The Season is coming!!!
It’s a saying that puts dread into many motor homers, it’s a bit like saying “winter is coming” for those who follow the Game of Thrones. It’s a warning that times ahead will get worse. Things don’t change all at once, but it slowly creeps in with tell-tale signs, more children are seen, the beaches get busier, the campgrounds fill up and the prices rise. Some of the lucky ones can return to their own countries and elude “The Season” but others are stuck and have to endure it or find quieter places further afield. What is “The Season”? It’s the school holiday time in Europe where everyone is on the move to seek out beaches, lakes and other places of recreation for their annual holiday. Campsites can be full and places of interest can be heaving with holiday makers. When is “The Season”? The middle of June to the end of August? Where will we go to avoid it??? That is the question that we are trying to answer. Until then we will keep moving around and work our way to Igoumentsia and the ferry to “get the hell out of here”.
On Saturday morning [5th June 2014] we arrived at the port town of Nafplio and parked in the large car park next to the harbour. We took a stroll past the boats and into the town where having been accosted by a friendly persuasive waiter we had lunch in a restaurant a few streets back from the harbour. What persuaded us was the fact that they had a Giros for only 2€, so with drinks our lunch came under 10€ “bargain”. We did however spend some money, a dress [for jenny] and a headscarf. On our way back to the car park we came across another market and we stocked up on our fruit and veg supply and also bought some fish for tea. We had been told that the town could get busy in the evening and being a Saturday we thought that moving the motorhome further from the town would be wise. At this stage other motorhomes were also parking up. After an afternoons rest and a delicious fish dinner we decided to go back into town to check out the night life. The quiet of the day had turned into a busy bustling town with restaurants, café’s, bars and ice-cream parlours catering to a swelling crowd. We had an ice-cream and took a seat in the square to watch and take in the atmosphere. Upon returning to our motorhome we realised that our distance from the town was not quite enough as we were swallowed by cars all around us and still coming at 10.30 pm. We moved again further across the car park away from the town as did most of the other motorhomes until there was a group of about 10 parked up in a row. The evening was warm and we ended up talking to some French people until 12.30.
It had been 6 days of parking at harbours and beaches so it was time to get to a campsite. Irion Bay campground was a nice shady campsite and we were able to empty our toilet, fill the water tank, recharged our electronics, wash our clothes and do some cleaning. In between our chores we did find a bit of time swimming and sitting by the pool.
Tuesday we headed of again further south to the town of Ermioni a small bay with a harbour. It was a very hot day and after walking through the town and buying a pair of earrings (for Jenny, she has been looking all through Greece for the right ones); we spent the afternoon on a small beach watching the boats come into the harbour. The night was spent in a large car park next to the water in front of the local school. Very quiet night but it was interrupted at 6.15 when the rubbish bins were being emptied along the front of the harbour.
Wednesday we crossed over the last finger of our Peloponnese trip to the town of Epidaurus again a windy road over the mountains. We had heard that there were ruins near the town and an amphitheatre so when we came into town and saw the sign “ Small Amphitheatre” we headed down the very narrow roads to a tiny car park with a small amphitheatre. Being very much underwhelmed we spent a few minutes looking around and then met a couple of students from Switzerland who asked if we were going to the other site where the real amphitheatre is.
With no plans for the immediate future we offered them a ride and headed 16 km’s up the hill to the site on a wide good road, I used 5th gear in the motorhome for the first time in weeks. This site was what we has read about and we found a shady place in the massive car park and headed to buy our tickets. Our Swiss passengers left before us and as we approached the ticket office we saw then coming back in our direction, they had bought us the tickets in return for the lift to the site, very nice of them to do that. It saved them the bus fare and as they were students they could get in for free. We wondered around the site and were impressed by the large amphitheatre which could hold over 14.000 people. After the ruins and the museum we had lunch in the van and our passengers returned for the trip back to town. After dropping them off near to the campground they were staying at, we headed ‘of course’ to the beach where we spent the afternoon.
In the afternoon we notice another motorhome just across the bay and Jenny noticed that they must be English as there side door opened on the left side not like the European vans on the right. We parked up near to them and went to say hello. Yes they were from England, a young couple with 2 cats and doing their first motorhome trip in Europe. After talking for a while we headed into town for a drink which ended up being tea as it was hot and we didn’t feel like cooking and again we saw giros for 2€. Returning back at the van we sat on the bench next to the bay and continued to talk to Aneli and Owen, and talk, and talk until 2 in the morning.
After a late rise in the morning we again started chatting with our neighbours and eventually we headed off at about 1.30. They had told us that in the next bay was a sunken city that you could swim to and have a look so we decided to visit it and took a very narrow road to a tiny car park by the beach. We first had a drink at the beach side bar before changing into our bathers to explore the site. It was more like a sunken building than a city but interesting all the same.
The rest of the afternoon we spent driving up the coast then crossing the Corinthian canal and finding a place for the night near the beach by playground. A very windy night but also quiet. Next stop Athens.