Sunday, 22 May 2016

The Eleventh Week

Sunday 15-5-16

Last night we ate at the Taverna whose carpark we were stopping at overlooking the bay. 

 It felt like we were in France, every other table had French people sat at them.  Two tables had French boaty people off yachts in the harbour and two others had French people from the two other vans in the carpark.  The taverna wasn’t doing badly off its little carpark.  The food was good if not a little sea orientated, we had squid, octopus, mussels and chips.

 In the morning we left and headed north.  We stopped and looked back on the southernmost tip of Greece and the little harbour that we’d stopped at last night. 

The coast this side was very rocky and devoid of beaches for us to stop at.  Although we did have to stop for goats.

 But at a town called Kotronas we found a small sandy beach and a jetty to park on.  Another English couple had also found it, they’d been there two days, Pat and Phil whose blog is Travels in a Motorhome.  We had a long chat with them and got a lot of info about other places we were going, I think they said they’d toured Greece three times before.  They left to go to Camping Meltemi on our recommendation.  

We walked up the hill through the town, I can’t think of anywhere quite as sleepy as a small Greek town on a Sunday afternoon.  It was a nice place and deserved our company for two days. We had coffees at the taverna looking over the beach and our van on the jetty.

 A Belgium van turned up and the couple in it walked their dogs on the jetty, five large greyhounds and a Jack Russell.  We dared not think what the inside of their van was like with that lot in it.  But everyone to their own.  Also the lure of a pizza restaurant called ΠΑΡΑΛΙΑ ΚΑΦΕ – ΠΙΤΣΑΡΙΑ got to us, we checked the menu and decided that tonight’s dinner was cheesy and flat.

Van Brian, never far out of sight..
After our dinner, which was very good and made better by chatting to the young chap who owned the place, we retired to the van.  On the way back we spoke to the dog owning Belgian’s.  They go to Spain and rescue them, they’re a Spanish breed of hunting Greyhound called a Galgo.  He said they get killed or abandoned at two or three years old when they can’t be used for hare coursing or hunting anymore.

Wild Camping, Kotronas Harbour, Greece. N36.61849 E022.49431

Monday 16-5-16

The first job of the day was to load up the slow cooker with whatever we had in the fridge, this turned out to be some stewing steak, an aubergine, a tomato and an onion.  This I topped up with red wine and some tomato puree.  I call it Pot Luck Stew.  The solar panel can cook it via the 240 volt inverter as its sunny enough today.  We waved the Belgian’s and their rescued dogs off and then walked up through the town and down a road signposted to the beach.  This we gave up on after walking a long way with no sign of a beach but we did find a small shop to get fresh bread and a church for very small people. 

 On the harbour two fishing boats came back from fetching their nets in and four vans came down to buy their catch.  In five minutes it was all sold and then the vans shot off.  We presumed to sell the fish to the fish tavernas that are in every town around here.  In the afternoon we sat in the taverna and I indulged my new addiction, iced coffee.  

A French van turned up later and we spoke to them, as usual maps came out and we compared places.  I showed him how to put gps coordinates in his Garmin sat nav and he gave Liz some Diclofenac spray for her back.  That night we heard a sound outside and went out to find two lads with a torch and a kids fishing net.  They showed us a large crayfish and said tonight was good for catching them due to the bright moon.

Wild Camping, Kotronas Harbour, Greece. N36.61849 E022.49431

Tuesday 17-5-16

It was our 70th day away today.  It seems to be going far too quickly.  We walked up to the mini-market and got bread, beer and wine for two days and then left the harbour.  I’d enjoyed Kotronas, a great little place with friendly people.

Seven miles up the road we turned off onto a very small road that ended up at a beach.  We liked it so pitched up next to a big bamboo that gave us some shade.

At the far end of the beach were two other vans facing each other with awnings out and tables a chairs set up, it looked like they’d been there a while.  Our fridge seemed to be struggling today maybe because of the eight warm cans of beer and a big bottle of wine we’d just dumped in it.  It was also a hot day, so for the first time this trip I put the fans on that draw air through the cooling grills at the back of it. I hid in the shade of the bamboo and Liz sunbathed and went snorkelling.  We decided to stay for two nights.

Wild Camping, Kamares Beach, Greece.  N36.67980 E022.52204

Wednesday 18-5-16

After a great night’s sleep, the temperature was just right and there was no noise from dogs or traffic, we continued where we left off yesterday.  Sunbathing and reading.

Just before lunch we walked the mile to the end of the beach where it looked from a distance that there was a taverna. This turned out to be a small hotel with a couple of parasols stuck on the beach.  So no iced coffee, I was getting withdrawal symptoms. 

Back at the van a chap pulled up in a pick-up truck selling veggies and fruit.  And that was our only contact with the outside world today.  One other thing happened that seemed odd.  A car stopped on the road behind the beach and an old lady got out of the back seat and came round the driver’s door talked to the driver and looked at the road.  She then got back in the back of the car and they drove off.  I went to look at the road where they stopped and there was a dead snake.  Was she the family snake expert or just very nosey?  It bothered me. I think I need something better to occupy my mind than dead snakes on the road.

Wild Camping, Kamares Beach, Greece.  N36.67980 E022.52204
Thursday 19-5-16, Friday 20-5-16 and Saturday 21-5-16

The cupboards were bare. No veggies, meat, bottled water, beer or wine.  A big shop was first order of the day.  We left the beach and headed for the biggest town around here, Gytheio.  A nice port and best of all a nice supermarket.  We blew 120 euros on provisions, which sounds more adventurous than groceries.  We also learnt something, they take a deposit on the beer bottles.  I must have thrown 30 euros worth of the buggers in the bin since we’ve been in Greece.  I was distraught.  But then realised I’d found myself some paid employment while traveling, the more beer I drink the more money I’ll make on bottle returns, it’s a win win situation.  
Then it was back to Camping Meltemi, the site we left a week ago.  We checked in but our mail from the UK hadn’t arrived yet, so now we just play the waiting game.  Our Austrian friend we met last time was still here, Herman.  We had a chat and he was very happy that Liz’s back was better.
On Friday we had excitement on site, the mini-market opened up.  

Not great news you’d think but it also has a little cafe which sells iced coffee so I can get my daily fix.  Also as we were walking back to the van the campsite lady brought us over our mail from the UK.  It took exactly a week to arrive from being posted, not bad. 

I spent a happy hour watching a Dutchman try to get a satellite TV signal while parked under the sun canopies they have here to shade the vans.  In the end he gave up and just left his van sticking out into the road.  Then to add to my satellite viewing pleasure a little van arrived and a Greek chappy climbed on a Frenchman’s roof.  He took the satellite dish to bits, messed with it for half an hour then gave up and drove off leaving old Frenchie satelliteless.  I’m glad we haven’t got one of the things, they seem a lot of bother.  Then in the afternoon we had to play indoors as it rained.  I took the time to update the Big Google Map with descriptions and photos of all our overnight stops. 

The rain was gone on Saturday.  But a wind had got up and the waves were bigger than we’ve seen before. 

The surfers got the surf kit out and did that thing they do.  The thing where they lay on the board pointing out to sea and paddling with their arms but not really going anywhere, letting the wave roll in under themselves.  Still it looks like fun but I’m sure I’ve seen films of people actually standing on the boards pointing back towards the beach.  I slung some meat and veggies in the slow cooker for dinner.  We (Liz) had a good clean up session on the van, a week on beaches had took its toll.  The bathroom got a good bleaching and the bedding got washed. 

I didn’t go as far as to clean the outside of the van though, I like the dirty weathered look.  The Taverna was open on the site as well now but we preferred to have a Saturday night in with the second season of The Wire on the laptop and a beer.

Camping Meltimi, Maurovouni, Greece.  N36.72928 E022.55327

Cheers, the Van Brian Crew.

Below are the updated facts and figures for 75 days away.


  1. Ha Ha, everyone should have pictures of goats and calamari on their Greek blog. Happy travels,
    Pat & Phil

    1. Cheers, hope alls going well with you both too :)

  2. Well that must have brought your average mileage down :-) Still dead jealous, but I won't tell Jaq about the snake !

  3. Seen another dead one in the road today. Why did the snake cross the road?


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