1025-1029: Museum, Sites and Caves

1025 – Sunday 25th March 2018:  Heraklio/Iraklio but Not As Planned

Free daytime weekend parking at the port of Heraklion…..doggy walking and then doggyinvanshutting – off to visit the much famed archaeological museum. But…..it was closed because today is National Independence Day holiday to celebrate the Greeks liberation from the Turks in 1821!  Back to collect el houndos.  The bonus for us was we got to see much of the big parade…. K got photographed with the comely local lassies….. lots of lovely people around celebrating with lunches.  We like Iraklio – it’s got life.  A good ‘snackette’ mere lunch in a side street sitting outside and watching the world go by. 

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The Arsenali: the most important Venetian dockyard in the Med.  As many as 50 galleys could be built here at a time.  And now there is massive unemployment in Greek ship building which once was a major earner for the economy.  These ship sheds were cut off by a new road.  Progress?!

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Family transport.

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 The Turkish pump house.

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The Lion Fountain or Morosini fountain, after the city’s Venetian Governor 1628.  It was the city’s main source of water, via a 15km aqueduct.  The lobes at the base allow many people to fill containers at the same time.

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We watched a two party documentary on Greece by Simon Reeve … apparently the sponge divers use long hoses so they can stay under longer.  Pollution has had a really negative impact on sponge stocks.

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The Venetian fort.

1026 – Monday 26th March:  Heraklio/Iraklio But As Planned

Van services completed – we said a fond adieu to the owners of Creta Camping – really wonderful people – and good value at £14 per night (4th night free:))!  We perambulated the hounds at a nice beach en route to Iraklio….called into a local Michelin dealer – Jez needs two new shoes in front – “Michelin Agelis” tyres. I suppose 23,000 miles is about right for a change – they’re just on the tread bar and we are front wheel drive.  Instant service again – and they will be in stock tomorrow!  Price good at €380 for the pair, given where we are.    

C and O left in van – and second attempt to see the Archaeological Museum.  Success – and – it’s one of the best museums we have seen – well laid out and informative boards in Greek and English – highly recommended – the intricacy of the pieces from over 4,000 years ago – amazing!   

Decision time – we intended to spend the night at Knossos and return tomorrow – but that nice nearby beach would be a good overnighter with loads of room for CO2 walks – so that will be our ‘nightly’. Back to ‘our’ beach via Lidl – parked for the night and – guess what – quite windy…….

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The Bee Pendant from Malia: a masterpiece combining repousse, granulated, filigree and incised decoration!  

Minoan civilisation pre-dates Ancient Greece and was extremely developed … art as in frescoes, sculpture and jewellery, weaponry, pottery, and international trade etc.  We’ve since read that the palaces were not fortified, so either their ships protected the island and / or it was just peaceable times.

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Palatial pottery from Kamares cave 1900-1700BC … I’d give them house room.

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1800-1700BC.

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Big ‘ums.  Big Ernie.  Or just big Urns.

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Harvester Vase: 27 men carrying harvesting equipment 1450BC.

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The Ring of Minos 1450-1400BC: Another Minoan masterpiece with religious iconography.

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Pottery funeral chests … never seen these before.

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And watching for our return 🙂

 

1027 – Tuesday 27th March:  Knossos and Up Into the Hills

Nice  am walk on ‘our’ beach – well, we’ve been here 4 (?) times……the wind had died down during the night, thankfully.  De van needed to be seriously de-sanded, again – definitely, deliberately, delectably, debrushedly, dedogedly and de feckin dogs brought it all in anyways!!!  Young Corrie sheds white hairs everywhere (K: even brushing both dogs every morning and sweeping out, we’re finding her hairs attached to everything)!  I’ve even found some up my nostrils – or are they mine?  Did you all know K does a mean nasal hair inspection?  Externally, of course…no, that doesn’t mean she does it outdoors – she’s wicked with her tweezers – but less detail is more here….   Is this blog about motor homing?  Yes, it’s all grist to our mills…..

Knossos Palace is the biggest in Crete with a history going back 10,000 years to the earliest settlement – amazing…..but….the most visual wooden representation of it is actually in the Iraklio Archaeological Museum. The actual site is quite impressive – we may be just a little Greco-Roman remainsfull.   

Anyone who wants motorhome tyres – go to the Michelin tyre dealers in Iraklio!  Really – drive from UK to see them – these people are the business!  Our tyres were ordered and delivered in 24 hours. We arrived to a coffee invitation (my coffee delivered by a man on a motorcycle) – instant tyre fitting – good price and just Cretan excellence.   Next destination Thrapsano – pottery making town – but – town centre on our route SatNav-guided road closed…..narrower streets.  Now, all you motorhomers will know this sinking feeling – the walls of the houses start leaning in towards you – no way through?  Stuck behind a pick up. By magic, the driver appeared and moved his vehicle – enabling us to reverse and head back out of town – then north to pick up a major road – whew!        

Coffee and ice cream once we arrived in Thrapsano, though.  K walked and found a suitable parking…. 

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Knossos:  the largest of the Minoan Palace complexes and the most visited of Crete’s tourist attractions … we’ve certainly not seen this many tour groups anywhere in Greece, even the Acropolis!  Heinrich Schliemann, famous Greek excavator / archaeologist suspect there was a city here, but was denied permission to dig by the Ottoman authorities.  This pleasure was give to Arthur Evans bought the site in 1900.  With his owner’s rights, he liberally interpreted what he found and restored his vision with the liberal use of concrete.  But you do get a sense of the size and scale, including the multi storey buildings that were built here.

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Current Knossos inhabitants … he may preen but the hens don’t seem interested!

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Just South of Knossos, the aquaduct looks older but was built on Roman lines during the brief Egytian occupation between 1834-1840.  i’ve just been reading … the Ottomans enlisted the help of the Egyptians to put down insurgencies and Crete was the prize.

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Thrapsano: Known for pottery.  Apparently they do a good export trade to the Americans.

1028 – Wednesday 28th March:  Ayios Pandeleimon Church and Karfi Castle

Walk to old church – shut so back to Jez and z-bendy drive to “Homo Sapiens” museum and parking for mountain walk up to Karfi Castle – 1,000 metres high but commencing at 800 metres.  It was steep!!!  At the top, there was a plateau – with the scant remains of the Palace…..  Bracing air – we spotted a Griffon vulture, a small church and young Corrie had to be ‘persuaded’ not to chase goats, for which she has developed a penchant….she can hear goat bells long before we can!  

Back at our parking – we detected that the owner of the museum is unhappy with overnight parking so we moved a kilometre downhill to a small secluded over nightly. 4 strong hailstorms during the night kept us partly awake but – we were ‘snuggly’…. and fortunately no rood damage.

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 Ayios Pandeleimon Church:  home to ‘imposing though weathered frescoes of soldier saints’, but shut.

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Walk up to Karfi Castle; the guide book said we may be lucky and see Griffon Vultures …. we did.

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Great, if misty, views … later the clouds swirled around us.  We is high up!

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Not much of Karfi remains; it was evacuated about 1000BC.  Excavated by John Pendlebury in the 1930’s … he died in WW2.

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She hears goat and sheep bells long before us.

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Not modern art, but hailstones on our roof light.

1029 – Thursday 29th March:  Caves

Post-hailstones, we had a lie-in, naturally…..carried water by watering can from a tap downhill in the village square.  Drove into Lassithi Plateau- a green flat plain surrounded by more mountains.  We stopped to photograph a selection of windmills en route.  Tzermiado is a plain untouristy town – we sampled (well, I did with a little help from K) a gyros – a sort of ‘MacCretan’ roll up sandwich which threatened to attach itself to my face. But a meal in itself!    

Kronos cave – free to enter – small and unlit but good old Iphone torches – mine is 6-7 years old – an Iphone -3 version!  It’s a ‘caving’ day so – forward to Dikteo cave…  Does anyone still use a ‘Dikteophone’ for secretarial work?  Or shorthand? Pitmans?  I’m showing the age thing again….  Anyway, Zeus didn’t need to be ‘dick’tated about his use of ‘dick’ety boo to his young maidens – he bowled a few overs in his time – no boundaries there….. he was born in the cave, anecdotally.

Splendid use of high camera ISO figures to light the stalactites – very phallic – no wonder Zeus was in residence here.

Now then, readers – K has this fitness thingy watch for running and walking….very progressive.  It calculates her ‘fitness age’….. Currently, she is 23 and getting younger – well, I could have told her that…   But a conundrum looms – when she gets to be ‘under age’, where do I get my ‘dickteoation’ so to speak, without being rude?   Answers on a postcard – to – ‘CluneCrete.puzzled.Gr……


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Windmills lining up at a museum on the entry range of mountains.

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Gyrating on a gyros.

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Kronos Cave entry.

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You needed your own lighting.

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View of Lassithi Plateau surrounded by mountains.

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Windmills were to draw water up from the underground aquifers … fabric sails unfurl.  Apparently very few are now in use.

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Dikteo Cave entrance.

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View looking towards Ag Nikoloas as we came over the other side of the plateau.


Corrie/Oscar Diary

Corrie here, readers – my strategy to keep Ozzy waiting after a few dates for his ‘rumpy-pumpy’ has sort of backfired – a bit like a wet fart – sorry, that’s not very ladylike – and K never does those windy things (!).  Blow me – now I’m ready to have my wotsit tickled – and the little fecker ain’t biting!!!  What’s Kensie’s address please, Robyn – will she have him back – he’s undamaged in his ‘danglies’ department…..  Now we have my new game – I chase him like a sprinter and sink my teeth in his rear leg to bring him crashing down (like Ireland did to England to land the Grand Slam)!  He barks to put me off so I grab his ear – and anything else that dangles (no, not that thing)….  Unbelievable – he loves it!  Great for beach runs – but the Owners don’t appreciate it when we romp in the van – why?  They can romp all they like (I wasn’t really looking) – but ‘doggos’ are called ‘muppets’ when romping…..  Nowt as queer as folk…

Oscar here, my readers!  That little minxy missy thinks she’s dead posh and smart….. Well, I can sew my wild groats anywhere I please!  Kensie – I never left you – it was only an optical confusion, really…..  prissy missy can take her bossiness elsewhere. My friends Boppy and Poops will stand by their man – just like Polly Barton in the song “Joleeeen” – K likes to ‘sing’ along with that one….

Yours in aloofness – head held high.

OscarClune1@TopDog.orgy.K9.love.Dot.Eu.Grrrrrrrr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1018-1024: A Funny (Odd) Waiting Sort of Time

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!

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James’ raining Sunday in Nice with Jade … a massive indoor play area.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Does this look like the drawing???

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Skilled loading.  Another ship being loaded right nextdoor, but they all seem to know where they’re going. 

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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.

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Our first ice cream in Crete, before the work back at the campsite began … see the strange light …

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… that became this.  The campsite owner said he’d never seen it as bad as this. 

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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.

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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.

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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.  

1013-1018: Snow in Antibes and Sun in Sounio

1013 – Tuesday 13th March 2015:  Coast to Lake

We reluctantly left Monemvasia; a really lovely place.  As we’d stayed 3 instead of 1 nights, we had no time to continue exploring this peninsular.  James has a flight on Thursday to Nice to visit one of his daughters and family and we have to stop in Corinth to pick up Corrie’s Pet Passport.  The young lad at Athens Adria had told us about a lake not too far from Corinth, so we headed there.  

It was a stunning drive up through hills to Lake Doksa.  The lake itself was pretty enough but two factors meant we won’t go back.  The whole place was infested with processionally caterpillar pods.  I took the dogs for a lead walk around the lake, only to be followed by some old codger in a battered old car.  He followed at distance, but kept flashing his lights at me.  Thankfully, that was all he flashed.  Fortunately I had a phone signal, so James walked fast to meet me.   It was super quiet at night.

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Sunrise from our Monemvasia Parking…

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We had climbed and climbed and then through a pass, cut out in the rocks and then the view opened up to the valley below.

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Our parking on Lake Doksa.  45 minutes to walk around, slightly faster if you get a wiggle on, as being followed!

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Back up nearly level with the snow.  The heating came on for the first time in quite a while.

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From tugging at Oscar’s stick, Corrie is now chasing him for it …

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… He’s getting a lot more exercise!

1014 – Wednesday 14th March:  Leaving the Peloponnese

We had another pretty mountain drive down and then through Nemea … worth coming back to as we spotted signs for wine routes and lots of wineries that we could visit for sampling and purchases.  Into Corinth for the Vet … Pet Passport and microchip registered for no additional charge … a gift, with a smile and a very firm long farewell hand shake.  Rather than come back to this vet for the rabies blood tests, which will take about a month to come back from the Government laboratory, we will try to get this done in Crete.

We headed onto Athens, as we wanted to be near the airport.  I was driving and discovered that the Colin Co-Pilot had taken us through the centre of Athens!  I had to wake J to help with the navigation, as I was too busy spotting cars, pedestrians and buzzing motorbikes.  I don’t suppose many motorhomes have been through the equivalent of Parliament Square in London … but actually it was fine. 

We stopped at a lovely beach front in Ag Marina.  Pretty sure I’ll come back here.

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Lake Stimfalia on our route towards Athens.

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Ag Marina.  Beach restaurant for a glass whilst we watched a flotilla of tinies (boats and kids).


1015 – Thursday 15th March:  J to Antibes and K to Porto Rafti

Leisurely start and then I dropped J at the airport.  I then went onto Porto Rafti, which we’ve visited before.  

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I took a walk along the coast and found a lovely small beach.

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How’s that for a bonnie baby?

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My evening view.


1016 – Friday 16th March:  South to Sounio

My plan for my solo weekend is to explore the peninsular SE of Athens. The Temple of Poseidon in Sounio being at the point.  En route I planned to Lavrio, which had been a major mining town, including silver, and a port.  However, the museum I had wanted to visit was shut and although driving through the town, it looked quite smart, I didn’t fancy a coffee.  Being ‘towed’ by two dogs through the town did not appeal, so I continued south to the Temple.

This was the first time we’ve left dogs home alone.  I came back after a speedy 35min tour of the Temple and no sign of the dogs.  Usually Oscar is on the dashboard. I crept up and peered through the window.  Both were sat facing each other as if in conversation!  No damage 🙂

I drove down to a parking by a couple of restaurants.  The one I intended using had coach party of late teens deposited inside … change of plan … into the other one. Having checked with the lovely waitress that I was OK to stay overnight, I ordered wine and a Shrimp Saganki … absolutely delicious and I was not charged for the water or the coffee.  And I sat right by the water’s edge looking up to the Temple.  Perfectly romantic, except for one thing … James was not with me.

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Temple of Poseidon.  Right at the edge of a cliff.  Little else remains of the fortifications and habitation, but it is very striking.

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These ground birds were making a complete racket … no idea what though.

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My overnight with the Temple looking benignly on.  My super lunch was in the restaurant on the water’s edge.

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All lit up at night time…. taken with my phone.

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Afternoon walk along the coast.  Nothing like as spectacular as the Peloponnese coast.

1017 – Saturday 16th March:  Sun and Snow

I had intended to stay somewhere along the coast … but it really is not appealing.  The road quickly became dual carriageway with pedestrian underpasses from hotel complexes to the private beaches.  Very built up and it must be hideous in high season. So I kept going and ended up back at Ag Marina. I’ll stay put for 2 nights.  

I had lunch in the beach restaurant … second Shrimp Saganki in 2 days!  Not as good as yesterdays.  I also managed to do some hand washing … not something I would normally do, but there is no where to replenish my water supplies and the twin tub uses too much.  

James meanwhile was earning lots of grand-dad brownie points.  The family had driven up into the hills in search of snow.  Sarah said he had to be persuaded to get in the car to leave.

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What a big kid!  

 


1006-1012: Heading Down the Final FInger

1006 – Tuesday 6th March 2018:  Salanti to Drepano

Fantastic early sunshine – excellent running along the beautiful beachfront at Salanti and K took O with C for the first time running off lead.  Shall we stay here another night?   Hmmmm…no – we’ll go to campsite Triton ii at Drepano and get electricatified and laundrifryed….or summat like that!  Speaking of Frys – we’ve been listening to Stephan Fry talking about Greek Gods – talk about incest and debauchery!  Then there’s Hermaphrodite – merged man with woman – so he/she became both – with a ‘ballsgina’…. 

The campsite was excellent and at €20 per night is reasonable value – hedged pitch with water … twin tub set up for laundry …..bike maintenance – until I discovered my front wheel was a nut short of a shilling!  Bikes back into garage…..K swept all before her, including the garage floor.  Along came Sue and Pete in their van – they (like us) are semi looking for a house in the area – exchange of views.  Lovely hot showers and evening BBQ – first of the year and we missed the Webber Smokey Joe … a Cadac just ain’t the same. ….. Another day in ‘Pelopsadise’.   

 

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Salanti: We woke to a super sunny day … you just can’t beat the colour of the sea here.

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It got a bit congested whilst we had breakfast!

 1007 – Wednesday 7th March:  Viva Vivari

Running again –….. walk to Vivari for lunch – red mullet for K and enormous pork chop for moi – and vino. Manager introduced us to a local estate agent…..   a nip of wine in Drepano en return route to Jez.  Has this become a pub crawl?

We invited Sue and Pete for drinkies – lots in common…..rather boozy evening (day actually!) but lovely. Well, tomorrow is one of our ‘dry’ days…..

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Vivari is a stunning fishing village on the shores of Drepano Lake, which opens out to sea.

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1008 – Thursday 8th March:  Corinth to Nafplio

“Buona sera, signorina – buona sera – it’s time to say hello to Napflio…”  OK, the original song is about Napoli – but now relevant to Napflio. But first to Corinth where Corrie got her stitches out, micro chipped and rabies jab. Next week we will return for database entries as their computer systems were down…  New doggyfood  as our current supplies have all been eaten – by whom?  Yes, you guessed it…    

Parked on the harbour side in Napflio – several other motorhomes there.  Tried the nearest estate agent – closed.  Bike shop for wheel nuts – they need to check their store for the correctly threaded nut – we need to have a clockwise screw (is that in the Kama Sutra?)…..so you sit on a clock and…..(enough of that James! – the second hand might stick in your wotsit – ouch!).  

So – back to Napflio in the am to check the estate agent and bike shop – we’ll overnight on the harbour side –  tad windy but quite OK…….

1009 – Friday 9th March:  Nafplio to Kosmas

One non-Aged P has a birthday – Diane is getting younger!  Phone call to congratulate her…..  Back to estate agent for lots of helpful advice on buying…..bike shop had the correct ‘Rama Putra’ screw nut – and washers as well.  

Jezzed along another stunning coastline – lunch near Leonidi – and the inevitable tight mountain town streets.  Then along a superb gorge to Kosmas for overnightie – just above the town in one of our most secluded wild spots – we could have stayed in town near the church – but the ‘campanology’ might have awoken us (that’s a camping analogy for bellringing, I think…).  

Lovely wooded area for doggoperambulating…… 

 

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The pic doesn’t do the gorge justice.

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Kosmas:  When you van don’t go anymore, it’s useful life is not over.

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Our super quiet parking.

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My wooded walks.

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Watch out Oscar … Corrie is learning your stick game!

1010 – Saturday 10th March:  Lower Monemvasia Day 1

Today, the non-Aged Ps have an anniversary…..lots of wedded years – another phone call!   Drove to Monemvasia – Gibraltar rock of Greece.  Perfect beachside overnight parking – filled Jez with watering can from local tap – young teenagers helping and so polite – after their swimming. They cold showered on the beach – brrrrrrr…….!  

Post-luncheon walk to Lower Monemvasia – through carpets of wild flowers to the kooky town – and – wine. Sorry loads of pix as it was so beautiful and the Aged Ps had wanted to visit, but it was too far from where we stayed with them.

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View of the Peloponnese Rock of Gibraltar from our car park. 

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Looking back to our parking.

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I can’t express how lush and beautiful everywhere is … the wild flowers are just stunning.

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We followed the slightly overgrown flower meadow path to the Lower Town.

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Arriving.

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The terrace bar … it don’t get any better than this.

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You can just make out some of the ruins of the Upper Town on the cliff.

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1011 – Sunday 11th March:  Upper Monemvasia Day 2

Another home phone call – Mothering Sunday….

It is so hot – we walked in shorts, T-shirts and walking boots in 20+c sunshine.  Flower meadow again to Lower Town and then up to Upper Town. Church, fortress and water cisterns – back to Lower Town – for “fionn ban” – Amelia and the Gaeilgoiri will know this as white wine in Gaeilge. En route back to Jez – a bar called to us – a couple ‘for the road’ – well it was a long 400 litres – metres back home…..nanny nap.  Snacks, chocolate and crips had been our survival food today!

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The Church C12 is the only restored building up here.

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A petal amongst flowers.

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And another.

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Ancient church, ancient haman and young hubby!

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From the fortress.

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Finding some shade.

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1012 – Monday 12th March:  Monemvasia Cleaning Day 3

A fourth phone call home …. got into the daily habit after a birthday, anniversary and Monthering Sunday!

Jezkleaningday……how come we have millions of extra white doggyhairs?  Corrie!  Despite K’s a.m. routine being dogg tooth cleaning with chicken flavoured paste and brushing!  

Walking along the front and town – a glass of wine?  Perchance x2 (?)….. Some may say we’re a couple of ‘old soaks’ – definitely not!  Because we are not ‘old’, at all!!!  

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No babies here, unless they are correctly presented!






999-1005: Resuming the Eastern Finger

999 – Tuesday 27th February 2018:  Recovery Time
 
Visit to the lovely vat in Corinth again – for Corrie antibiotic and pain killer jabs – she’s recovering beautifully….  We bought 3 months of anti flea stuff for both doggies – €288!!!  Whilst we had Advantix and Advocate for Oscar to last us till we got home, the ‘stuff’ we’ve been sold is more appropriate to the Med countries.  Expensive babies… but well worth it.  Quiet day but we managed to walk Corrie a little further.   Laundry day and some cleaning.
 
 
1000 – Wednesday 28th February:  Methano
 
We showered at the Corinth Camperstop – fellow motorhomers take note – 2 showers in 3 days!  Down the most easterly fickle finger of fate – well of Plops. Methano is on an isthmus – bur rather dead town – nice walking to a beach at the end of the front.  An overwintering Swedish gentleman engaged us and told us lots about the town.  He’d been staying here since 1994 and explained how the local council funding changed a few years ago and now they have a daily bus and few ferries.   He said it only gets going in August, well we aren’t hanging around that long.  We struggle to find a bar …for the obligatory glass of vino.  Usually it is easy to find one where all the men sit and chew the fat.
 
Celebrating 1,000 days of full time travelling!!!!!  How about that, folks…..
 
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Playtime and cuddles.

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1001 – Thursday 1st March:  Methano Volcano and Galatas
 
I ran 5 km for the first time in more than 2 months – K ran 4 km.  Aborted long walk up to volcano due to Corrie recovery time. So we parked at a layby nearer and had shortish part scramble up to top – Corrie hopped up the hill in sparky mode…  Young couple going up to volcano – the lady wore a pretty dress and flat boots (?)… interesting what some people wear for a walk.  
 
Onwards to Galatas to check ferries to nearby island of Poros for tomorrow. Lovely quiet wilding in boat yard.
 
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Methana Volcano.
 
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Great views of the mainland and small islands.  The ruddy rock is volcanic.
 
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A triangular cleft in the rock is the volcano … or at least so the sign states!
 
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Now I have sensible footwear!
 
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Poros from Galatas.

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1002 – Friday 2nd March:  Pouring Poros
 
We Jez’ed to a car park walking distance to the ferries – and we’ll wild there tonight as we planned to lunch in Poros.  Corrie didn’t like the big step into the small taxi boat and had to be lifted.  We walked a circuit of the island in the rain – not heavy though.  As it came down heavier, we took luncheon in a crowded restaurant – lots of families reunited with their sons. They were celebrating the end of 9 months naval National Service.  The Naval Base doesn’t actually have a ship according to our waiter, so I’m not sure what they do there.  We googled about Greek National Service.  Most conscripts are paid all of €8.80 per month!   They get board and lodging, but families have to support spending money.  If they join the Army, they only have to do 6 months.  Women do not have to do National Service, but if their weight and height is OK, they can volunteer.
 
Some large ferries coming and going; one is a 12 hour cruise from Piraeus which takes in 3 islands briefly for over EUR100.  
 
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Poros.
 
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1003 – Saturday 3rd March:  Sunny Poros
 
We woke, ran and decided to stay another night – why not?  We have amazing views and quiet ambience… AND THE FORECAST IS SUPER SUNNY. Listened last evening by the church service coming across the water from Poros.  We hadn’t realised how much of the Greek service is sung.
 
Sunday is normally van cleaning day but we brought it forward….   K pruned Oscar-hair and then pruned my knob – no, not that one – the hairy one!  I’m busy digging a hole here – ok – she cut my hair on the top of my nut!  The usual perambulation into town and coffee – with 2 knobs of ice cream for Katherine – should I drop the knobtalk?  OK…..   
 
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Our 2 night view….
 
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1004 – Sunday 4th March:  Ermioni
 
Almost back to running every day….but rest days are also compulsory – I ought to know that after 39 years of trying!  K did spillatez while doggos watched.  Passed lots of lemon groves and lovely bays en route.  Nice large parking (for overnight) beside a school – WC available for chemical toilet disposal. Walked along the sea wall and up through woodland (Corrie off the lead!) to a headland and back to town – and a glass of vino. This town is quite touristy but very attractive. We ‘people watched’ and saw the ferries coming and going to Hydra.  Back at the overnight there was a family of gypsies – 6 children – one youngster did his toilet on the pavement….
 
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Looking to Ermioni from our parking.
 
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Walk along the wooded headland.
 
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1005 – Monday 5th March:  Portoheli and Salanti
 
Guess what – 4 day running in the past 5! K pillatesed again….. On around the coast – spectacular – monied villas and holiday resorts. Lunch in Jez 
and town stroll in Portoheli.  Salanti was our overnight destination – parking in front of a huge deserted and completely derelict hotel complex. Surrounded by trees with large processionary caterpillar pods!  The route in was not suitable so we aborted and found a better road down – to a fantastic beachfront parking! With no deadly caterpillars. Completely alone and long beach for CO2 walking – so quiet too.  This will be a good running route for tomorrow.  Alcohol dry night (it’s Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays, usually).  We sat in the sun and chilled until the temperature dropped…

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View from our Salanti parking.

CO2 Diary (Oscar and Corrie)

Now then, girlies (Corrie here) – let’s have some female talk about our things…  Young Oscar still thinks we do ‘it’ on the first date – but decorum must prevail…keep ‘em guessing and let them do all the chasing. Mind you, he plays so nicely in the van – he’s a quick learner but, he regularly mentions a girlie called Kensey – I bet she’s a real flibbertigibbet….  As for Bobby and Poo – well they’re Scottish y’ken…… decent rugby team, though (tell K about that).  New owners are still ok – nosh on time and I nick Oscar’s bed regularly – he’s ok with that.  They say we’re going to a place called NafPlyo soon – for a Karnival thingy – I may have been there in a previous life…   By the way, they don’t like me chewing things – so why leave nice stuff just asking to be chewed?  They have slooper goo to stick those suckers back together – no big deal?
 
Oscar here – C thinks I will chase her – yeah, well – I can get my rocks off elsewhere… I’ve been around the block a few times – just you read Hello magazine soon – I might be invited to a Royal wedding in May – some people called Vegan and Tarry – his granny is a pearly queenie in a Buckinghamshire Villa.  
 
Nostimosh to all – and adio for now xx
 
Corrie and Oscar