Our ferry crossing to Greece did not start well as our cabin swipe card did not want to work. A crew member reset the lock and we were in only to discover that the toilet did not flush and it had cigarette butts and leftovers from the previous cabin users. Another crew member came to fix our problem and then we settled in for the night in our very basic cabin accommodation. At 4.30 in the morning the ferry called in at Igoumenitsa and there was a lot of noise as many people and vehicle’s left the ferry. We were still in bed but could hear the commotion and information being relayed over the load speakers on the boat. When we finally got up and went up to the bar/lounge we found that there were not many people left except a group of 40 Australians and New Zealanders on a Trafalgar Tour, 10 countries in 30 days, (that would be an exhausting trip). At 1.00pm we reached Patras and drove off the Ferry into bright sunshine and clear blue skies, found our way out of the Port area and to a parking are along the shore, had lunch and headed into town.
Our goal was to find the Vodaphone shop and we found this easily and just in time as we did not realise that the shops closed at 2.30 and then not open until 6 and that was the main reason to go the town,to buy a sim card for internet access while we travel through Greece. The friendly staff soon had a sim card up and running in our tablet and explained how we could top up as we purchased an additional card while we were there. The cards cost 20 euros for 2GB or 15 days whichever comes first.
Our first overnight stop was a car park near to the beach in a place called Kalogria. It was a pleasant drive partly along the coast on a good road and then through a small village before we travelled down towards the sea past old farm buildings with corrugated roofs and gum trees that would be at home on any Australian farm. It was only a 45 km drive and many other bloggers have used the same spot as it close to Patras and a good scenic location.
The place was quiet and overnight we were joined by 4 other motorhome, 2 Italian, 1 French and 1 Austrian. We parked up in a corner of the car park next to a small pine tree that gave us shade to sit in the afternoon, we positioned ourselves so that we has some privacy with our door facing the scrubby sand dunes and stayed 2 days and went for walks, tried out new flippers out in the nearby bay and generally had a quiet pleasant time. The weather has been warm but not hot and we so far have been able to swim every day in the cool clear water.
We decided to move on and headed to a small cove near the town of Killini, but first had to stop in the town which was also a busy ferry port for the local islands. We bought our bread from the local bakery and then to the port to find the Bank machine, we were surprised how busy it was but we soon found a Greek/Australian originally from Melbourne who told us it was a long weekend, so many were taking the opportunity to have a few days away. We had a short look around before climbing back into Bunyip and following our course to the bay.
The track took us through a farmers paddock and it looked like he had a leak with one of his water pipes as the first part of the road was a muddy mess, Ewout decided to walk along and see the condition of the road further and ended walking all the way down to the carpark, while I sat in the van waiting for him watching the farmer and what looked like his mother have a conversation about the watermelon crop. When Ewout returned he said it looked ok all the way down and the steeper part of the road was cement so we decided to continue on. We drove down to find a small car park on a steep slope but managed to find a spot to stop that wasn’t too bad and after some lunch walked down to the beach and along a short way to a wide expanse of white sand and clear water where we had the beach to ourselves. Bliss. Ewout snorkelled while I fashioned a shade out of some bamboo that was lying on the sand and settled in to have some quiet beach time, did some reading and cooled off with a swim when I became too hot.
At we had thought to stay at this spot for the night, but after having our tea we decided it would be a good idea to move down the coast a bit to a larger flat car park by the beach which would be better for the night. The drive was only about 11 kilometres and we were soon parked up with a view out over the water towards the setting sun, we had a lovely view of the sunset and thought we would have a quiet night as at first we were parked up by ourselves. Settled down for the night and ready to sleep we were soon joined by 2 other motorhomes of German origin who parked close to us (mind you it was a big car park) who then got out their chairs and started to have a lovely time, talked loudly and laughing into the wee small hours of the night. We were not amused!
The next day we set off for a campground along the coast where we stayed for a couple of days, charging all our electrical gear, filling with water, emptying our toilet as well as relaxing on the beach. It was a quiet shady spot and the beach was in a small bay with a great spot to snorkel.