Saturday 25th April Agios Pandelimonas 40.72347 21.75073.
We are parked up this afternoon opposite a bar/cafe next to Lake Vegoritida. We share the car park with mostly Albanian or possibly Macedonian cars, we're not too far from the Albanian border here, maybe just 40 miles or so and only 15 miles from Macedonia. This part of Greece is not the tourist Greece. A lot of the towns and villages feel like frontier towns, just a Main Street, maybe a cafe or taverna, a mini market and, of course, at least one church. It's farming country both livestock and arable and a lot of small vineyards. But the Greek hospitality is the same. When we arrived a lady was washing the floor in the bar but saw us and asked if we wanted anything "A couple of beers maybe?" - "Of course, please, sit outside and I'll bring them to you". We asked the usual question "Would it be ok if we parked here?" she spoke little English so we made the "sleeping" sign to her and pointed to the van. And, of course, we got the usual reply "Yes, of course, why not!"
So we sit here and watch the world go by and everybody gives us a toot on the horn or a wave. Not too many motorhomers stop here I suspect. Last night we stopped at a picnic spot next the river Alaikmonas close to the tiny village of Agapi 40.05295 21.55903. It looks like there was always a picnic area here but recently new stone paths have been built and water points installed. But nothing is completed; the paths suddenly stop, the stone tables and chairs have no tops or seats, big stone slabs await the wooden structures to finish them off. I guess this work is not a priority now and the money has run out for luxuries. But it was still a beautiful spot which we had to ourselves, the river water was crystal clear and flowing fast straight down from the mountains. I did a little fishing but...... no fish for supper. Earlier yesterday we left the Taverna in Kalpaki and as we were preparing to set off the lady from the Taverna went to feed the chickens. She came back and gave us three fresh eggs "For you, Bye-Bye, Thank you" I'm sure as we travel around Greece I will have more stories of Greek hospitality and generosity.
We drove up to the tiny hamlet of Vikos to visit the viewpoint for the Gorge, the world's deepest at 900metres and running for 12km. It was breathtakingly beautiful and when I have some decent WiFi I'll post a picture or two. From there we drove in a big loop around the Pindos mountain range, the highest peak is over 2600m high and that, and a few others still had plenty of snow on the tops.
Tomorrow we set off to get somewhere near to Thessalonika so I can take the van to Zampetas on Monday for a few repairs. I'm almost becoming a regular customer! We know of a place to stay near Koronia Lake which is maybe 45 minutes away from the repair centre but the beauty of motorhoming in Greece is that you don't need to do too much planning - there's always somewhere to stop where you will be made welcome.