Sometime you have to pinch yourself to make sure you aren’t just dreaming. This morning I looked out of the window and saw the beach only 30 metres from where we are parked, the sun is shining and the water is calm and clear and you realize then you are on the coast of Greece in the Peloponnese. It’s time like these that I appreciate how fortunate we are to be able to travel the way we do. This blog is over several days as we have been too busy doing nothing and didn’t have time to write [haha].
Tuesday 10th June
We eventually left the campsite at 12 o’clock after spending the morning filling our water tank, getting our last blog sent off over the internet and packing away our stuff. Being low on supplies we headed to the nearest Lidl supermarket to restock, so with full fridge and cupboards we set off again to the harbour of Katakola which is near to the town of Pirgos. This is the closest harbour to the Olympia site and is where cruise ships call in with bus loads going to the ancient site. Arriving at lunch time we could see 2 cruise ships in the harbour and the streets of the town were packed with tourists seeking out souvenirs from the rows of shops and having drinks at the bars and restaurants. We found a park on the harbour and set off to explore the town. It was very touristy with the shops full of all sorts of labelled tat and various rides to lure the jaded tourist into seeing the sights. We wandered along the shorefront hearing the many different foreign accent and trying to avoid being lured into the various cafes and bars. We wandered up and down the streets that were full of all the usual things we have seen at most seaside holiday places and after not finding anything we couldn’t live without we decided to buy an ice-cream and bread from the local baker before making our way back to the harbor. Although we could park in the larger carpark near the town, we decided to move to the harbor side site where for 5€ we could get electricity, water and a key for the harbor toilet and shower facilities. We lined up along the water’s edge with a few other campers and happily settled in to watch the comings and goings of the seaside town.
Wednesday 11 June
In the morning we showered at the harbour returned our key to the harbour master and headed into town to visit a local man who we had heard was selling his local produce from his home. We climbed up the steps and into the garden that overlooked the harbor. We met Janos on his bike in the harbor the previous day and after talking to a Dutch couple who were also staying on the harbor, they told us how they had bought some really good olive oil from him that was good value. Janos’s father was home and he welcomed us warmly, offered us a chair to sit and proceeded to talk to us and asked us where we were from. He offered many different products to us, but as we had just shopped we had no need for more fresh produce and told him we were only here for the oil. We purchased a litre and a half for 6 € and were pleased with it as it was fresh and had good flavour. Another thing we noticed when we walked through the town was the amount of Australians walking through the streets, we were surprised to hear their distinctive accents after a long time being away, we found out that the new cruise ship that arrived in the morning was from the Holland/America line and was a mainly English speaking cruise.
After visiting the town and making our purchase we left and headed for the town of Amalias. Our Vodaphone sim was not working and we wanted to know why. At the shop the man made enquiries and informed us that our 2 gig card had been used up. To which I replied bull s**t as we had only used it for 4 days and in our tablet it showed only 190mb used. Not happy with Vodaphone Greece we left the town and headed to the ancient site of Olympia. In Italy we had a Vodaphone sim card for 7 weeks and we used 4.5 GBs so there was no way we could have used 2GBs in 4 days. We will be going with another carrier when our next sim card expires.
After only a short drive into the hills we arrived and parked , had some lunch and headed to the entrance to visit the site where the Olympic Games had started. It was quite a warm afternoon and we spent some time walking through the ruins. It was not as interesting as some we have seen, but we had a good look around and tried to imagine what it would have been like when it was the important sporting venue it had been. The site was not very big and after the archaeological part we visited the museum which contained artefacts that were discovered while excavating. From there we had a walk through the town which was mainly tourist shops, we did however have an ice-cream while we were there and the flavour was baklava, different!!
We continued further into the hills the roads were windy and the scenery was most pleasant and about 30 km’s into our drive I spotted a small picturesque church. We turned around to take a photo and discovered next to the church across from the creek was a picnic area ideal for a night’s stay, there was even spring water flowing into the creek via a large stoned outlet. Ewout had an outside shower using the watering can, some clothes were washed, the water tank was filled and then we settled in for a quiet night.
Thursday 12th June
In the morning our drive took us to the village of Lagkadia where we stopped for a coffee and had a break from driving. The roads were windy and in places very narrow, in some villages we had to stop and let cars pass as the road was only one car wide. The scenery was great as we wound around the hills and valleys, and as the day progressed we started to notice the sky was getting darker. After lunch we went up a narrow road only to be stopped by a truck unloading roofing tiles for a building site. He was very apologetic as we had to wait ten minutes until he was finished, then it was only a minute later the skies opened up and we had a thunder storm and hail as well. We continued on in the pouring rain, hearing the thunder crash and the flashes of lightning all around and after a short stop in a small hill town decided to drive back to the coast as it would not be pleasant in the hills that night. We found a great spot on the coast in a place called Kalo Nero where we joined about 6 other motor homes for the night.
3 days on the Beach
The next few days we spent doing very little except, swimming, snorkelling and reading by the seaside. We had some good neighbours a German couple Rolland and Sabina, a Dutch couple Kees and Connie and an Italian couple who seem to be doing the same route as us, as we keep bumping into them at various sites. One night we went to the local Taverna and had a Greek meal including dolmades, souvlaki, and kebab with wine; it was delicious, the staff were very friendly and the price was very reasonable. During the course of the three days the beachside the motorhome population swelled from 6 to 16 with a couple of motorhomes trying to get a good position in a sandy spot in front of us and getting bogged. With the help of the others they managed to get out and park somewhere the ground was firmer. Sunday morning came and we said our goodbyes to the fellow beach parkers and headed south.
In the last week we have been to beaches, mountains and harbours. Had great weather and storms all in the one day. This is why this blog is called Greek all Sorts.