Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Kyiv - Patras Statistics
It took a little while, but here are some geeky statistics that future pilgrims/trekkers might find useful.
Firstly is lodging. The graph reflects the lodging distribution for the entire 140 nights. It's a little misleading to think of it equally distributed per country... I never stayed in a hotel until I got to Turkey, for example, and both in Turkey and Greece, every time I stayed in a hotel, it was as a guest of the town, church, mayor, police chief, etc.
In Ukraine, when I started tracking the type of lodging, I made a distinction between staying as a guest in a village house and staying as a guest in a Soviet-style block apartment. In hindsight, I'm not sure why I thought this was a noteworthy distinction. Either way, I was a guest in someone's home.
The category 'Religious House' includes both monasteries - men's or women's - and churches. Often, I found that churches have side rooms or outbuildings with basic accommodation for guests. Monasteries were far more interesting because there were monks or nuns for company and conversation. Small church rooms were usually pretty rustic and I was on my own.
I would have enjoyed couchsurfing more often, but because I didn't carry a computer with me and there wasn't always wifi or mobile coverage around me even if I did, the online nature of connecting with couchsurfing hosts made it challenging. I did send requests to couchsurfers while I was on the go in Ukraine but never got responses. I sort of gave up until I got to Turkey where the couchsurfers were more often situated along my route, but again, it was a little difficult to go back and forth to finalize the arrangements. I only stayed twice with couchsurfers - once in Kyiv and once in the northwest of Turkey. On both occasions it was relaxing and fabulous. For anyone packing more electronics, I still recommend it as a way to meet and mingle with interesting like-minded folks.
While I walked, I collected weather data, if for nothing more than to show yet again that winter is not a bad time to take a long walk. See, there were more sunny days than snowy and rainy days combined. It's just that in my memory, there were a lot of bad weather days. It must just mean that when the weather was bad, it was really bad.
It should be obvious that the temperature ranges reflect the temperature variation while I was walking, not the nightly low... I slept at night and wasn't inclined to get up to check the temperature outside. I noted the temperature when I started walking in the morning and again sometime in the afternoon. I would guess that until the end of March, the temperature sunk below the freezing point every night. I like best walking between -5 and 10 Celsius (25 to 50 F). There was just one wicked cold snap right there in the middle of January. March was generally a little too warm for my taste, though it was a nice change and I was physically strong enough by then not to feel the extra weight and bulk in my backpack from having to carry most of my clothes instead of wearing them.
It's interesting to note that during the autumn and winter, the temperature variation was relatively small, yet as spring approached, and I happened to be in very mountainous terrain, the morning and afternoon temperatures varied widely. In the winter, I wore nearly everything I had and wore it all day long; in Greece, it was very important to dress in layers and I was actively stripping throughout the day.