955 – Sunday 14th January 2018: Gialova Castle and Lagoons.
Ag Kiriaki harbour was the perfect peaceful overnight and we awoke to beautiful clear blue skies. As I was still suffering from a minor ‘mancold/chill’ – and requiring R&R……K and Oscar ran in the am. We jezzed a short distance to – Gialova Lagoon – another amazing wilding spot. My recuperation was proceeding in a ‘manly’ fashion – men are so brave – how do ladies cope with these ailments? I couldn’t possibly comment! We met Tony – Greek resident from God’s own country – Wales! He gave us loads of advice on walking routes….. K had a fantastic walk to the Castle and 360 degree views… K: coming down to Nestor’s Cave from the castle was seriously steep. my knees are not brilliant and my sense of balance abysmal … even with the metal foot bars and railings, I was reduced to all fours on more than one occasion!
We didn’t get washed away at Ag Kiriaki harbour, but woke to brilliant blue skies 🙂
Our two night pitch. Gialova Lagoon behind and the Bay of Navarino in front.
A climb up to Old Navarino Castle, another Franco Venetian construction, huge but lacking any restoration. In fact signs say it is dangerous so closed. At the base, the walk is also shut due to rockfall. In true Greek style, Oscar and I ignored the signs.
The most amazing views of the Lagoon and Voidokilia Beach – a perfect horseshoe.
Such a steep descent from the castle there were metal footholds and a hand rail … down to Nestor’s Cave. This cave may have been the inspiration for Homer where Nestor and Beleus kept their cows.
Looking out of Nestor’s Cave.
956 – Monday 15th January: A Leisurely Lagoon Walk
Nice easy 7k walk around the lagoon….later, as we were ‘napping’ – in a state of undress, a knock sounded on the door! Sue and Mick (from Brighton) had seen our GB reg and introduced themselves….. Their van was parked about 1k away – so – appointment for post-prandial drinks at 6:00 – as you do…..they have been part time/winter motorhomers for 14 years! Much chat about places we’ve both visited.
The lagoon is a bird sanctuary with an easy path around it.
957 – Tuesday 16th January: Pylos – Big Night OUT
Showered and de-sanded Jez – a much and frequently needed operation these days. Journeyed to Pylos Harbour – Sue and Mick arrived – closely followed by newcomers (to us) – Helena and Hakan (Swedish) and Ruth and Allen (New Zealanders). Decision to eat out in local restaurant – all 8 of us. Pre and after drinkies in Jez – a slightly tipsy agreement to hold an ‘American’ supper on the following night…in ours.
Our peaceful parking.
958 – Wednesday 17th January: Pylos – A Not So Big Night IN
We stayed in town to shop for the evening while the others visited Nestor’s Palace nearby. Our trip took in the post office, fish market, supermarket – and coffee! After last nights late to bed – guess what everyone did in the afternoon – nappyzapped! K did her starter of aubergeine, tomato and Halloumi, Ruth prepared stuffed squid a la delicious, Helena did a Greek salad – and Sue conjured a gorgeous lemon meringue pie! Did we sup well? Someone had a bottle of port……
We thought 7 eating in Jez was pushing it, but now we are up to 8. 9? I think not!
959 – Thursday 18th January: Being Blown off the Harbour and Methoni
In the night, the wind did blow – and blow – up to 62kph gusts! We rocked and rolled – we had sited Jez to face the wind – but the clever wind anticipated us and changed direction. We’ve never had our wheels in the sea water. Early morning all 4 vans took shelter back at the end of the harbour parking – much relief…vans covered with encrusted salt….leisure batteries on very low voltage.
To Methoni – castle visit in the gales (see photos) and on to a small campsite to recharge batteries – wash Jez, hand washing laundry and selfshowering. Our other recent friends will be following our path along the coast towards Kalamata.
Our peaceful harbour wall became a roller coaster ride with 62 kph gusts and spray coming over us.
Methoni castle – one of the pair of Venetian ‘eyes’ with the sea on 3 sides and a moat landward. It was huge and contained hammams, a church a huge market place, and a main street.
The French built the arched bridge across the moat in 1828. Don’t be fooled by the stunning blue sky … the winds had NOT abated!
Going into the marketplace.
The Bourtzi was a prison island. Accessed by a causeway, which was totally impassable impassable today – either you’d have been blown off or washed off.
Peaceful and windless view from our camping pitch at Camping Thines. EUR14 incl. EHU. The young manager told me that the massive hail storm last Sunday had been the case of the road to the village to collapse – he’s not sure when the municipality will repair the damage.
960 – Friday 19th January: Koroni and Kalamata
K and O ran around Finikounda, which was pretty – lots of open bars and restaurants.
Koroni for lunch and walk – Sue and Mick passed and stopped to chat – we’ll see them later at Kalamata Marina wild parking. We perambulated the village and castle – and met Tony (again)! He became our impromptu tour guide – he’s considering another adventure – in India!
En route to Kalamata, our Colin SatNav said “After 2 kilometres, turn right on Calamitous Road”!!! Even Oscar jumped! OK, it was Colin’s pronunciation of “Kalamata’s Road”. Overnight at the Marina was €12 with eclectic, sorry electric, toilets, showers and laundry facilities – excellent value. It should have been a ‘dry’ night – but with Sue and Mick, we pushed the boat out in a local restaurant (nice pun, James). €80 for 4 meals – 2 courses and copious wine! Lovely quality food and fresh fish 🙂
A quiet sheltered night – no wind.
Koroni: Seen livestock in towns, but not geese blocking the pavement before.
A larger town than Methoni.
Walk around the base of the castle … it seems to be held up with spray on concrete!
961 – Saturday 20th January: Kalamatious Laundry!
Loaded washing machine with our bedding …. water off in town! Long wait for water and laundry completion – then town walk – not the prettiest place but interesting. I replenished my vape supplies. Mike and Sue left for Mycene and we encountered Hakan and Helena who were off to stay at a local village – sure we’ll wee them all again on our travels around Greece. Wonder where the NZ couple are?
Other than the restaurants, this seems to be the main (only?) attraction of Kalamata … a collection of trains and carriages in a central park.
Our Marina pitch.