Thursday 30th April. Agiokampos 39.68074 22.88747.
One of the things we hoped to do on this trip was meet up with Bernd and Annie from Germany. We'd exchanged comments on the Wild Camping forum, www.wildcamping.co.uk, and had a few few email chats over the last year or so. Bernd and Annie have travelled extensively through Greece and we've followed their adventures and stopped last year in a few places they'd recommended. They've been in Greece for a couple of months now and are heading slowly back to "the Northland", we're still heading south and we had arranged to meet them here in Agiokampos. We arrived here today early afternoon after setting off from Litochoro, driving along the coast road and parked up in the harbour. It was a beautiful sunny day and a couple of guys were fishing off the quayside, I didn't need much encouragement and soon joined them in what turned out to be another "no fish for supper" day but then Bernd arrived walking his dog and after the introductions we moved the van next to his a couple of hundred metres down the road, parked the chairs on the beach and settled down for a beer and a chat.
Well, what a lovely couple they are, full of local knowledge and a love of Greece and Greek people. They also had a bottle of 32 year old Tsipouro which was a vast improvement on the "tourist" bottle I bought last year which was really only suitable for cleaning the van's engine. The local campsite opens tomorrow on the 1st May and they know the owners well so we're heading off there tomorrow where we can spend a day or two relaxing and picking Bernd's brains before we head off further south.
Friday 1st May Aegeas Camping, Agiokampos. 39.70678 22.86875.
We set off for the campsite this morning and Bernd warned us not to expect luxury, this was a "Greek" campsite. Ok, the site could do with a bit of a tidy up and a lick of paint (two young lads with chain saws and a lawnmower would have this sorted in a week) and we've stayed on sites with better facilities but we've never stayed on a site with such generous and hospitable owners. We had only been here an hour when we were invited to share a bar-b-q with the owners and their family. We joined them and enjoyed a delicious meal, wine and conversation. More food than we could handle, just enough wine and plenty of laughs. Lovely, lovely people.
Today is a public holiday here in Greece and yesterday and this morning all the beachfront bars and tavernas were getting ready for the visitors. Furniture was being washed, glasses polished, plenty of sweeping and as I cycled to the bakers for fresh bread nearly everybody greeted me with a cheerful Kalimera!! We've just been down to the beach and it's really busy down there with folk enjoying the holiday and some gorgeous weather. When we came through here last year it was grey and miserable and didn't look like a place we would come to again but the transformation today was incredible. So we'll stop and relax here for a few days.
Monday 4th May Zampetas (again).
A week ago we called at Zampetas to see if they could fix the leak we had in the kitchen area. Sure enough, they replaced the leaking tap and sink waste and for the last week they have been as dry as a bone. But..... we still had water on the floor in the same place so yesterday I just about tore the van apart trying to find the source and discovered that the waste outlet in the shower was broken. Unfortunately it was something I couldn't repair, aargh. So, back to Zampetas. We were heading south to the Pelleponese and the Mani but we've turned around and headed back north again. When we arrived Alexander had a look, said he could fit a new waste outlet but it would need the whole shower room taking out, at least one full day's work and due to the number of jobs he had already nothing could be done for a week. Then, after further investigation it turns out he doesn't have a fitting the same as mine and it's going to take fifteen days to get one!!! We begged, we pleaded and phone calls were made. All fingers are crossed and we're waiting for responses from suppliers. Meanwhile he's glued the old fitting in place but it's only a (very) temporary repair. The best scenario is that we can have the work done next Monday and I don't even want to think about option two.
But hey, shit happens and there's not much we can do about it. We've got to get things fixed so it just means we'll set off to a part of Greece we haven't been to before, Thrace. Not a touristy area so we'll be like explorers and southern Greece will still be there for us even if we get there a week or two later than planned. No good getting stressed and worried eh? We'll stop the night here just outside Thessalonika and then set off exploring Thrace tomorrow.