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Guidelines for Peace Riders in the Greek summer
Fires are a big problem in summer in Greece. Setting a fire in the country from May to October is prohibited by the law and you can find yourself severely prosecuted! Never leave your cooking stove unattended. If you ever notice any sign of wildfire, please ask for help and let anyone know immediately! (Fire Forest Service emergency phone: 199.)Climate and weather
The Greek summer is relatively cool, but a heatwave is likely to come. Some days then can be very hot with temperatures exceeding 40 deg C (72 deg. F). Persons not accustomed to these conditions (i.e. from cool climates) should refrain from intense exercise, avoid midday activity, rest often in shade, lessen food and prefer fruits and vegetables, drink enough. Always wear a hat and protect your vision with sunglasses. Persons with susceptible skin should protect themselves appropriately. If you notice any sign of sunstroke (dizziness, weariness, unusual sleepiness) refrain from activity, take shelter in shade, rest, drink enough and stop food intake.Biological risks
Biodiversity is very rich in Greece, yet there are not any dangerous creatures and living in the open is safe. Only persons with allergies might be concerned about some poisonous creatures, therefore it would be wise for them to carry some quick remedy. Disturbing creatures include some plants (which pose a threat only when eaten though) and animals like scorpions, the common garden spider, animal parasites, mosquitos, horseflies, bees, wasps, hornets, salamanders, and vipers. Vipers very rarely cause a problem and if you ever meet a one (recognized by a zigzag pattern on it’s back) just leave it undisturbed, it will go away. Anyway sleeping in your tent practically ensures the safest sleep, especially as to mosquitos. Since the air can be rich with insects, protect your eyes with glasses and try to keep your mouth closed when rushing downhills.
A cyclist can follow any road without the safety being the crucial choice anyway. The main National Roads (Athens-Thessaloniki, Athens-Patras) are relatively unsafe and unpleasant because of the trucks and many cars especially on weekends. They are also boring, without shade and interesting stops. Minor roads in the countryside have traffic mainly in weekends only, and they offer better scenery and drivers are rather considerate.Environment
However please note that in particular this year and between 13-29 August it is expected that all roads in Greece will be relatively crowded, due to the Olympic Games.
Greece is a country with a very rich environment. The landscapes are very diverse and the cyclist constantly experiences many different places in a single day. Mountains are everywhere, cutting the space in numerous localities with their own character. Small towns, villages, woods, people, history, monuments, fountains, uphills and downhills, rivers, valleys, beaches… what a cyclist meets in his way can be endless.
Enjoy all of it!
Visit PeaceRide 2004 Greek site: http://www.oikoen.gr/peaceride/