After an overnight stop on the edge of Kastanies I was bowling along the main road and a copper stepped out to pull me over. There’s two of them and they want to look everywhere. When I ask what they’re looking for the answer is “Everything”. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.
Arriving in Alexandropuli I found a nice spot overlooking the beach.
Travelling southwards towards Athens one passes Thermopylae where one of the most famous battles in ancient history took place when 300 Spartan warriors stood against an overwhelming invading Persian army. The land between the mountains and the coast is a lot wider than 2500 years ago due to tidal deposits.
The modern inland road from Thermopylae to Athens climbs through the mountains.
If visiting the Acropolis in Athens, I recommend sensible shoes only as it’s a steep climb plus lots of steps and a very rough surface around the Parthenon itself.
After that, I had to do the “domestics”, i.e. the laundrette. The owner has got a good business plan, a bar and laundrette next to each other. He gives change, washing powder and a free coffee from the bar.
On the way back to the motor, a bit of shopping in a small specialist grocery with a greengrocery next door..
The car park nearest the Acropolis is, as one might expect a bit pricey, €30 for 24hrs so I didn’t stay more than one night. Instead I found some free parking off one of the marinas, beside the Dia Noche café, for a few nights. With a public loo close at hand and shops a few minutes walk away it is a good spot.
A short crossing from the Perama ferry terminal took me to the island of Salamina, as the ferry approaches there are lots of ships of all sizes in various conditions in the numerous yards.
Crossing back to the mainland on the opposite side of the island and heading south, one crosses the isthmus at Ithsmia and into the Peloponnese, the huge peninsula at the very south of Greece. In the 19th century a canal was dug between the Gulf of Corinth (the Adriatic Sea) and the Saronic Gulf (the Aegean Sea). It was built to suit the dimensions of the ships of the time and most modern commercial vessels are too large to pass.
I was trying to think of an amusing line about shopping in Argos, but so far nothing.
Last night, a quiet spot on the Aegean coast, St. Andrews harbour.
Today I needed water and found this spot in Parorio delivering spring water to the roadside.
Making my way back to the main road south from Sparta, I passed through miles of orange groves around the village of Alesia.
A bit of shopping in Kitta, almost at the tip of Greece. Although the wind was a bit chilly the sun was warm, allowing shirtsleeves – or less – if so inclined.
Further down the road Kiparissos.
Unusually one morning I woke and just happened to poke my head out of the door at the right moment. Sunrise over the Laconian Gulf in Anatoliki Mani.
Passing through Oitylo, one of many villages, I spied a tap at the roadside.
The older part of Kalamata. As in every other Greek city I’ve been in, there is plenty of parking but try finding somewhere to park. Many of the cars appear to be semi-permanent fixtures. The upper floors of the shops project over the footpath providing shade.
Not nearly so pleasant this morning in Kalo Nero.
Boxing Day at Neochori Beach, much brighter than yesterday.
A visit to the cash machine and a bit of shopping above the snow line in Nea Figaleia.
As of this morning, I’m no longer a motorhome toilet virgin. I emptied mine for the first time. When on the move, I use petrol station and other publicly available toilets. Although there is toilet block here the fittings are in need of some TLC. The drain is readily available for emptying a cassette and there is clean running water.
The morning I decided to leave, the motor decided to play up. Fortunately a couple of hours battery charging and it was sorted.
The evening before, I’d run out of gas but there is a petrol station that also sells LPG just a few miles north. It was no departure from my plans, it just meant I didn’t get my first cup of tea until later in the morning. Shortly after filling up I saw a sign for Ancient Olympia and went for a shufty.
The stadium from where the Olympics takes its name is still there, although reduced to ground level. Unfortunately the parking was too far for me to walk otherwise I’d have stayed the night and visited in the morning. The site closes at three, about ten minutes after I arrived.
The next stop was in Patra for tobacco and a coffee before heading for Albania.
Had an unpleasant surprise as I drove off the Rion-Antirion bridge, €13.50 toll. It’s the largest cable stayed bridge in the world crossing the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth.
I have three different options set up on the sat nav; all roads, motorways but not tolls and non-motorway. After I’d crossed the bridge I left the new road and took the old, getting along quite nicely in the mountains.
The village of Gefira Mpania is in a delightful location on the bank of the River Evinos but it was difficult to see why the settlement is there other than possibly as a stopping place for people crossing the river.
The bridge spans appear to be a WW2 Bailey bridge on old abutments and central support but I’ve not yet found any info on it.
I’m now certain that my sat nav has acquired a deeply twisted, almost military sense of humour.
As I said, I was getting along quite nicely when the sat nav said turn right. “Hmmmm,” thought I, “perhaps it’s a shorter way”.
It was indeed shorter, suffice to say it became a dirt road. It was fun while it lasted and thankfully there were only a couple of soggy patches to drive through. I really wouldn’t want to get bogged in in such a place.
The said wayward sense of humour very likely inherited from me.
Driving through villages and isolated settlements in a right hand drive foreign registered camper reactions from locals vary from none at all through “What on earth is that doing here”, to a smile of recognition. Almost everyone exchanges a friendly wave.
After a night on the shore of Lake Trichonida, the largest natural lake in Greece, I continued to Amfilochia on the shore of an inlet of the Ambracian Gulf. The road then took me along the southern shore and through the Aktio – Preveza tunnel (toll €3) under the Gulf’s entrance.
Northwards and one passes through Igoumenitsa, the port for the island of Corfu and the last major town before the border with Albania.