Saturday, 25 June 2016

The Sixteenth Week

Sunday 19-6-16

Today was the exact midpoint of our trip, the day in the middle of our two Channel Tunnel crossing dates.  We’d had two days at the campsite on the island of Evia and it was time to see the rest of the place.  Unbeknown to us today would be a long one.  We left with a destination planned called Politico Beach.  This was 40 km away and when we found it at lunch it was obvious it wouldn’t do for an overnight stop.  It was a 1km long stretch of beach full of bars and cars parked either side of the road.  It took ten minutes to drive down it due to the traffic.  We fled inland and over the mountains.  Lots of mountains. When we did drop down to the coast we found a smaller beach, equally packed with people.  We found out why, it was the Sunday of the Greek Whitsun holiday.  It was also 35 degrees.  But on the way to this beach, 2km up the road we’d spotted a picnic spot with a water point.

It was in the shade, cooler and quiet.  After a long day it was ideal.  We relaxed with a beer and studied our map while we watched all the cars come off the beach head for home in the evening.  Then it was just us.

The dry riverbed next to the spot was full of frogs or toads.  They made a clucking sound like a chicken, which was odd.

Wild Camping Near Metochiou Beach, Evia, Greece. N38.64486 E023.95229

Monday 20-6-16

We woke up after a good nights sleep and decided to stop another.  We drove down to the beach early and got a parking space.  The plan was to spend the morning at the beach then head back to our shady spot to cool down in the heat of the afternoon.  First order of the day was coffee at the small beach bar.

We noticed tents on the beach that Greeks had spent the night in.  It reminded me of the photos of the migrants in tents on the Greek islands.  But these were locals.  After our morning at the seaside we drove back and had lunch at the picnic spot, slept the afternoon heat away and then had dinner. 

While we had lunch two blokes in a pick-up truck selling everything from plastic washing up bowls to potatoes turned up. They ate their lunch then got a pillow each out of the truck and laid down on the picnic bench for a siesta.  But not before cadging cigarettes off us and trying to sell us potatoes, successfully.   When we woke up they were packing away and off home after a hard day’s work.  That night we went to sleep listening to the clucking frogs.

Wild Camping Metochiou Beach, Evia, Greece. N38.64486 E023.95229

Tuesday 21-6-16

After two days at our picnic spot we decided to move on.  The road up from the beach was a seriously steep one but gave us a good look back down to the beach

We followed the coast via this mountain road, it had huge potholes and a serious lack of maintenance.  Just what we’d become used to here in Greece.  The hairpin bends and views were spectacular though.

By midday we hit the harbour town of Kymi.  It was fairly big and busy, we parked up and had a wander around.  This involved the inevitable coffee.

We hatched a plan.  We fancied a meal out tonight but not an afternoon sat in a hot harbour.  Around the bay was a beach.  We parked there for the afternoon and revelled in the cooling gusts of wind coming around the headland. 

Then at eight o’clock wandered back into town.  I found a quiet parking spot under a destitute catamaran and then we dined out.  While we sat eating I spotted the full moon low in the sky over the sea.  Using my professional photography skills I managed to capture its full glory.  It’s that fuzzy white blob under the palm tree.

Back at the port Van Brian was waiting for us with his shipmates.

Wild Camping at Kymi Harbour, Elvis, Greece. N38.62830 E024.12214

Wednesday 22-6-16

We woke up at the harbour after a surprisingly quiet night’s sleep, to say we were in the middle of the town.

There was another harbour further south marked on the map so we headed there.  We needed diesel and the first three stations we stopped at only took cash.  We only had enough cash for a meal and a coffee so we carried on till we found a credit card friendly one.  The young chap who filled us up also told us that the harbour we were heading to was a nice place.  And he was right.

We dumped the van behind an Italian one and had a walk about.  There was a small beach and a few bars and cafes.  But it was mainly fishing trawlers.  Big ones that we hadn’t seen in Greece before. We were also glad we’d come here in a van and not on a donkey.

It got to 35 degrees again in the afternoon and I resorted to beer as a coolant.  It didn’t cool me down but after a few I didn’t give a toss that I was hot anymore.  I also got to use my deck chair mounted beer holder.

That night the car park in the photo below filled up and people and children, they wandered around chatting and doing that Greek evening stroll thing they do until midnight, then the breeze dropped and it got hot in the van.  We both had a crap night’s kip.

Wild camping, Agioi Apostoloi Harbour, Elvia, Greece.  N38.41031 E024.19585

Thursday 23-6-16

After the noisy hot night we decided to move.  But first we needed cash, the satnav told us the nearest ATM was in Aliveri.  So we went there first and got ourselves all confused while trying to get back out again after getting some cash.  Some reversing and going down one way streets the wrong way sorted that out though.  Next we headed for another small harbour.  This one was a lot smaller and a lot quieter.

We spoke to the couple sat in the café, he was an Australian Greek and she was an Australian Italian.  He owned a company that made boat floats in Athens, had a house in this village and spent the summer here and the winter in Australia.  He showed us his product, it blows up under a boat and keeps it out of the water when not in use and also protects it from banging about while moored up.

We talked about today’s Brexit vote, Greeks, the language and the work ethic here.   He also told us of an unofficial camping area just around the bay on a beach, he said there were signs saying no camping but everyone just ignored them.  So we followed his directions and found it.

Along the beach there must have been thirty Greek caravans set up with awnings.  There were also a couple of motorhomes and a German 4x4 roof tent affair.  This seemed ideal so we found ourselves a spot under two Gum Trees, as the Ausie had called them.  I’m pretty sure they’re Eucalyptus Trees myself.

The night was quiet and a lot cooler.

Wild Camping at Panagia Beach, Evia, Greece. N38.28101 E024.15053

Friday 24-6-16

We decided to have another night at the unofficial beach camping.  I switched on 3G on my phone and found out the UK had voted to leave the EU and that the PM was stepping down.  It felt a long way away and not really of my concern.  I found a big ants nest next the van and they were dragging a big shiny green beetle into it, this interested me more.  At 10am a bread van came down the track and we got our daily half kilo of bread and a cheese pie.  Later I put my years of training in a top Paris salon as a ladies hairstylist to good use, and hacked at Lizzie's head with the clippers.

And all too soon it was Friday early doors time.  In an effort to cool down I’d sliced off the sleeves of an old tee shirt.  But on reflection I should probably have done this when I started sitting in the sun a few months ago to avoid the builders tan I’d acquired.

In the evening, when the sun had set, we boiled up some tortellini on the beach, it was all very relaxed.  Well at least I was after my early beers.

Wild Camping at Panagia Beach, Evia, Greece. N38.28101 E024.15053

Saturday 25-6-16

After six days wild camping and sixteen days since we’d last used a washing machine we needed a campsite with a laundry.  The only campsite was north at Eretria.  It was Saturday and we were worried it would be full of Athenians having a weekend away.  On the way we found a Lidl and refiled the fridge and cupboards.  And then we arrived at Milos Camping.  Yes they had a place for us, over by the sea, and yes they had washing machines, 3 euro a go, and yes they had Wi-Fi, all over the site, and yes they had a café that sold ice coffees, and yes they offered ACSI discount, 17 euro a night with electric hook-up.  And then the clincher, yes they had a TV and would be showing the Euro games.  I nearly wet myself.  I’d not seen one game yet and England play Iceland on Monday.  We’ll be stopping three days then.

I was also very impressed with the campsite man’s utility vehicle.  A Honda C50 with a trailer.  Brilliant.

So we’ve passed the halfway point of our odyssey.  We’re coping with the mid thirty degree heat and the budget is still holding up.  Thessaloniki and Halkidiki next and after that Eastern Europe, but that’s a month away yet.

Camping Milos, Eratria, Evia, Greece.  N38.39082 E023.77501

Cheers, the Van Brian Crew.

Below are the updated facts and figures for 109 days away.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I just found your blog via the Motorhome Adventures Facebook group, thanks for sharing! I'm a long way off affording my own camper van yet, but I can do my research in the meantime! ��

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Great blog really like your adventures Greece will be on my intenery


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