Monday 15th June. Zampetas at Thessalonika. 40.50269 22.97095
We spent the last couple of days driving here from Corinth so the Zampetas boys could repair the shower. Our first stop after Corinth was at Thermopylae 38.79707 22.53573 with the spirits of Leonidas and the three hundred looking over us, (plus those of several thousand Persians). Last night we stopped at Larissa opposite the new high tec police station 39.62007 22.40169 and to the list of noises that keep us awake at night ( trains, planes, automobiles, dogs, birds etc...) we can now add people screaming and shouting at the police when they are brought into the station! The car park is massive and it was blisteringly hot yesterday so we parked between a couple of HGVs trying to find a little shade. At 2am this morning one of the vehicles fired up and the driver ran the engine, about six feet from our heads, for ten minutes before finally driving off. The one on the other side was more considerate and didn't start his engine till 6am!!
In an effort to get here quickly from the Pelleponese we've used toll motorways over the last few days which we rarely do. Corinth to Thermopylae was the worst day, 178 miles of motorway, €44.60, ouch! But the journey on the old national roads would probably have taken twice as long and we did make a slight saving at one of the service stations where they had a "buy one coffee, get one free" deal, thus saving €2.30.
The drive from Thermopylae to Larissa was interesting. A short drive to Lamia and then up and over the low mountains before the plains of Thessaly spread before us. The descent took us down to wheat and corn fields for as far as we could see. The wheat was being harvested and the roads were busy, although it was a Sunday, with trucks taking the grain to the mills.
We arrived here early afternoon and Alexandros told us he would start the repairs on the shower tomorrow morning. However all our non-stop driving over the last four days proved to be in vain as he came to see me this evening and said that he had sold a caravan today and the client was insisting it was delivered, after air-con was fitted, tomorrow evening. So we've been knocked back a day. There's not much I can say, Alexandros is delighted to have sold a caravan during these austere times and I'm pleased for him but it means we have to hang around for another day. He thought I looked a little pale so suggested we drove to the beach at Peraia tomorrow where I could have a swim and get some sun and not waste the day in his car park! Reading the latest reports on the Greek financial crisis I think that might be a good idea, coupled with a visit to an ATM machine to top up with euros.