Monday, 31 October 2016

A Few More Photos of Meteora

Just figured a scene from For Your Eyes Only was filmed here

Meteora, Wow!

This place is simply stunning, and a little bit weird. In a good way. We just need to find a monastery to visit that isn't accessed via a really scarey bridge😀

After where we've been it's pretty chilly up here though. A mixture of altitude and being further north of course.

Unfortunately the drive up here through the centre of Greece was pretty grim in places. Flat and then a bit more flat through cotton growing areas. Some really grim shanty towns as well first we've seen in Greece.

Staying another day then North through Albania into Macedonia.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Onwards To Meteora

Our view this morning :-)

As we joined the motorway (decided to cover some miles quickly this am) a guy in an mx5 cuts in front of us, natural reaction? What an arse. But no he jumps out and simply lifts the barriers. He then insists on waving us through :-) not that I'd condone such behaviour for the sake of 7.95Euro! :-)

Forgot to say where we stayed, Kiparissi village/harbour. Free camping. Only downside of drinking with the locals (in a very cool bar) is that we both stink of fags now. Campsite tonight!!

Also can't post photos at the moment. Later hopefully.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Heading North / Home

Although it was a bit of detour we went back to Kalamata this morning to the farmers market. Just brilliant, tons of really cheap and fresh produce. Bought about half a ton of Kalamata olives, so combined with the 20 litres of olive oil Christmas is sorted. Sorry if anyone was expecting a surprise.

We then set off North,  towards Meteora. No reason apart from it looks cool.

Considering what it is the Sprinter is a superb motorway mile muncher. The toll roads are virtually deserted which helps. Drinks diesel at anything over 65mph though.

OK a moan. Why oh why can't the Italians or Greeks make decent coffee. I'd be glad to see a Starbucks or Costa even!!
Even the stuff we've bought is crap, we're seriously starved of coffee, literally the last decent one was in France, and I thought Italy was renowned for its coffee.

So we got bored of the motorway, took a random tun off. Followed signs for the beach and we're now sat in a cool bar on the edge of a proper small harbour. Listening to the spice girls😀 along with maybe 15 locals.
We'll stay here tonight. Meteora is still 3hrs away.

We may make it to Albania tomorrow, we'll see.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Moving On

We've made some great friends here but it's time to move on.

So after a major storm last night, I’m not kidding when I say some lightening strikes were so close you could feel them through the van, we pack up and leave Navarino bay. Not bad considering that we only planned on staying 1 or maybe 2 days.
Breakfast in Pylos and then off to Mystras.

Whoa, what a journey. Its definitely one of the most impressive roads we’ve driven. That includes the Todra and Dades gorges in Morocco. A few diversions around rock slides and we arrive in Mystras  just in time for the rain, ah well we’ll get up early and see the sights tomorrow.

After a bit of indecision we’ve decided not to head further south on the Peloponnese. We figured most coastal place’s  are shutting down so it would be a bit of a letter down. We’ll come back at some point.
So after Mystras we’ll head north through Greece. Then Albania, Moldova, back in to  Albania, Montenegro and Croatia. Then who knows.

Some photos of the journey, as always they don't do justice to the drive. Handy for Marie to look at after the event though, she just loves these roads😀

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Boat Day

A boat day today. Took a tour of the bay, guided by the daughter of our new friends. They’ve been coming here for years and bring their boat with them so they know the place like the back of their hand. It’s  great to have some local knowledge and I can really see why they keep coming back. And to think that we ended up on the Peloponnese by accident really! And we then ended up on this campsite by accident, well falling the ACSI camping card app anyway. It’s  a great app, just about every campsite we’ve stayed on has been great. Sea  was absolutely flat calm, just how Marie likes it. Visited the French, Russian and English islands/memorials.
No point trying to fish, the bay is fished out. Maybe I’ll get lucky before we head for home.
There is some sort of time distortion phenomenon going on here. We figured yesterday that we’ve been here for over a week. Completely unplanned and its  just sort of snuck up on us. But hey who cares!? We’ll probably move on on Friday. Towards the 3rd trident of the peninsula, missing out the middle one. Only due to the fact that we know time is running out in the context of the good weather. Which Btw is around 25C, with pretty much zero wind or cloud today. Its  tough, but someone’s got to support the local tourist industry.
Talking of which, we called into a coffee/cake shop yesterday morning and sat outside were the usual suspects. Blokes drinking coffee and watching the world go by. One of them hears us speaking English and starts a conversation, greeting us and telling us that Greece needs some our money. He then goes on to say how they are going to chuck the Germans out, how they are “pissing” all over the Greek people. That was a little awkward. The family we are with speak perfect English with virtually no accent, but they’re German. Doh.
Anyway, I figure I could become one of the old codgers quite easily. I have a worrying affinity to sitting at roadside taverna/bars watching cars, trucks and bikes go by😀
So if I can actually get some decent Internet today this will be pretty much up to date. In fact I need to sort that so I can do some Internet banking. You just can’t escape reality, Marie’s card has been scammed while we’ve been away. That’s  bad enough but Ellie can’t do any online grocery shopping so she’ll starve unless I sort it. Well probably not.
So remember part of the White Van Plan was based on a phrase that I came up with? Well I  think  I  came up with it but who cares I like it and it pretty  much sums up where we and I’m sure loads of others in the UK end up by mistake.  So to repeat “the more sh*t you have, the more sh*t you have” so we’d been busy de you know whating our lives. Selling cars, multiple trips to the dump and charity shop’s. But it seems we still need some of it  ah well, must keep trying and maybe I need to re read “The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving  a F**k” it’s on amazon. Try it. Its  an amusing read but does contain some pearls of wisdom.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Navarino Castle

Today I was press ganged into walking up to the / which overlooks Navarino bay. OK I know I’ve spent the last 8 weeks doing nothing much apart from drinking and eating too much but that’s  ratcheted up significantly over the past few days. Including a 9hr session at the local bar a couple of days ago but jeez I struggled. On the way up the wine from the previous days nearly made its way back up as well.
But whoa, was it worth it. Views from the top were simply stunning, well see the photos. Unfortunately, yet again as we’ve found around here, it was over run with tourists. There must have been 4, maybe even 6 of them. Maybe the warning signs keep them away😀

I'm sure the beach you can see must rank in the top 10 in the world on some league table, it really is as beautiful as it looks. Shallow,  warm and crystal clear. You can drive to it rather than the 15km walk😥

Still Navarino Beach But A Little Road Trip

So today we went to Methoni, a small village with a very big castle. It morphed into a fort in the 17th century due to the advent of artillery. After that another small trip along the coast to Founkunta for a great lunch,  oh and some bag shopping. I didn’t know we needed another bag, but hey what do I know. Apart from the fact that we’ll need a bigger van at this rate.

Before we set off we went to the local butcher, I’m not kidding it was like being back on  the Llyn peninsula, well apart from the old codgers sat in there drinking coffee. It looked like they were there for the day, so maybe it won’t only be coffee on the menu. Loads of really good quality meat for next to nothing. Including 2 big chunks of what looks like fillet steak for 3euro. I don’t think it was but it was pretty good on the bbq later.

We share the bbq with the family next door to us on the campsite, loads of food and cheap but ridiculously good wine (ok not local, they bought it in France by the 10 litre bag). Maybe everything  tastes good when the sun is shining. We’ll not maybe, it does. Even larger.

Friday, 21 October 2016


Nothing much happening today, the weathers a bit rubbish. As is the Internet,  I'll try and post a couple of photos of the bay next to us though. It's pretty much a perfect horse shoe shape.

Gialova, Peloponnese

So more or less upto date now, maybe the posts won't be retrospective now.

We're parked up at Camping Navarino:

We will probably stay here until the weather forces us home, we like it that much. There's loads to see within driving distance, probably going to Mystras tomorrow, but who knows a more pressing engagement with the beach or the local (cheap) bar may call😀

The view from our bedroom


We're really happy that we came here, as I said we're making this up as we go along so it's even luckier that we've stumbled on a campsite called Navarino. To get the spot we have in peak time you need to book 18months in advance. You can see why. It took us 4 or 5 days to get here and we stopped off at some great places. Including what looked like a small harbour on the map where we free camped on the harbour, pretty much right next to the Queen Elizabeth, weird.

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We love it here, never having been before. Best of all Ellie has flown out to join us. We've booked a villa for 12 days so a bit of luxury.

Italy to Corfu

First thing we do when we arrive, a full English. Um it's good, call us heathens but I don't care.
A Swiss guy and his wife parked up next to us in another sprinter 4x4. He was a goldmine of information on mainland Greece and Albania. He's also convinced us that we should head for the Peloponnese. Good call as it turns out.

Loads more of Corfu, but the Internet won't deal with the photo uploads. We'll my attention span won't. I'll post some more later.

South East Italy Vieste

We've crossed from the west to East coast in preparation for the ferry from Bari.

Staying near a place called Vieste. We like it here, stunning coast line, campsite right on a beautiful beach. Vieste has a really good vibe about it, plus we dropped lucky and it's market day. So we've stocked up on fresh fruit and veg. Plus chillies and various dried herbs.
Even though I say so myself we eat way better when we cook than in the majority of restaurants in Italy. It's  no exception here, even though we did have a pretty good lunch on the harbour.

We'll stay here for 4 days until the 29th September when we get the ferry to Corfu. Its tough:-)