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!

IMG 0386Walk along Kalo Nero.

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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)

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…



941-942: Katherine is an Olympic Athelete

941 – Thursday 28th December 2017:  Escaping the Asylum!

We left our campsite of 6 nights €19 ACSI rate, having said adieu to Julia and Simon – Dave had left earlier….  We felt slightly institutionalised, but that may have been the 10 days with no alcohol free days!
Tried to visit the Kastel, but really heavy rain so we did not fancy the short walk up to the castle.
Off to Lidl for a nice big shop.  
A shortish meander to Katacolo a nice small harbour for the overnight – walk in the rain…..no coffee shop would accept our Oscar – but all the town dogs adopted him readily!  We faced into the wind which blew all night long……some wine and carb-free supper to go with the fitness regime – and tomorrow back into alco-free days again, although we will celebrate New Year – with more new motor homing friends further south…..
Oh – and a big hello to young Jim and Nancy who have discovered our blog in USA/Canada….. In Jordan, we used to play Scrabble and Jim would bring a bottle of Scotch (Chivas Regal) which I took more than a passing fancy to – sometimes they left me asleep on the sofa – with a Scrabble note of goodnight!!!   
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Leaving amid grey skies and thrashing seas.

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Katacolo:  a few fishing boats but the town exists to supply the massive cruise ships that dock here for Olympia.  Even the interesting sounding Museum of Greek Technical Inventions was only open 5 random days in December … to coincide with the cruise ships probably.
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Nose into the wind.

941 – Friday 29th December:  Ancient Olympia

To Ancient Olympia – home of ‘The Games’ since the 1st century BC – they competed in the nuddy!  Did they have veteran athletes?  (By the way, the World Veterans Track and Field Championships will take place in Malaga in September 2018 – I ran in the Worlds in Newcastle in 1999…..maybe?).  Naked, James?
We saw the sanctuary of Zeus and birthplace of the Olympic Games, to honour him.  776BC was the first recorded athletic event, although archaeological findings on the site date to 8000BC.  The last Games were held in 393AD after the recently converted Emperor banned pagan activities.  First revival was 1896 in Athens and the Frenchman, Baron Piere de Coubertin, who championed the revival, has his heart buried here.  The €6pp winter rate for the site and museum was excellent value.
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This is the stadium at Ancient Olympia.  Mike of Moho-dreamer, who we spent Christmas with, was photo’d on the starting line …. I had to go one better and I ran the length!  With umbrella and camera in hands and wearing full waterproofs and walking boots …. bet not many Olympiads could match that!!!  From 720BC athletes competed naked … far too wet for me to do that!  Men only too.

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Where the Olympic Flame is lit and the start of the Olympic Torch Relay.

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The info board only told us who paid for it’s repair … the guide book tells us that Phillip II commissioned it to honour the Dynasty of Macedonian Kings, so surely this is later?
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The Temple of Hera 7BC
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Public Shame:  The Games embodied the ideal of fair competition among free and equal men.  Those caught cheating had their name, crime and fine carved onto one of the 16 bases of statues to Zeus, which line the route to the stadium … let that be a warning to others. 
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Gate through to the stadium:  Capacity of 45,000.  The main sports venue for running, wrestling and pentathlon etc.   Chariot racing was next door.  The Stadium was only unearthed by the Germans during WW2
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Temple of Zeus 5BC, as large as the Parthenon
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Sacrificial offerings.
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Atlas and the Apples of Hesperides:  Hercules, centre, holds up the sky, Athena on the left, assists him and, right, is Atlas, who has brought back golden apples guarded by the Hesperides Nymphs.
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Springs of Kaiafa is our overnight spot:  a bit of a smell of sulphur, but tarmac to park over is good after heavy rain.