949-954: GORGEous, Follies and Flowers

949 – Monday 8th January 2018:  Monastery Walk

At 9:30 am (early or what?), we embarked on what would be a 10k walk steeply up and down along the gorge. Oscar ‘em barked his way too….but his ‘em barking settles when we’re underway.  We followed a path carved by the monks for their donkeys hundreds of years ago – still droppings on the way so it’s still used to transport stuff to the monasteries.  After a short time, we came to the Prodhromou Monastery – literally clinging to the steep cliffs – it looked almost as if the rock had been carved to accommodate the structures. I went in and viewed the kooky stairways and rooms – very quiet and definitely contemplative.  On we went down and up and the other way around – past rushing streams – while Oscar bashed our legs with his usual selection of sticks!  The Monastery of Nea Filosoou was more modern and we entered the courtyard to be greeted by a charming monk who gave us water and Turkish Delight sweets!  We’ve since herd that the Greeks don’t call it Turkish Delight, but just Delight!   It was necessary to tie O up in the yard – he vocally made his objections clear…  The chapel is lovely and small.. Only 2 monks live there – our host had been in residence for 8 years.   Super frescoes.
 
Back retracing our footsteps and down to the actual gorge itself. Ancient Gortys nestled at the bottom. I nestled my feet as this septuagenarian was feeling slightly tired – age related? 
Back up again to the original path and after only (?) 3.5 hours – to good old Jez….. my feet took a direction in the door, past the executive bathroom and into the royal bedchamber where they forced me to recline….  But a stunning day – excellent walking and views to die for…..
Same overnightly – and even more quiet than last night………
 
 
 
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Hard to see, but there is a chapel on the right and another on the left of the gorge, so our walk will go down and then up … and then in reverse!  Demitsana nestles at the head of the gorge.  

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Zoom lens to see the chapel at the right hand Monastery of Prodhromou C12.
 
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Part of the easier donkey path, carved out by the monks.

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Wow, turn a corner and this is the Monastery with living accommodation … all clinging to the cliff.

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Looking back at the Monastery of Prodhromou.

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The gorge is 300m deep and the water powered around rocks.

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Nea Filosoou Monastery:  C17.  Restored 
 
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Church with 1663 frescoes …
 
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Ancient Gortys at the other end of our gorge walk.  Temple to Asklepios God of Healing, a therapeutic centre, from 4BC.
 
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Taken from Ancient Gortys … can just make out the church where Jez is parked.
 
 950 – Tuesday 9th January:  Back to Kaiafa Springs With a Purpose!

Back up the hill from Lousois Gorge – the nightly darkest pitch we’ve ever stayed at……lots of clear stars overhead.  Powered to Dimitsana Water Power Museum – open all days – except Tuesday!  But their car park contained a water supply – so Jez got his fill.  Lunch and admin in van – with Wifi.
Across the mountains towards Kaifia Springs (again – second stay).  More lovely hill towns and a stop at Langardia for coffee – very narrow streets (have we written about these before?) – mega reversing to pass oncoming coach.  The usual visit to Lidl – and then the wild parking at the Springs – one other van (German) for company.  
 
Now during the food prep, K opened the door of an overhead locker, taking the usual precaution of placing her hand to prevent anything falling on her nod…  well, this Greek olive oil bottle had other ideas – avoided her grasp – and in true aviation style – flew around the kitchen!!!   I was outside and heard the anthem “F**k a**e bum t*t” in her melodious and high pitched voice…..the glass was everywhere – floor, rugs – and next morning – even in the blinking shower!  The oil had attached itself to floor and all vertical surfaces, including K – not that she’s a vertical surface….. Oscar and I escaped.  Clearing up took a good hour – the unanticipated benefit was a thorough kitchen clean!   
 
 
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Sorry a few final pix of our loveliest of spots, taken with J’s mega zoom lens.  The chapel – our van view.

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Ancient Gortys and St Andrews Chapel.

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The second monastery.

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Spontaneous stop in pretty Langadia.  Not sure when the Christmas decs will come down.

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Watching busses and a huge lorry negotiate the narrow roads.

951 – Wednesday 10th January:  Spring Swim and Laundry

Morning – and my water babe took to the Springs – the reason we had come back here.  Vaulting high into the air straight over the gate – well climbing actually but the high jump sounded better…back in Jez – the sweet aroma of sulphur pervaded…… showered and brekkied, we eased back to Elea beach wilding spot – same pitch looking at the rolling seas…..  (I had declined the Springs due to a ‘mancold’, manifestly – not testily or feistily).  
 
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A swift climb over the gate and in – we’d seen locals do this on our last stay here.  The old bath house has just been left as an eyesore; the new on is adjacent.  The water gurgles up from inside the cave.

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Maddy’s Bad Hair Day Shower cap!

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952 – Thursday 11th January:  Easy to Supper

Slow easy day start, beach walking………..Rod and Bernadette came to supper – brought flowers and a yummy lemon curd – much chat and easy company…..we parted with them at 2:00 am!!!  
 
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Rod picked these from their garden … they are just delightful and still have a wonderful scent.  Absolutely years since anyone has given me flowers, other than James, of course!

953 – Friday 12th January:  Admin and Rest

Another restful day – some admin, including updating our spreadsheet re putative house purchase in France…..  Verdict …Yes we can afford to live if we buy in France 🙂
 
 

954 – Saturday 13th January:  Follies in Filiatra

A really sad adieu to Elea wilding after a total of 9 days!  Highly recommended, indeed.  Met Phil and Carol at Lidl – and on the Filiatra, via the Fairy Castle and Eiffel Tower.  Overnight on a lovely harbourside wilding, with the sea washing over the wall behind us – I wonder what time high tide will be?  
 
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A Greek, Dr. Harry Fournier, returned from Chicago in the 1960’s built this … his son has restored it.

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 I only spotted Oscar’s wee activity when I looked at the pix on the computer…

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… pleased to say J is not following suit.
 
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A Poseidon’s horse building.

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And he built a mini Tour Eiffel just into Filiatra.
 
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Our overnight stop Ag. Karachi.  Just hoping the wind is not up, or we will get a wave drenching!
 
 
 
Oscar’s Diary

They tell me I’ve been quite a few day at ‘Ellyyah’ – it’s good here – lots of nice K9 friends, girls and boyos….good humanoids as well, I must mention.  
 
K phoned her Mum (and Dad) – they’re off to someplace called  “Eeejit” which is east of here with also sandy beaches – and Kyro (sounds Greek to me) has somethings called Pyromids and Spanks (very naughty, Grahame and Diane!).   Now most folk would say  “Morning Mum – how are you this fine day?”  Not our K – no need to roll out the nice-titties, sorry niceties… “It’s only I – can you bring some coryanngle to Athens?”   Blinking BT will never make money from the Leslie Clan!  If I tried asking for my dinner like that “Katherine – it’s only O – dinner now pronto?”  My backside would be whinging it’s way to Solihull…
 
Oh well, there’s newt as frog as folk, as the poet said….. this was short as time presses – people to see.
 
Efharisto.
 
Oscar
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 


943-944: Happy New ‘Elea’

 943 – Saturday 30th December 2017:  Kalo Nero

On leaving the Springs of Kaifa, we noted a pick up with 3 folks in stopped outside the Springs building and climbed over the rather spiky gate!  One man of vintage years could have spiked his crown jewels (ouch!) but managed ok….. well, I thought – maintenance/cleaning workers?  Nope – they went around the side and stripped off – to swimming costumes – to take the waters!!!  Had we known earlier, we could have had ’Spring showers’ au naturelle’.   
 
Mega New Year food shopping…….reached our beachside pitch at Kalo Nero – set up shop and perambulated along the seafront.  Voices beside us – “Are you the Brits in the motorhome?”  (Well, I suppose I’m an adoptive Brit? – and Oscar is a Brummie Welshie…).  It was Bernadette and Rod – 10-year residents in the area – and part time motorhomers…..  They know ‘Boxerman’/Dave and San and Phil whom we will meet soon at Elea. 
 
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View from our window at Springs of Kaiafa.

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That’s us excused swimming then!

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Beach front pitch at Kalo Nero.

 

944 – Sunday 31st December 2017:  Happy New Elyea

Morning boulevarding and Jezzied on down to Elea – to the best ‘wilding’ spot we’ve seen, ever possibly. Huge wide open spaces and long beachfront stretching for kilometres. Friendly wild dogs – looked after by a dog sanctuary, thank goodness. Many are shipped to Germany for adoption.  Dave, San and Phil came to our New Year supper – we saw the New Year in alone after the others had departed for their beds. A lovely intro to 2018 – Happy ’18 to all our friends and families everywhere!!!  (K paddled – not addled – and Oscar barked into 2018…).    

K:  Actually, I went paddling, much to Oscar’s dismay … That’ll be the closest I get to the water for a few months!

 
945 – Monday 1st January 2018:  New Year’s Day Tasting Menu

 
This wilding place has water points that you can connect a hose to.  So we laundered and showered (in Jez) by a water point and then moved to firm ground for our pitch of now, several nights.
 
Katherine (Masterchef) provided an…..
 
International Food and Wine Tasting Menu
Foie gras (France) with pomegranate infused onion marmalade (Bosnia and Herzegovina) with salad and toasted brioche.  Marsala from Italy.
Scallops oven baked with butter and mild curry (Guernsey, hand dived by Chris and Chloe).  Mantineia, a dry white from Greece.
Duck Gessiers (Gizzards to you and me from France) with an aubergine, red pepper and onion salad.  Gustav Clauss dry red from Greece.
Cheeses (Greece)
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946 – Tuesday 2nd January:  Easy Does It!

In this fabulous spot, the sand attaches to everywhere in the van so a constant battle to keep him clean – Oscar contributes – not to the cleaning – but to the sand disposal by bringing in more of the gritty stuff. But, it’s well worth the location.   

A few mending jobs such as sticking hooks up. A steady flow of people to chat to … Dave and San dog walking in for coffee, Frenchman who stopped work age 47, nice Burster but knackered fridge – new at €2000!   Bernadette and Rod stopped by for vino – Rod left his jacket but we’ll see them tomorrow….  Quite heavy rain overnight.
 
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944 – Wednesday 3rd January:  Another Hair Chop

Off to Kyparissia for a K coiffure….a mere ‘snip’ at €30.  Coffee with Bernadette and Rod – he repossessed his jacket. Harbour walk and lunch – Oscar was allowed in (only small dogs) – well he’s small/medium……
Back to the same splendid beachside pitch to chill…….
 
 
Oscar’s Blog

They tell me we’re still in Greece – in Pollyknees which is an island and was part of the mainland. But someone cut a currant canal and spent time raisin it – do yiz get it?  Currants and raisins?  It’s the way I tell ‘em!  That was Frank Carson, by the way…  Well my currant owners (but I will keep them) have taken me from post to pillar, mostly ‘wilding’ and some sampkites – but – they have found me the most amazing wilding place – several chronometers long – beachside – and NO NEED FOR A LEAD – whoopee!!!  Loads of wild dogs but friendly – we met humanoids too – Dave and San and Phil and a French couple to whom I could say ‘Bon jewel, mes ami…”.  No slouch me in the old ‘linguafranglais’ deportment…… and I can walk well too… 
 
Oh, and K had a haircut……
 
“What is this life if full of hair
we have no time to chop in chair
no time to sit beneath the drier
and share a coffee with the sheep”
 
Ok, it went a bit awol at the end – but you cannot beat a bit of poultery!
 
Great balls of super glue … good for chewing …. my owners checked me out and I’m still In Tack.  
 
Oscar – leadless – not legless…