Day 59 The Finish Line

Start point: Borsh, Albania

End point: Corfu, Greece

Miles: 23

Key words: Christmas morning, spent, last leg, bittersweet, road worn traveler, made it!

I left my hotel before even the staff were stirring and cycled into the cool morning. It was only a half day of cycling but my every sense was heightened, despite my lack of sleep the night before. I had tossed and turned all through the night. Today was my final day of a two-month cycling trip! I felt like a kid on Christmas morning.

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Good morning Med

The day began as a condensed version of the day prior. Countless steep climbs paired with steep descents. I could feel the toll Llogara Pass had taken on my body as I slowly climbed each hill. My legs were spent but my mind was on the finish line.

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Endless hills

I climbed over one last pass and coasted into the port city of Sarandë. I was giddy with the enormity of it all. I was only one ferry ride away from my destination city of Corfu, Greece. I locked Spartacus to a signpost and walked into a ferry ticket office, prepared for some fluke that would delay my homestretch sprint. But no, there were tickets aplenty and for €4 Spartacus would join me on the ferry. This was really the last leg of the journey.

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Ferry tickets to Corfu

The ferry ride was tranquil and the blue water sparkled in every direction. I sat on a bench in my cycling shorts and grease marked shirt. What in the heck was I going to do with myself without having 50 miles to cycle each day? How would I adapt to sleeping in the same place every night? I began reminiscing about all that I had experienced on this adventure. All the people I’d met, the beauty I’d witnessed, the food I’d never had before and perhaps never will again. The bittersweet taste of change was on my tongue but I swallowed it whole and headed to the lower deck to get Spartacus. The ferry was arriving in Corfu.

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Mission accomplished

I emerged from Greek immigration feeling fully alive. It had taken 59 days to cycle 2,340 miles across 12 countries, one flat tire, one stripped crankarm and swimming pools full of sweat; but there I stood. Two cycling shoes firmly planted into the asphalt of the ferry terminal parking lot on a baking hot July day. My limbs tan, nose freckled and hair slightly faded from the sun. My shoes were scuffed, brakes worn, and my bags had a well-earned patina to them. I looked every part the road worn traveler, but my sense of self was more intact than ever. I had made it.

Total miles: 2,340

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