Brovet IV was a route we always talked about between us. Some of us have cycled parts of or variations of it and since we cancelled last year the first scheduled trip due to heavy snowfall in the area this year we were committed in doing it. Arcadia and the area north and south of Vytina hold some of the best climbs of Peloponnese, passing through picturesque villages, pine forest peaks, lumberjack land, farmland valleys, Ladona Lake and Kolokotronis’ (the original MrP) hideout village of Libovitsi.
So we gathered on Friday evening after work at the shop and after packing up our gear in our 9-seater van we drove as the heavy and unending rain kept falling all the way through. As we woke up on Saturday morning in Vytina we were greeted by dry but chilly weather and just as you were thinking of the possibility of rainfall a clear sky appeared and we all decided to go YOLO on the route with light clothing and big smiles.
The climbs of the first day were pretty tough (110 klm 2400 elevation gain) but gorgeous passing through Dafni and then into Lake Ladona where we stopped at Kanella’s, the so called Lady of the Lake (we hope you get your cafe going again), but the hardest part was the second bit of the day where we climbed first and then descended towards Lagadia to only starting climbing again but this time the sun had disappeared and the windy and cold 1000+ altitude gave to the return to Vytina a classic epic broism feel as we were pacing and fighting our own personal weaknesses (mainly freezing our asses).
Second day and unexpectedly our guesthouse and the area around Vytina was packed with more bike people (there was the Mainalo MTB race the same day) giving it a really cool vibe as people were talking biketalk and sipping coffee before getting geared up for the day.
The route of the second day was fairly easier although it had its tough parts (76klm with 1600 elevation gain) and the clear sunny sky made the day for sure. This route should go down as a classic and one of the best routes of the Peloponnese as it passes through historic villages of Dimitsana and Stemnitsa before traversing towards the heart of the pine forest of Mainalos mountain and the traffic disappeared off of the picture. Tucked inside the mountain we pushed the pedal through scattered lumberjack country while eagles were flying over our head and brown leaves covered the asphalt. Highlights include surely the tough steep climb after Libovitsi and the descend towards Elati as you felt the afternoon sun caressing your skin after coming out to the wide open full speed ahead.
Here’s to the unending road ahead.
Many thanks to Katerina from Sinoi guesthouse for being helpful and understanding, Yiannis’ taverna for the soup and the extra food he offered, Kanella for the coffees and Yiannis tea break at his horse farm.
Many thanks to Thomas and his crew for the van, Vagelis for the roadbook and most of all to Andreas and Spyros for designing the routes.
Till next time…