Saturday, 11 June 2016

The Fourteenth Week

Saturday 4-6-16

We left Camping Nicolas on Saturday morning along with the French couple we’d got to know.  They headed south and we headed north.  At the top of the hill out of the town we stopped and grabbed a photo. 

It was a nice place and we’d enjoyed the campsite there.  We didn’t plan on driving far today.  The first place we looked to stop at was in a very small town only 10 km down the road. But it was Saturday and all the locals were down on the beach so it wouldn’t do for an overnight stop.  But there was a small supermarket, so we got bread and tomatoes for lunch.  Another 20km on, at the end of a dead end road, was a harbour town called Korfos.  It had a quiet beach and a gravel road alongside it.  Perfect, we found some shade and parked up.

Over the course of the day three more vans turned up and blagged spots under the trees.  We walked along the beach into the harbour and had a failed attempt at getting a coffee in one of the harbour side cafes.  We sat for fifteen minutes but nobody was around to serve us.  So we gave up and saved ourselves €5. 

We had our lunch back at the van looking out to sea then we sunbathed, read and snoozed.

Wild camping at Korfos Beach, Greece.  N37.75807 E023.12073

Sunday 5-6-16

I got up very early and sat outside the van with a nice breeze and the sun coming up over the hill.

We decided to stay a second night here.  And at lunch another van turned up, a Spanish registered one.  The first one from Spain we’d seen.  So the row of vans parked went German, French, British, German, and Spanish.  At the far end were two French hippy busses and a Greek couple had plonked a tent on the beach in between us all.  A sudden influx considering it was just us here yesterday lunchtime.  Still time for a Dutch van to appear.

Wild camping at Korfos Beach, Greece.  N37.75807 E023.12073

Monday 6-6-16

No Dutch van but more Germans arrived this morning.  But it was time for us to leave.  As per usual we looked back at our camping spot from the hill as we drove out of town. The little group of trees on the bit sticking out to sea in the middle is where we'd been.

We headed north to Corinth.  The roads got busier and we counted 22 tourist coaches in a row heading south.  We found ourselves a Lidl just outside Corinth and also a shop selling camping stuff.  Here the kit on Van Brian got the addition of two small folding stools.  Handy to sit on, put your feet on when sat in the big chairs and use as little tables.  A bargain at €16 for the pair.  We also found The Blue Dolphin campsite and bagged ourselves a spot next to the sea.

The campsite lady said they’d got a group of 25 vans coming tomorrow.  I shuddered at the thought of trolling around with so many other vans.  We also decided we didn’t want to be there to witness this invasion so paid for the one night only.  What they did have on site was a small taverna, who after we asked, said they’d do us chips to take away if we brought them our bowl.  I fired up the BBQ, stuffed a chicken in it with some French beans and red peppers.  The result, an excellent evening meal.

After dinner we had sunset entertainment over the Ionian Sea.

Camping Blue Dolphin, Corinth, Greece. N37.93557 E022.86616

Tuesday 7-6-16, Wednesday 8-6-16 and Thursday 9-6-16

So before the massed hoards descended on us we packed up, dumped our waste and left.  They’re building a motorway from Corinth to Patras and so far they’ve managed to get two lanes done.  So we did 50 km over nice new tarmac with lots of road building action on both sides to keep us entertained.  Breakfast was a treat, a posh bakery had small warm quiche Lorraine, like they sell in French bakeries.  I’d offer you a photo of one if I had one but they got eaten far too quickly for a camera shutter to capture.  No spots for free camping made themselves known so we found the Camping Akrata and for the second day running bagged a spot looking out to sea. 

Manilos, the campsite man was very nice and said I could borrow a ladder to get on the van roof to sort out a stray solar panel wire that was flapping about. A casualty of one of the numerous olive trees we’d squeezed by.  He also said they did a Greek dish for €6 every day in the small taverna on site. We ordered ice coffee and decided to have two days here, blow the expense, it was time for a mini holiday.

A Dutchman and then later a German told us there might be thunderstorms tomorrow.  As we were heading into the mountains next it was probably wise to stay at the coast and see what happened.
Well we heard thunder and it got a bit blowy but there was no rain storm.  Last night’s temperature dropped to the low twenties and we both got a great night’s sleep.  I borrowed a ladder off Manilos and did the jobs on the roof.  The solar panel got all the sand and dust cleaned off it and the cables to it got secured back to the roof.  Zip ties and gaffer tape proving their worth yet again.   Then we did more or less the same as yesterday.  Coffee at the taverna and snoozes and sunbathing.  It’s a nice campsite as its small and all the vans park around a tree filled square in front of the taverna, nicer than the rows and rows of vans like most campsites here.  And we did like the taverna.

I had a very difficult conversation with a big old German chap, he spoke Greek but very little English.  He explained that he was 80 years old and when he was at school Hitler wouldn’t let them learn English.  I said that that was very unfair of Hitler but then realised that this possibly wasn’t the worse thing he ever did.  One of those posh overlanding 4x4 campers turned up and parked next to the Dutch people, next door to us.  They parked so their door was facing the poor Dutchman’s.  It’s one of those unwritten rules that you don’t do this, respecting other people’s privacy and all that.

Today’s special in the taverna was rice meatballs and beefsteak.  So after a few aperitifs we decided to dine out. For €30 we got Greek Salad, Tzatziki, two huge chargrilled steaks with chips, a litre of wine and a couple of cinnamon liqueurs, a speciality of Patras.

 And then two nights turned into three, we were having a good time here.  In the morning the sun would rise over the sea in front of the van and I’d boil up a strong coffee to wake me up.

And then we’d spend the rest of the day just pottering about.  On the last night we ate at the taverna again and the bill came to €25, we got served the best aubergine salad we’d ever had.   We even got the company of a praying mantis. 

That day I’d asked Toola, the campsite lady, if they sold Greek flag stickers.  I wanted one for the van but I’d not seen any in the shops.  She said nobody had asked for them so no, they didn’t.  After our meal she came over with a Greek flag sticker.  She’d been to town and got a man to print a sheet of them.  She wouldn’t take any money for it and said she’d give them to people if they ever asked again.

Camping Akrata Beach, Greece.  N38.17392 E022.33797

Friday 10-6-16

We packed up in the morning and paid Manolis, he said people had seen us getting ready to leave and kept asking him if they could move to our pitch.  We bought a couple of plastic bottles of the local wine from him and found some English books in reception.  Liz left some of the ones she’d read and took ones that took her fancy.  We headed south into the mountains.  There’s a place high up called Kalavrita that a small rack and pinion train goes to, it seemed popular with people who visit this area so we decided to go and have a look.. 

We got there and it was ok but nothing special.  I think the train ride is the only reason people come, and we didn't fancy that.  But what there also was in this area was a ski resort.  Out of season ski resorts tend to be nice quiet places for an overnight stop.  And after another 15km climbing up the mountain we found this to be true.  It was deserted apart from us, two dogs and a goat herder with his herd.  And they left over the hill after an hour.

The temperature was 16 degrees due to us being at 1700m and then in the late afternoon we had a shower of rain.  It was like Scotland.  The skylight above our bed leaked and I spent an hour taking it to bits and resealing it.   After dinner we got a sunset to go with our mountain views.

Wild Camping at Kalavrita Ski Resort, Greece. N38.00589 E022.19878

Saturday 11-6-16

We slept with the duvet on the bed for the first time since Italy.  When we woke on Saturday morning the two dogs were still outside our van.  Before we left we fed them on a tin of Spam, half a chorizo sausage, some left over beef stew and what was left of last night’s sweet and sour chicken.  They seemed extremely happy with all this.  It was our last day in the Peloponnese.  Today’s plan was to cross back over the bridge at Patras and then go east along the north shore of the Ionian Sea.  We did this after 70km of mountain roads and the temperature steadily rising. At the Lidl in Patras it was 32 degrees.  Then we paid the €13.30 to cross the lovely bridge.

A few miles around the coast we found a beach at Chiliadou.  It was busy with locals but they would be gone later and we’d have it to ourselves.  So that’s another week done and it’s been an odd one, lots of campsites and a trip to the mountains.  Wonder where we’ll go next week and where we’ll stop on our 100th day away?

Wild Camping at Chiliadou Beach, Greece. N38.39419 E021.92100

Cheers, the Van Brian Crew.

Below are the updated facts and figures for 95 days away.....


  1. aaahhh...the end of the Peloponnese adventure. SO glad you had a good time. There's lots more left for another trip though! Safe travels.

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  3. Hey Kev, that 'posh overlanding 4x4 camper' looks like a Maltec 70 series Land Cruiser. A great piece of kit.
    Good to see you guys still enjoying the freedom.

  4. Love your blog, keep enjoying, we enjoy reading. Look forward to next week. Just a small trip for us next week exploring Dorset, a couple of Britstops and a site planned. Not quite your adventures though. Best wishes mark Jan

  5. Horses for courses but archeological sites shouldn't be merely trampled upon ! Love the ski resort idea, perhaps you should/could do a route of them ? Keep up the Stirling reporting.


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