Tuesday 26th May. Zaraka Beach 36.97511 22.99082
We are parked up this afternoon on the beach just below the town of Kyparissi. We left Plaka this morning and drove into Lakonia over the Parnonas mountains, a truly spectacular journey. Unfortunately I took the wrong turning just after the village of Peleta and after a couple of miles the tarmac road finished! We carried on, uphill, through a track with deep ruts strewn with rocks and boulders. First gear all the way and plenty of heart stopping moments but we made it back onto the tarmac road - phew! We only drove thirty seven miles today but it took us two and a half hours. We had to slow down/stop a couple of times when we encountered herds of goats and then as we passed the village of Charakas we were driving through the clouds. We thought they would break up as we dropped down again to the coast but it's been overcast for the last couple of hours and now we have thunder and lightning out to sea and the occasional fat raindrop falling on the van (which I spent three hours washing a couple of days ago!).
The village here is beautiful with a lot of old buildings although there is only one very narrow road in. We only met a couple of vehicles on the way down and we managed to get here without incident but I'm not looking forward to the drive out tomorrow. At the moment we have the place to ourselves but from the number of small hotels and guest houses I would imagine that it's very busy in the summer months. We managed to find the only open taverna and enjoyed a lovely meal of fresh fish and boiled mountain greens (much more delicious than they sound) and now I'm waiting for the weather to ease off so I can go and attempt to catch a fish for supper off the rocks at the end of the beach.
Update on the fishing. No fish caught but I got caught on the rocks during a thunderstorm, great fun!
I mentioned a few posts ago about a luxury resort we drove through a few days ago. Here's a link to the website, check out the prices!!
Here's a lovely photo of Phil at the taverna in Plaka.
Wednesday 27th May. Gefyra 36.686395 23.03937.
Tonight we are parked up on the harbour at Gefyra looking across past the causeway to Monemvasia. We stopped here last year and walked across the causeway to the tiny ancient town in blistering heat. Today it has been much cooler with strong winds although it's still warm enough. Last night's storms continued until about 2am and were spectacular. Like a firework show but brighter and louder. We lay on the bed with the blinds open looking across the sea to the headlands being lit up followed by the crack of thunder and big raindrops splatting on the roof. Good entertainment but I'd washed the van a couple of days ago and now it's covered with a film of sand, aargh!
The drive here today was as scenic as ever with wild mountain flowers of blue, yellow and purple set against a background of greens of all shades. After a coffee stop amongst wild thyme we drove to the only fjord in Greece - Geraka Port. Looking on the map it looked like we might find a mini-market and a cash machine, both of which we were desperate for, but no luck. The port is unusual and very pretty so we wandered around for a while and then pushed on to where we are now. We stocked up the wallet and the fridge and I thought I might do a little fishing but it's been windy all day and the sea is crashing against the harbour wall, drenching anyone who gets within three metres.
Fishing plans abandoned we've had a tasty meal, we're ready for a shower and bed and tomorrow we're off to Neapoli.