day was dominated by flight-related stuff- e.g getting to the airport, waiting for our flight to Thessaloniki (delayed by almost 2 hrs) and then waiting for half an hour before disembarking the aircraft once on the Tarmac, due to some thunderstorms (although all we could see was light rain). Once we finally got to Thessaloniki airport, we picked up our little Chevrolet rental and hooned out toward our hostel at Gritsa. We stopped to try and find some supplies for the hike the next day and had a challenge finding a supermarket open at 9:30pm but managed to grab some stuff in the end. Dinner was moussaka at the local restaurant 2mins walk from the hostel. Bedtime wasn't until after midnight and then due to being in a dorm room, neither of us got to sleep before 2am.
Matty's alarm woke everyone up at 5am then we were on our way to Prioria, the start place of the hike up Mt Olympus. As it was super dark and the road was not well marked, Van offered some GPS informed rally co-driving warning of corners. We started walking at about 6:15 and it took us just under 5hrs to reach the Mykinos summit. The walk was characterized by three stages:
1. Standard hiking trail, similar to NZ hikes, up until we got to a little bit past the refuge.
2. Hellish grind up along one face of the
3. Little bit of basic rock scrambling/climbing to reach the summit. This part was quite fun.
We reached the top and hung out for a little, admiring the views (in between the cloud spells) and taking photos and such. Funnily, we bumped into three guys from NZ up on the summit, who were doing a European cycle adventure.
On the way down, we stopped at the refuge for a coffee and also got some spaghetti for lunch, then found our way down the mountain. After an unsuccessful hunt for cold beers in Litochoro, we were back at the hostel. Chilled out for the rest of the day and just got some food at the hostel. We were pretty knackered and had an early start ahead of us, so we were in bed by 9:30. Matty was so tired that he fell asleep with his headlamp on while holding up his book. Mustn't have been an interesting part of the story...