Let's be honest, last year when we were planning our trip, we didn't have a clue what we were doing. We mapped out this huge route, hit the forums to upload it, & then started making adjustments based on peoples recommendations. & that was it. I mean, we broke the trip down into days & I found corresponding campsites for each day, but we really made a mess of things.
See, the place where we went wrong is we just kind of looked at the overall kilometres for each day & then left it at that. Neither of us thought that time would be a factor...
You want to know what ended up happening? We over scheduled each day. We made it so that the days dragged on forever & more than once we ended up rushing from place to place & missing everything worth while in the middle. We just didn't have the experience to know that it was all a huge mess.... but once we were in it, we couldn't change anything since we had the deadline of a boat to catch in order to get back to Athens in time for Panagiotis to return to work.
We learnt our lesson. Now that we've mapped out the whole route, we've started slowly slowly breaking it down into sections that we need to cover each day. The first thing I did was I looked at the overall KM & hours the trip would take & divided them down by daily averages. That way we know roughly how much ground we should be covering each day in order to remain on schedule. We also learnt last year that anything more than a 6 hour riding day is just tough. 6 hours is never 6 hours. & if you think it is, you're sorely mistaken. The reality is, 6 hours is more like 10 once you factor in stopping for lunch, stopping for coffee, stopping every time you want to take a photo or fly the drone, or just stopping because it's so breath taking you want to lie on the side of the road for 30 minutes & soak it all in.
Also, for us we like to arrive early evening at our camp ground so that we can set up the tent with a little light, cook our dinner & get a good nights sleep so we can start bright & early the next day.
The other thing we learnt last year is that it's always good to have a couple campsites as back up for each day. We had a few occasions where by the time we arrived at the camping grounds, they were either at full capacity & not accepting anymore campers, or they were set up in such a way that we couldn't park the bikes in front of the tent.
Doesn't sound like a big deal? Think again. When you're travelling by bike, you're travelling with the bare essentials. There isn't any room on the machine to be packing all sorts of random items. Every single thing you've packed is of importance... & if even one of those things goes missing, it can feel like a punch to the gut. Also, who really wants to be unpacking the whole entire bike each & every time you stop for the night?!
Any way. These were two lessons we learnt the hard way last year. Lessons that we'd never encountered in Greece before as whenever we would travel it was kind of a "wherever the wind takes us" sort of thing with no time frame, & we were always finding secluded places to set up camp right next to the bike. Live & learn, eh?