1018 – Sunday 18th March: Rain Here and There
I’ve had rain showers here and James has serious rain in Antibes pretty much all day. I walked into the town. The main part is mostly holiday 3-5 story blocks and cafes. There is a small harbour, but not worth visiting. The beach area is a great overnighter with the beach bar / restaurant. Close to Piraeus and on a tram to Athens centre. My lunch today was fish soup. Why did the waiter look confused when I ordered a half litre of wine … was there a second person joining me? No, I’m just an old soak!
I haven’t any prawns but I think my supper will be a chicken Saganaki!
James’ raining Sunday in Nice with Jade … a massive indoor play area.
My beach location for two nights and the beach restaurant.
1019 – Monday 19th March: The Traveller Returns
I moved location to access a public toilet … motorhomers will know why. I also did all the cleaning ready for the traveller to return. Whilst I was at it, a solo English lady with her cat pulled up behind me. She was off to Crete tonight, so hopefully we’ll bump into her again. She was driving an older small Peugot van conversion… compact, but she had everything she needed on board, except a shower. She’d used the ones in the marina, but they were cold … decision made for me, I don’t do cold showers, even lukewarm. I’ll shower in Jez. When on campsites, I usually volunteer James to ‘test’ the showers before I use them … reckon he is used to cold showers from boarding school days.
J’s flight was a little late so we did not get back to our parking until gone 7.00 and decided to eat at a nearby bar. They had moussaka on the menu, but it was still cold inside and wine was EUR 4.50 per small glass … definitely the worst meal we’ve had in Greece. Or anywhere for a very long time.
There’s an English shop in Antibes and J happened to mention that I like white chocolate. Thank you Sarah. 🙂
1020 – Tuesday 20th March: Hanging Around
With our crossing tomorrow evening and waiting to hear if the rear air suspension parts had arrived, we elected to stay put. A run, a walk and some shopping.
Watching for me to come out of the shop … much to the amusement of locals.
1021 – Wednesday 21st March: Air and Water
We had to pick up our Crete crossing tickets before 6.00, and given there was a chance of the rear air suspension being done (twice daily conversations with Adria Athens for the last 5 days), we went into Piraeus early to pick them up. No parking nearby the offices, we found a nearby Lidl and J slowly shopped, whilst I route marched to the Anek office.
Phone call to Adria … yes … come now. We arrived and asked what time it would be finished … 3-4.00. Great, as you know our crossing is tonight at 9.00. We walked the dogs, had a coffee and wandered back to sit outside Adria with knitting, iPads etc. I poked my head around the garage doors and came back to J to suggest it did not look as if it was going well. The mechanics and boss were all studying the instruction manual with a puzzled air. As our English speaking contact walked past, we asked how it was going … not well. Last time they’d fitted rear air suspension, they’d had the van 3 days. Could we delay our crossing and book into a hotel? Er, no. You’d told us it would be no more than a day’s work. Options: they put everything back to how it was so we catch our ferry OR they put us up in a hotel (with the dogs!) and contact Anek to see if they can change the crossing. We we went for option A. We are all booked in again on 29th May when we are back from Crete. Actually I will be in the UK, so J will have a boring day hanging around. If it runs into the next day, J can sleep in Jez. They will take the guard dog home with them so J does not get savaged overnight. And if it takes longer, well my flight doesn’t land till late on 31st! Plenty of contingency time!!!! We have every faith in them!!!
So we caught our ferry. Impressed with Anek over Minoan(who we used from Italy to Greece). Less chaotic loading of trucks, some being turned around on board and others reversing up ramps etc. The trucks and loads were parked with wafer thin precision. We were greeted on board and shown to our cabin … the member of staff even carried my shopping bag with night stuff (don’t have a suite case on board!). The cabin was larger and smarter. Less airless and very comfortable beds. Just a shame the crossing in the small hours was a bit rough.
Does this look like the drawing???
Skilled loading. Another ship being loaded right nextdoor, but they all seem to know where they’re going.
Kings at their Kongs in our cabin.
1022 – Thursday 22nd March: Laundry Stop in Crete
J nobly walked the dogs despite the pitch and roll of the boat … he had to hold on to the sides. My balance is rubbish; I’d have been man over board! As we docked, we were ushered immediately to the vehicle deck as we had the dogs. However, with the precision parking there was no way we could get between the lorries to reach Jez, so we stood to the side and watched cabs reverse up the ramp to pull off trailers and motorbikes wiggle their way forward to get off quickly.
We headed for a beach parking, walked the dogs and got a few hours shut eye. The winds seemed to pick up even more and we had to move Jez a bit closer to the road as he was getting a sand blasting. In fact, the sand was coming through the windows. At a respectable time, late morning, we headed to Camping Creta. Slight difficulty finding the entrance; the sign was on its back inside the closed gate. But the welcome from the staff … so warm and brilliant English.
We’d found a pitch right next to a tap. The twin tub got a hammering: bedding, towels, 3 pairs of jeans etc. This was why we’d elected to find a campsite on arrival in Crete … the blue Ikea bag that serves as the dirty laundry bag was over flowing. A slight issue with the washing plan was that the wind was now bringing sand from the Sahara. J googled, this was not a Mistral but a Sirrocco, as this carries sand. No point haningin it out to dry … it’d all have been Orange. Do you remember the Orange mobile phone campaign … the world is turning orange? Well it did here. A really strange light quality, slightly dark, almost misty and very orange.
Our first ice cream in Crete, before the work back at the campsite began … see the strange light …
… that became this. The campsite owner said he’d never seen it as bad as this.
Never seen ‘dust’ as one of the weather categories.
1023 – Friday 23rd March: Dust Removal Inside
Our one planned campsite night became two. We hung all the laundry our to dry. And discovered that the orange dust had got into EVERY nook and cranny in Jez. So today became a major spring clean for Jez inside … all the cupboards, floor wells and garage. The coastline around here is NOT attractive, we’d been warned, but it is actually worse than we’d expected. If you are thinking of coming to Crete avoid this area! But the campsite is serving a very useful purpose.
Bonus Jade Pic. 🙂
1024 – Saturday 24th March: More Dust Removal
Another night at the campsite enforced. The outside of Jez has now been purged of the dust. And I did another load of laundry … all the cleaning clothes. we are treating ourselves to a meal cooked by Mama on the campsite tonight. And since, we get one free night on the campsite as we’ve paid for 3, we’ll stay tomorrow too. BUT OUR HOLIDAY TO CRETE WILL BEGIN. We shall visit the archaeological museum in Iraklio and go to Knossos ancient site.
My TomTom GPS watch is telling me this so it must be true. Based on it knocking 23 years off my age and that English female life expectancy is 81 … I’ll live till I’m 104.