Saturday, 30 April 2016

The Eighth Week

Friday 22-4-16, Saturday 23-4-16 and Sunday 24-4-16

We made a rash decision after leaving the little harbour yesterday.  We saw a sign for a camping and turned off the road to it.  A very nice one it was too.  We had a pitch next to the beach under trees for shade. 

 When we spoke to the camping man he said he’d give us more discount if we stayed three days, so that wasn’t a hard decision.   The beach was in a bay, so one day we turned left and at the end of the beach found a small town called Gialova.

 It had a couple of normal shops but mainly catered for tourists with lots of bars and restaurants. All quite laid back in a surfer, driftwood, faded paint chic type way.  None tempted us in but they were nice to look at.  The camp site sold bread and veggies so we didn’t want for anything.  Another day we turned right and followed the beach to the other end of the bay.

 A lovely empty, sandy beach that had the feeling of a desert island.  We spoke to a French family on the campsite who’d flown to Greece with a tent and had hired a car.  A great way to do it.  I got my hammock out for its first ever hanging, and after a few trial runs got it sussed. 

 Liz spotted a spider in the Ladies one morning.  Turned out, after I consulted my iSpy book of Insects and Spiders, to be a Ladybird Spider and a bit rare.  They also bite.

 Another first of the trip was getting the gas BBQ out, the roast chicken, potatoes and green beans was a treat.

Camping Erodios, Gialova, Greece. N36.95213 E021.6957

Monday 25-4-16

We had a leisurely morning packing all our kit up, emptying grey waste and toilet cassettes and filling up with fresh water.  Back north, 5km up the road, we’d heard of a spectacular beach called Voidokilia.  Found this photo on the internet.  We drove down the road you can see at the top. 

 After a few dead ends and gravel roads we eventually found it.  It was nice and on a lovely bay with fresh water lagoons behind it.  We wandered on it for a bit but then left.

 It wasn’t a great place to overnight at, the only area to park was the other side of a dune with no view of the beach or sea.  Also a big pile of bags of beach rubbish sat in the middle of the parking.  It seemed a team had cleaned up the beach but their endeavours hadn’t been collected yet.  So we drove south, back past our campsite and in 10km dropped into the small port of Pylos.

 There was harbour parking at both ends of the town and we’d read that the right hand side one was ok for overnighting on. 

 A great spot really.  Not far from the shops and bars but quiet enough, the Greeks make every effort to park as close to where they're going as possible.  So the far end of any carpark is usually deserted. I got my rod out and fed some fish with my bait. 

 We then had a look around the town, very busy and lots of shops and bars.  A nice big square and a big war memorial in the middle.  We liked it here.  A fisherman came over and started bashing his octopus on the harbour wall.  For a good ten minutes he slammed it and then rubbed it about on the concrete.  I guess this is to tenderise it? In the evening we ventured back and had a drink in one of the bars, only the second drink in a bar during our eight weeks away. 

 The wind got up during the night and we laid in bed listening to the sea crashing on the harbour wall while the van rocked.

Wild Camping at Pylos Harbour, Greece. N 36.91633 E021.69776

Tuesday 26-4-16

We woke to find we were in a huge puddle which was getting huger as the sea crashed over the harbour onto the van.  All the other vehicles had moved back from the edge.  We had a think and decided to stay where we were.  I’m British, a bit of seawater doesn’t bother me.  After cheese on toast for breakfast we took a look at the boats moored up in the port.  Some very nice ones.

 And a few sadly at the end of their career.

It was full, we presumed they’d come into port due to the high winds and rough sea.  In the town we bought salad, bread and anti-histamines. My mozzi bites seem to be less itchy if I pop a tab every day or so.  We also decided to stop another night.  This was mainly due to picking up a take-away pizza menu while wandering around and deciding to treat ourselves for dinner.  The pizza was excellent and we even sat in the bar and had a drink while we waited for it, this going out lark was becoming a habit.

Wild Camping at Pylos Harbour, Greece. N 36.91633 E021.69776

Wednesday 27-4-16

During the night someone turned the sea off and we woke to silence.  The weather had quietened and it was calm again, unlike my guts which had had a nasty reaction to the melted cheese and spicy salami on last night’s pizzas.  The windows got opened and the van got aired during breakfast.  We climbed up the hill out of the town and drove 8km to the next town called Methoni.  I parked up next to the beach and nosed around the town.

 Liz got given free cake with our bread at the bakers, I’m a great fan of free cake.  The well-hidden supermarket was unearthed and pillaged for beer and milk.  And we did a touristy thing and looked at their old castle and wondered why they’d buried cannons in the harbour wall. 

It could have been a spot to overnight but during lunch, cold leftover pizza, we decided it could get a bit noisy at night.  It was the only parking area in the town and there were a lot of bars and tavernas close by.  So we moved on, not far, just as far as Foinikounta Beach.  It was a good choice to move, parked right on the edge of the beach with nobody else there.

 During the afternoon a few people turned up to walk on the beach but that evening we were left to ourselves.  I managed to find my emergency Gin rations, I’d given up on finding them, but then remembered putting the four miniature bottles in the box we store our card games and dominos in.  With a slice of lemon off of a tree and some full fat Schweppes tonic I made a perfect G&T.  Bliss.  I’d also had a craving for a big sloppy potato omelette, so that evening I took a night off cooking and Liz did her thing with the eggs.  It was our 50th night away.

Wild camping on Foinikounta Beach, Greece. N36.80131 E021.78315

Thursday 28-4-16

I woke early and went outside to watch the sun rising over the hills.

 We hadn’t heard a thing all night apart from the waves lapping on the beach, we decided this place was in our top 5 best stops so far.  Another night here seemed like a good idea.  It was also decided that a walk down the beach to the town of Foinikounta for beer and tea bags would be a good idea.   It looked a lot closer than it was.

 The town was nice, we found our beer and tea bags, and in actual fact we found a box of real PG Tips.  We’d been suffering the dishwater that Twinning’s English Breakfast tea produces for weeks.  We spotted a GB motorhome parked on a campsite next to the town, the first we’d seen in Greece.  Perhaps it’s the lure of PG Tips? Back at the van after our 10km route march I cracked a beer and then struggled to stay awake for lunch while Liz decontaminated the ablutions with bleach and lemony disinfectant. The iSpy book of the seashore got consulted and Liz identified some of the beach plants, Three Horned Stock and Sea Holly, we weren’t sure what the daffodil leaved thing was though. 

After lunch one half of the crew sunned on the beach while the other half snoozed on the bed.  Its Easter weekend in Greece, Good Friday tomorrow.  We want to see the candle lit processions so we picked a campsite near a town 20km away, Koroni, and that’s where we’ll head for tomorrow.  We should get decent Wi-Fi to upload this blog post too.

Wild camping on Foinikounta Beach, Greece. N36.80131 E021.78315

Friday 29-4-16

We took one last look at our beach then headed for civilisation again.

Two supermarkets, the first had everything we wanted but absolutely no meat.  The Orthodox Greek Catholics fast on the week before Easter, no meat, dairy or fish, oddly Octopus, shellfish and Lobster are allowed.  But the second supermarket seemed to cater for us Non-orthodox English Atheists and had a full butchers department.  We blew the budget on a whole chicken, 6 euros, so whole it still had its neck attached.   Then we found a campsite in Koroni.  With our ASCI discount card a pitch with electric was 17 euro a night.  Plus it had a swimming pool, taverna, and access to the beach, free wifi and they were roasting two whole lambs at the taverna on Sunday for Easter.  All the kit came out, tables, chairs and the BBQ. 

I took the legs off of our chicken and roasted the body with some potatoes and red peppers then made a gravy with the stuff in the bottom of the pan.  The crew declared it a hit.  After dinner we spruced ourselves up to go into town for the Easter procession.  This really meant me putting my old brown Docs on, a pair of crumpled combat pants and a grubby shirt.  But it’s the thought that counts.  We sat outside a bar opposite the church having a drink with two Germans who live here, nice people. 

Then when the crucifix, choir, brass band, statue of Christ and lots of people holding candles came out we followed them up the hill. 

Up the hill led to a castle and a church, fireworks got set off and they all filed into the other church.  It seem Jesus died today and tomorrow they do the same but because he rises again. Great entertainment.  We left them all in the church and wandered back through the castle walls and into town.

Camping Koroni, Greece. N36.95058 E021.95058

Saturday 30-4-16

A pair of Jays are building a nest in the tree above our van, every time one puts a stick in it another stick falls out to our feet.  It’s a quiet morning at Camp Van Brian.  We didn’t get to bed till half one after the festivities.  There’s a load of my smalls in the washing machine and I’m sat in the sun writing about this week’s goings on.  The chicken legs are in the slow cooker hopefully turning themselves into a Coq au Van Brian type thing.  

We’ve got chicken sandwiches for lunch, it’s a bird that just keeps on giving.  Thinking we’ll leave here on Monday and find ourselves another beach to stop at.  Apart from that our plans don’t go much further. As a side note, we've been looking for a bit of property to buy while we're here in Greece. Think we've hit it lucky. This one bedroom detached we've found today comes with a patio and garden furniture. Will be approaching the owners tomorrow with a firm offer. Fingers crossed....

Camping Koroni, Greece. N36.95058 E021.95058

Cheers and happy Greek Easter, The Van Brian Crew.

Below are the updated facts and figures for 53 days away.


  1. Another great week you've both had. Thanks again for sharing :)

    1. Thanks Julie, glad you enjoyed reading it.

  2. Loving your blog .. your slow cooker, are you running that off an inverter while you are motoring? .. love that idea! what power does it pull?
    Thanks for all the tips, ill be there too .. in 3 months


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