Greece – 24th February to 5th March 2018
Saturday 24th, Sunday 25th February Monday 26th February
Our campsite for tonight: Nea Moudania – GPS 40.2378N. 23.2883E
This is a great little town, very modern and not destroyed by graffiti.
It rained for the three days so opted to stay put until the weather cleared a little.
The campsite is a huge waterfront carpark at end of a Boardwalk with trendy tavernas and was very busy on Saturday and Sunday. It surprises us how many Greeks eat out for lunch and dinner, even though the economy is supposed to be in tatters – most people seem to drive fairly modern cars as well. Wherever we have been in Greece, the tavernas are pretty much full for around three hours in the middle of the day and then begin to fill up again around 7pm until 11pm.
Fishermen still braved the wet and cold conditions but we did not see anything being caught.
Quite a few shops in the surrounding streets and even found a Vodaphone store where we topped up our SIM card to cover us for the next couple of weeks in Greece.
Monday was horrible, bitterly cold with rain, sleet and even snow falling in the middle of the day – though melted on reaching the ground. Managed to find an internet network from one of the closer tavernas, where the password was proudly displayed on the site itself – nice one – took full advantage of this, though we had to park very close to it.
Spent the three days reading several books (have nearly read our compete library of Jeffrey Archer books) and occasionally going for quick walks in between rain showers.
Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th February
Woke up to sunshine this morning – first time in a week – yeah! Now we understand why the Brits and Europeans worship the sun on the odd occasion that it happens to pop out. We too now can be found sun worshipping as it seems to be very rare here.
Our campsite for tonight: Poseidi – GPS 39.9611N. 23.3709E
What a difference a bit of sunshine makes – certainly lifted our spirits for the next couple of days.
We are now heading down another three fingers at the southern end of the eastern side of Greece. This first finger is very pretty with lots of new buildings and apartments and very little or no graffiti.
We again are right on a beautiful sandy beach with waves lapping only a few feet away and parked right next to a “funky bar” which we wanted to try. Even though there were several cars at the front, turned out to be workmen getting the bar ready for opening in summer (both days of summer). Not open until April, they said. We wanted to celebrate the sunshine so walked to the little village to check out eating options for tonight.
Sat in the sunshine like beached whales until 4pm and watched fishermen in boats casting and reeling in nets while hundreds of seagulls circled overhead hoping to pick up the scraps.
The wind came up and what had been a calm sea became choppy with white caps forming and then the fishing boats headed for cover. Ziggy began bouncing around in the wind so we headed for the cover of town for the night. Found a parking area in the middle where we were protected from the wind.
A big storm hit not long after with thunder, hail and sleet. The sound on the roof was deafening – we certainly were glad we moved to town. No dinner out tonight!.
Woke up to a beautiful sunny next morning so headed straight back to beach site where we spent the whole day just lapping up the sunshine, though it was still cold.
Walked into town again in the late afternoon and joined the locals for a drink or two. Decided to bring Ziggy back to town for the night in case the weather turned foul overnight and parked in the same place as night before.
Back to the taverna (only one open out of 15 or so in town) and sat in front of a fireplace and shared a five course dinner and wine for less than €30.
Not many patrons tonight though there was one table with eleven Bulgarian guys and one female sharing a feast.
They rolled in to the village in 3 black Audi A8s – now we have seen plenty of Audi A4s at home and a few A6s but no A8s – they are big limousines – all the guys looked around 25-30 years old, had buzz cuts, wore black clothing and looked very, very fit and had very, very serious looks on their faces. Their cars parked outside the Taverna with BG number plates and another Bulgarian guy standing guard over the cars – strange as there were no other cars in the street, the village was deserted and apart from the Bulgarians and us there were only 2 other diners in the Taverna.
Thursday 1st March
No sunshine this morning so hoped the overcast sky would not dampen the spirit after we had two glorious sun filled days.
Not a huge number of designated camp spots in these three fingers of eastern Greece to choose from in our APPS so spent some time looking and moving on where some places did not seem safe.
Our campsite for tonight: near Vourvourou – GPS 40.1939N. 23.8061E
Not a designated overnight camp site and on arrival saw one “no camping and no fires sign” hidden behind a tree. Park 4 Night gave it a big wrap and claimed the locals had no problem with staying here in off season months.
Took a chance as this was a really beautiful tranquil waterfront site in a bushland setting with views across to Mt Athos. We could only see the silhouette of the mountain because of the overcast conditions.
Spent a wonderful day and night here with no one anywhere – just the two of us and the birds (plus a stray German Shepherd).
Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd March
Our campsite for two nights: Near Sarti – GPS 40.0760N. 23.9841E
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find something new to talk about as each camp we stay in in this beautiful country has similar characteristics e.g. Marina or absolute beachfront, waves lapping on the beach or boardwalk a few feet away, the place to ourselves, tavernas with the best food and the most wonderful carefree happy people.
This overnight spot is similar but more remote with no tavernas or town nearby. Sarti is over the hill but a few kms away. It rained the first day but when the sun came out on day two, it was not difficult to decide to stay for another night, in fact it was really difficult not to stay for many days as it was so great. The view across the sea to the snow capped Mt Athos on the sunny day, was super.
We are truly relaxed now and really enjoying the Kindle books so graciously donated to us by our Scottish friends and are now quickly ploughing through the many Jeffery Archer, Michael Connelly etc novels we have. Last count think I have read about 80 books since the beginning of our travels and my driver – more. We do have Sat TV but apart from watching the occasional video, leisure time reading books is preferred.
The campsite on the beach is towered over on three sides by mountains with only a handful of homes visible and even these seem to be unoccupied.
Yesterday we watched a goat herder taking his flock down the mountainsides for grazing and today, they headed down to us on the beach. The lead goats with cow bells on gave us advance warning and soon we had 100 + surrounding Ziggy. So sorry to see them head away from the beach and over the next mountain. A few hours later they returned on their way home.
Did not hear a sound on both nights except for the occasional wave crashing on the shore.
Sunday 4th March
Reluctantly we left late in the afternoon in search of our next spot and after assisting a Greek family bogged on the beach in their very new Mercedes 2 door sports car, we ourselves struck issues with water logged tracks, wash outs, subsided roads and walls of water cascading across causeways. Several times we had to reverse back through narrow tracks when we could not go forward.
There has been so much rain in Greece over the last few weeks and with little or no drainage provided, streets and low lying areas flood quickly and roads have deteriorated.
With two of the places in our APPs not able to be reached because of water and road issues, we headed into some of the small seaside villages looking for a dry place to stop.
Our campsite for tonight: Porto Kaufo – GPS 39.970993N. 23.917494E
A small road led downhill to this little village and at the bottom we found this magic spot along the boardwalk in a secluded bay with mountains all round and fishing boats at the little Marina. Dropped into the taverna and asked if we could park here – no problems they said, so did not need any more encouragement to stay on.
Had another great meal in front of a fireplace and enjoyed the company of the waiter (who has a relation in Melbourne of course) who spoke excellent English and finished up in Ziggy with a bottle of wine and back to Jeffery Archer before having a peaceful night’s sleep.
Monday 5th March
The sun again disappeared today but overcast conditions did not stop a long needed walk. So many beautiful bays to explore here. Too much sitting and reading when the weather has been bad has not been good for the waistline and exercise has been virtually impossible.
Headed off after lunch and travelled through some picturesque countryside. These three fingers of land in eastern Greece are not very wide and sea views greet us at every corner. Small villages are in every bay and all along beautiful expansive beaches.
Got stymied again today when our choice of another beachfront campsite firstly offered a not too deep waterway to cross followed a km further on by an impassable waterway only a few metres before the campsite. We sat there and pondered if we could get across but after having rescued someone bogged yesterday who didn’t make it, sadly opted to move on – better safe than sorry.
Our campsite for tonight: Limani GPS 40.395462N. 23.893749E
We have now left the second finger and into the third. Not many places to camp in this part as the bottom half is taboo for women to enter and men are only permitted entry to the many monasteries by appointment. Greece is very much a man’s world where everywhere you go, the men sit in tavernas eating and drinking and twirling their worry beads – very rarely do you see their women.
This campsite is not a designated camp spot in our APPs but has a huge carpark on the arms of the Marina and is just outside of town. Lots of fishing boats here and fresh water taps to fill up the tanks.
It was quite wild and windy to sea but the harbour walls were tall enough to provide a safe harbour protection from the rain and wind. A great view to the harbour and peaceful and quiet with only four stray dogs to keep us company.