Friday, 22 April 2016

The Seventh Week

Saturday 16-4-16

Yesterday after uploading the weekly blog we decided to walk into town.  Bad idea.  5 km of busy main road with no pavement.  Full sun and a nice steep hill as you enter the town.  But I slept well that night.  In the morning we packed the van up and left the campsite about half eleven.  Had fun paying as the old boy left in charge on a Saturday morning couldn’t work the card machine and didn’t have any change.  But we muddled through.  A quick shop in a mini market and by twelve we were pitched up next to Kalogria Beach.  It’s a long sandy beach with dunes and we found a parking area at the end of a gravel track. 

Two German vans were already there plus two German Landrovers with roof tents were on the beach.  A bit naughty as lots of signs said not to take vehicles over the dunes as they’re a protected area due to endangered coastal habitat.  We walked along the beach and sunbathed. 

The Landrovers left but a bit later three off road bikes shot over the dunes.  The endangered bit is'nt getting much respect.  We had a lovely sunset and that was another day done.

Wild camping at Kalogria Beach, Greece.  N38.15218 E021.36876

Sunday 17-4-16

Today we met the Strawberry men from Moscow. The day started like a lot of Sunday mornings, not a lot going on.  We left the beach late and travelled 16 km down the coast to another beach.  The parking got busy in the afternoon with locals coming down to swim and sunbathe, and then two articulated lorries turned up, without their trailers. 

Four large, noisy men got out and went swimming.  When they came back one of them came over to us and gave us a punnet of strawberries.  He introduced himself as "Ruskie, Moscow, Putin". Then told us they were all Russian drivers taking the strawberries they grow here to Moscow.  The trip takes five days. The trailers were being loaded so they had an afternoon on the beach.  The beach emptied and then just as the sun was setting a fisherman turned up.  He had a wooden pallet with empty plastic bottles tied to it as floats.  On top of this he’d rigged a small sail.  This he floated it out to sea with a line baited with hundreds of hooks attached, these he carried down to the sea in a large bowl.

It also had a flashing red light on it so he could see where it was when it got dark.  Sadly we never got to see his catch as he was still fishing when we went to bed.  In the morning he was gone.

Wild camping at Megalo Pefko Beach, Greece.  N38.06118 E021.32795

Monday 18-4-16

We started the day filling up the water using the beach tap.  Another motorhome was parked up and I spoke to the Austrian in it. He was heading home, via the ferry from Patras.  I think I upset him when I said we didn’t need to be home till October.  We left and headed for a Lidl south of the beach.  Found it and replenished our meat and beer stocks. I also slipped a bottle of Ouzo in the trolley.  When in Rome, as they say.  Then we looked for LPG.  The Greeks call it Auto Gas.  We’d tried two stations and they’d got none even though they advertised it on the price signs.  Today we found it.  Also I found out the Greeks use the same filling adaptor that the French and Italians use.  We got three different adaptors given us when the tanks were installed, one for Spain, and one for Italy/France and one that just said other?  So we had a full water tank, gas bottles and fridge.  One of the overnight spots on our big map turned out to be a harbour, not a problem normally but a huge cruise ship had docked and it was full of buses and taxis.  The town was geared up for these ships, shops full of tat and those little tourist trains that snake around the place.  Also we’d noticed the last few towns had huge piles of rubbish bags piled up at the side of the roads.  This town being no different.  It wasn’t too pretty and smelled, we can only think the bin men are on strike.  We drove on south and gradually the piles of rubbish disappeared.  I saw a sign for a beach and we ended up in Agio Nikolaos at the side of their beach.

No piles of rubbish and Liz got the beach all to herself.  We got the big map out and made plans.

Unfortunately later that night the dogs in the local town had a big barking contest that seemed to have a lot of heats and semi-finals. The barking carried on into the small hours and again in the early morning.

Wild camping at Agio Nikalaos Beach, Greece. N37.47407 E021.62614

Tuesday 19-4-16

We were glad to get away from the barking marathon. We didn’t need anything, food, water, gas or drinks for the next few days so I wanted to find somewhere that we could stop a couple of nights at.  Just 17 km down the road we followed beach signs and found a nice sandy beach at the end of a small track.  South, running alongside the beach, was another track that ran through woods.  As ever, always wanting to find somewhere better, we drove down the track.  We spotted two other vans hidden away in the shade of the trees and alongside the track a couple of water taps. One had a bit of a yin-yang theme going on.

 This looked promising.  We found a hollow just off the track, with a few trees for shade.  This would do fine, in front of us a dune then the beach, behind us a pine forest.  And no barking dogs.


We had a walk around and then lazed the rest of the day.  A breeze kept the van cool in the 27 degree heat and we got the awning out for some shade.  I could see tomorrow being a very quiet day.

Wild camping at Elaia Beach, Greece. N37.36461 E021.68875

Wednesday 20-4-16

Not a lot to say about today.  “Sleepy Hollow” slowed me down to a snail’s pace.  The most exciting thing to happen all day was a tortoise wandering under our awning into the shade. 

Liz had a morning on the beach, saw nobody and I had a morning trying to read but nodding off every ten minutes.  If I slow down any more I’d be in a coma.  I filled in the spreadsheet that we use to keep track of costs, that didn’t take long, zero costs yesterday, zero costs today.  I filled the solar shower bag with water and lobbed it on the roof to heat up.


The hose dropped through the bathroom skylight and it gave enough hot water for us both to have a really hot shower.  The solar panel kept the batteries topped up so the only thing we were using was gas from our tanks to cool the fridge.  We’re off-grid.  Our evening was interrupted by a huge toad taking the same path under our awning as the tortoise.  It’s none stop here.

Wild camping at Elaia Beach, Greece. N37.36461 E021.68875

Thursday 21-4-16

We left our hollow this morning, stopping at the tap by the track to fill the tank.  An old Austrian chap came over to have a chat.  Within minutes maps were out.

 Liz showed off her big map of Greece, lots of details and places marked to stop at.  He’d been coming to Greece in his camper for twenty years, had no gps and a map that was the size of two bits of A4 paper.  He didn’t need anything else as he knew everywhere to go.  He asked us how old we thought he was, I guessed 75, and he told us he was 87.  Doing well it seemed.  We did a flying Lidl visit, just essentials, beer and bread. Then headed off looking for one of those kiosks that sell cigarettes in Greece. One was located, we double parked, and then on to another and double parked again, they don’t seem to like selling you more than a couple of packets at one time but no ones bothered about you double parking. 

Next was to find a place to stop tonight.  On the map we saw a beach shown a little further south so that’s where we headed.  It turned out to be a small beach, a tiny harbour and two tavernas, one open one shut.  Bingo, we’d cracked it again.

 After lunch a French retired couple turned up in a small VW T4 camper, like we had before Van Brian.  We chatted half in French (Liz) and half in English (Me) about where’d we’d been and where they’d been.  It seems the only people we talk to are old.  Anyway they gave a few tips, the border crossing to Bulgaria being a nightmare was one.  We may revise plans in July, a long time away yet though.  After lunch we said bye to the French, they needed a campsite as they had no toilet or shower in their van.  Liz found a bit of sand and I read my book (code for snoozed) on the bed.

 Later I got the Wi-Fi booster gizmo out and found some free Wi-Fi at the far taverna so emails got checked and online bank accounts got studied.

Wild Camping at Agia Kyriaki Harbour, Greece. N37.11807 E021.57538

Friday 22-4-16

We woke to a fine view out of our very dirty bedroom window.

As we’re in possession of some unsuspecting Tavernas Wi-Fi we decided to put up the blog post today.  After the Greek yoghurty breakfast thing I sat down to write this up.  The hardest bit is choosing the photos, I take a lot.  We try to limit it to two photos per day on each weeks post but sometimes there’s too may images that deserve sticking in it.  Looking at the facts and figures we get out of the spreadsheet it seems the mileage per day is going down, as we thought it would when we got to Greece.  The average daily cost is creeping down, again because of less mileage we think. We’ve stocked up on a lot of stuff as we’ve found it, so some big costs have gone on food and drink this week.  It’ll all level out in the end.  So that’s our seventh week away done, not sure where we’ll be tonight, hope you enjoy reading about where we’ve been so far.  Cheers, The Van Brian Crew.

Below are the updated facts and figures for 44 days away.


  1. Brilliant, keep up the good work.

  2. Lots of wild dogs in your neck of the woods, I guess they scavenge like foxes do, enjoying the reports.

  3. What make of wifi booster gizmo do you use ?? Great blog ...... Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks Isn. We use this, can't get over how far away it can pick up a wifi signal. It's done over a km away across a bay.

    2. Got one . Great piece of kit . You should be on commission 👍👍😀

  4. Love reading your blog even more so today from a very windy and cold North Highlands of Scotland .


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