Monday 30th – Friday 4th 2014
Island Number One – Elafonisos
On Monday morning we headed off to the Greek Island of Elafonisos which we had heard of from several sources and thought it would be worth a visit. It is only a tiny island about 6kms x 5kms and is only a 10 minute ferry ride from the mainland. A short crossing it still cost us 21€ each way. On arrival we headed to the main beach and went for a walk; they were right the beach was sandy, the water crystal clear and the setting was very picturesque. It was however very busy with beach goers and we decided for some peace and quiet to go to a smaller beach we had seen on the way. We parked close by and donned our bathing attire, grabbed the umbrella and snorkel and mask and spent the afternoon swimming in the crystal clear bay.
In the evening we went back to the town, walked the promenade, had a drink at the harbour and took in the pleasant atmosphere. Overnight we stayed at the harbour with 2 other Italian motorhomes and had a quiet night. On Tuesday morning we drove back to the main beach and hired an umbrella with 2 lounge chairs. Included in the price were 2 drinks brought to us by our waitress Sophia, who was very friendly and helpful wearing a skimpy thong bikini bottom with a push up bra bather top so it was sometimes hard to know where to look. It was a pleasant day and we chatted with a young couple from Holland sitting next to us who were friendly.
Jenny had noticed that one of the sailing boats in the bay had an Aussie flag flying on the back. She decided to take a photo and then zoom in to confirm and also saw that the boat had Melbourne on the back. We didn’t know if we should find them or not but Ewout decided to go in that direction for a snorkel and made his way out to their boat. He made the acquaintance of Craig and Julie and he ended up talking to them while treading water for quite a while and yes they were Aussies and they were also on a 6 month trip travelling the Greek Islands and Turkey on their boat that lived in Greece. That night we slept next to the café after asking the staff if that was alright, after every one went home and the café packed up it was very quiet as it was at the end of a dead-end road.
The next morning we decided to look at the beach on the other side of the island but it became very windy and after an hour and a half we decided to leave the island to drive to Monemvasia. On the ferry again and then over the mountains to the other side of the finger. It was slow going as the roads were really narrow, windy and in parts they were overgrown, understandably after all it was the back road we took.
Close call – Our 10€ Car Crash!!!
Driving into Monemvasia the road into the town was very narrow, not unusual for Greece but it does mean that at times you have to stop and pull over or back up to let other cars pass. On our way through the only road we found there was a car coming our way and to let him pass I decided to back up a little making room. Unfortunately a car had stopped himself right behind and almost up to ours. I backed only slightly when I heard the crunch of broken glass. The Greek man was ranting but there was no damage to his car and if there was you couldn’t tell as it was a wreck of a car, which if driven in other countries would not be allowed on the road. He drove off and I picked up a couple of the broken plastic pieces belonging to our bike rack but not enough to glue together and fix. To cut a long story short after we parked I rode my bike all over town looking for a light or some plastic to do some repairs. At the fourth place I called in a marine shop he told me that I would have to go to a bigger town, then he said that he remembered having a set of trailer lights. When he found them on the shelf they happened to be exact copies of the lights we had, the only lights in town were exactly what I wanted. They came as a pair for 9€ and I bought a new globe from the service station for 1€. 10€ and a lesson learnt.
Island Number Two – Monemvasia
We found a prime parking place overlooking the Island right next to the water with steps down to the water, a great place to snorkel, and swim. Jenny spotted a turtle and I went in to investigate and saw the biggest turtle I have ever seen, then a smaller one came into view. They didn’t seem as if they were friends as one snapped at the other and they went their separate ways. The next day Jenny spotted another and I went for a swim with it as it slowly made its way along the coast. A nice experience and the water was so clear that I had a really good view of the graceful creature gliding through the water.
On Friday we rode our bikes over to the island. It is very similar to Mont St Michel in France, a rocky island near to the coast which now has a causeway across to it, and even walking along the main narrow road it gave us the same feeling. The place was very quiet as we explored the old buildings, shops and churches, the main castle was having renovation works done to it so it was closed.
The day was hot and we stopped at a café for a drink, which turned into lunch as we also bought a bread roll to share. Jenny was talking to the friendly waitress about the difference between a café Freddo and a Frappe. When the drinks came out she bought Jenny one of each to try at no charge and also an additional chicken pie to go with Ewout’ beer for no extra charge. A worthwhile spot to have a rest as it was a very warm afternoon.
We returned to town and visited Craig and Julie who were moored at the harbour and invited them to join us for drinks at one of the bars that afternoon. They left us after a long chat to have their dinner in their boat and we moved to a café for dinner where we had delicious homemade Moussaka sitting next to the water. While we were there we started talking to and English couple from Yorkshire who have bought a house in the Peloponnese and we had an enjoyable evening with them talking about all sorts of things. It was a very sociable afternoon/evening and we appreciate having the chance to meet fellow travellers.
Another windy road
On Friday the wind arrived and we woke up with waves crashing over the quay. We left Monemvasia after filling our water tank at the marina. We headed over the mountains again and as before took the back road. There were lots of bends and narrow places but the scenery was worth the slow drive. When we finally reached the coast wherewe had lunch and the spot we had in mind to stay overnight was no longer a park for motorhomes.
We decided to drive further up the coast where we found a large car park next to the beach and asked the people at the nearby bar if staying overnight would be a ok. “No Problem” he said and we spent the afternoon in the shade of a large gum tree relaxing and reading.
Later a German couple parked behind us and came over to talk, they were travelling in a motorhome that he converted from an old 1965 fire truck. Ewout had a chance to have a look inside and found that from inside you could access the roof which becomes an outdoor terrace area, a very ingenious design. They stayed for a swim then headed off further along the coast which left us alone for a very quiet night, except for the wind which was very gusty.