Tuesday, 31 May 2016

An end to the handbrake saga?

Tuesday 31st May

We are parked up now on the Blue Dolphin Campsite a few miles around the bay from Corinth (37.93556 22.86605). The campsite is a little tired but we are just a few feet from the shingle beach and it's only a short walk into Lecheo. We were talking last night to Peter, the owner, and he like other campsite owners we've met here on Greece confirmed that he was seeing less and less customers and they were spending less and less money in the restaurant and bar. He acknowledged that the site needs some money spending on it but he's not too optimistic for the future. We asked how his wife's dress shop was going which she opened in Corinth a couple of years ago and he said she had closed it a few months after H&M opened a store nearby at a new shopping mall and she couldn't compete with their prices. We were a bit embarrassed as we had visited H&M yesterday where Phil bought a few bits and pieces! Mind, we eat in the restaurant every other day so we're trying to help in our small way.

Having visited four garages over the last two weeks to try and get my handbrake repaired I asked Peter yesterday if he could recommend a garage which he duly did; a garage specialising in brakes no less. I won't bore you with the details but yesterday we visited a total of six (6!) garages, one of them twice. It would have been seven but we couldn't find that one. At the end of the day the problem had been diagnosed but the various garages either didn't have ramps that would lift the van, or if they did the ceiling was too low and in one case they were just plain disinterested. I returned to the campsite and the Dutch guy in his van next to us mentioned the garage he had been to that day for some repairs to his van. He offered to show me where it was and off we went again only to arrive and find the workshop closed for the day! But the guy on reception told me to phone in the morning to make an appointment with the service manager. This I did but was confronted with a series of options, in Greek, aargh! I found Peter gave him the phone and after he spoke to the service guy he presented me with two options - make an appointment for 8.00am tomorrow or go now and wait for anything up to two hours before they could have a look at the van. Well, we had nothing else to do so off we went. We waited an hour in the luxurious Alf Romeo showroom ( the receptionist made us coffee) and then there was some action and two hours later, and €100 lighter, we were on our way. And that, we hope, is the end of the handbrake saga. Halfway through the day yesterday the guy at the Renault garage said we needed a new piston/calliper (?) for the rear o/s wheel (or n/s if you are in Greece). He said a new one was €300, he'd just bought a reconditioned one for somebody else for €150 but the guy didn't have any more. At the garage today the mechanics took off the offending part, stripped it down, cleaned and greased it and it's now working perfectly.

By the time we left the garage we were starving so we called at a shop on the way back and bought these beauties. I've no idea what breed of fish they are, sea bream possibly, but they were delicious.




Friday, 27 May 2016

Mechanics and (Greek) tapas.

Thursday 26th May.

What a great lifestyle we are enjoying at the moment. When I say we're lucky to be doing what we're doing and visiting some of the most beautiful places on earth Phil corrects me and says, no - we're not lucky, we've worked for this. We are fortunate but we're not "lucky". However you call it - lucky, fortunate, blessed, whatever, it certainly works for us.

We're parked up this evening on the harbour side at Ermioni (37.38818 23.24774) and we've just watched the light change from a brilliant blue, sunny sky through dusk to darkness. The sea is like glass with barely a ripple and the lights from the shops and tavernas reflect their blues, greens and orange across the water. We live in a space barely eighteen feet by eight feet and yet we never feel cramped. Contained within this relatively tiny space is everything we need or, for that matter, want. We have a house back in England full of "things" we have accumulated over the years and I don't think either of us miss any of them. The only thing we do miss is friends and family but with the various forms of communicating these days barely a week or so goes by when we don't talk with or have video chats with our family and we'll be home in a month or so to give them all a hug.

We stopped here last year on a Wednesday night and we were woken the following morning at about 5.30 to all manner of banging and clattering. When we looked outside we discovered we had parked in the middle of the area used for the weekly market! We made a note of this and today arrived in the afternoon as the last of the stalls were being broken down so we should be ok for a good nights sleep tonight, until the kids arrive for the school and kindergarten opposite tomorrow morning. We met some other motorhomers recently who said they didn't care for Ermioni because it was a bit too touristy. We don't see it like that. It only has one or two souvenir shops and they double up selling other bits and pieces to the locals and the tavernas have less menus in English than we've found elsewhere. What they do have here are two quays, one for the high speed hydrofoils that ferry passengers between the islands of Hydra, Spetses, Poros and as far as Athens, and another where small freighters load and offload a bewildering array of goods.



Looks like nobody wanted these so I guess they'll be going to tomorrow's market somewhere:


Friday 27th May.

We left Ermioni this morning and as we drove a mile out of town Phil spotted a garage with a sign outside proclaiming that they spoke Dutch and English. A quick u turn and I went back where the owner greeted me with a cheery hello. I explained the handbrake problem and told him someone had already looked at it in Areopoli and their verdict. He listened patiently to me and then asked if I spoke German! Unfortunately nein so he shouted to his wife on the balcony and gestured that I should explain my problem to her. I shouted up, she shouted down, a couple of mechanics came out to join in and after much nodding and head shaking it was explained that he couldn't help because he needed to get under the van and my van wouldn't fit in the workshop. But, he had a friend on the other side of town who could help and one of his mechanics would drive there and I should follow him. This I did and we followed the guy back to Ermioni and out the other side with the Sat Navs pleading with me to "Make a u turn when possible". We arrived at garage number 2 which did have a high entrance and an inspection pit, unfortunately there was a concrete beam running above the pit about six feet above the ground. Mechanic number 1 slaps his forehead, scratches his ear and then asks me to follow him again. Mechanic number 1, now with mechanic number 2 on board, drives up the road for half a mile or so to another garage where they have an inspection pit with nothing above it but clear blue sky. Over it I drive and mechanic number two descends with a torch and a few minutes later asks for a screwdriver. Five minutes later he climbs out and says the rear brake pads are shot because I must have driven at some time with the handbrake on. I need new rear pads and the handbrake cable adjusting. Hmmm, can he do the work? No, because he doesn't have the brake pads. Can he order them? Well, not really but if I want to drive to Argos for them and bring them back he would do the job. So I now have two different explanations for my useless handbrake. Tomorrow we are going to Corinth so I will ask our friend Peter on the campsite there if he knows a mechanic.

After the morning's excitement we set off for Galatas where we are now parked up looking across the bay to the island of Poros (37.49514 23.45489). We like Galatas because the old rough and ready tavernas here serve a snack, meatball, cheese, half an egg, a tomato or some other delicacy, when you order a drink. So we did a little taverna crawl which meant we didn't have to cook lunch but we did need a siesta to sleep off the beer and ouzo! Poros is only a few hundred metres opposite where we are parked and the waterfront is now lit up with all the bars and tavernas. We could take the ferry over, with or without the van but we expect that there won't be much there to entertain us and the prices will reflect the fact that it is a tourist island. If anyone from Poros is reading this and I'm doing your home an injustice, I apologise.

Panoramic view of Poros:

After our little siesta today I went outside for a stretch and....... yes, that is a man up a mast!

So, tomorrow we set off to the Blue Dolphin campsite just outside Corinth. If we're lucky we'll get a pitch right on the beach and we'll stay for a few days. You never know, I might find a mechanic and get a third opinion on the handbrake.



Wednesday, 25 May 2016


Tuesday 24th May.

When we stopped here (37.56831 22.80113) at Nafplion on the harbour side two years ago there were loads of folk fishing off the quayside. Last year they had erected about a half mile of steel fencing but left a small gate about halfway along so there were still quite a few folk fishing, we saw one guy pull out a tuna that must have weighed at least 6 or 7 lbs. This year they have closed the small gate and replaced it with a large gate at one corner complete with security guard; no one is fishing including me. We thought we saw the yacht with the folk from Amble moored up, we met them at Geraka port and again at Plaka, so thought we would walk along and have a chat and the security guard kindly opened the gate for us. It turned out it was another English couple who were waiting for the wind to drop before they set sail, it has been windy here today but apparently it's blowing a force 7 gale outside the harbour. Not knowing much about sailing I asked if that was a big problem for them, they didn't go into detail, just nodded their heads.

Another scenic drive today up the coast road from Plaka with the Argolikos Sea on our right. The trade off with scenic routes is the journey time, it took us an hour and a half to travel 43 miles today. We stopped at this pretty little harbour two years ago and today stopped for coffee on the headland above:

Yesterday we called at the mini market at Plaka again for a few bits and pieces and Margaret's son served us. After we paid he told us to wait a moment because he had a gift for us - another dozen oranges, two lemons, five courgettes and a half dozen apricots! The generosity of the Greek folk we meet is beyond words.

The car park here is enormous and there are always a dozen or so coaches parked up and plenty of room for motorhomes but as we arrived today we noticed that an adjacent car park was absolutely full with about 50 plus motorhomes. We thought that maybe there was now a designated area for us but parked up in our 'usual' spot and then went over to investigate. There were vans parked up from just about every European country and looked like they had been there for a few days, some were displaying a piece of paper with their names and a number on and they all had stickers from the International Federation Motorhome Clubs, an organisation I'd never heard of. We surmised that it was some kind of rally and as there were about three or four UK vans we thought we might ask the occupants for some info. But, strangely, there wasn't a soul to be seen anywhere, it was like a Motorhome graveyard. We went back to our van for some lunch and shortly afterwards the mystery was explained. Four coaches turned up and disgorged their passengers who then proceeded to return to their vans! Now, we're on a harbour here and there's a cruise ship in and some of the passengers have returned during the day on coaches from day trips to wherever. That makes sense, obviously, because you can't take a cruise ship to, say, Mycenae but I fail to see the point in having a house on wheels, parking it up and then visiting places by coach! Maybe I'm missing something here. There's a small toilet block here which has always been locked when we've been here before but today it looked open with a somewhat fierce looking lady guarding it. After the hundred plus motorhomers returned to their vans they all started bringing their cassettes over to empty them and something resembling an orderly queue formed. Then we noticed that some folk were filling water containers but using the same hose as they were using to flush their cassettes!!! NO!! NO!! and NO!! again. If that's what the International Federation Motorhome Clubs get up to I'm not joining!

We like Nafplion, it has a lot of history having been occupied by the Romans,Venetians (twice) and the Ottomans. There are some impressive defensive structures high above the town which, to our shame, we've never visited as it entails a climb of some 800 plus steps and it's always been scorching hot when we've been here. It also has an impressive old town boasting "The Oldest Restaurant in Greece" which we can maybe take with a pinch of oregano. If only they'd put a gap in that fence so I could do a bit of fishing eh?

The old town:

Nice bike:

Here's the cruise ship leaving at 10pm tonight:


Wednesday 25th May.

Today was the third time in the last few weeks that we've driven to a "new" destination in Greece only to exclaim as we arrived "We've been here before!" We visited Kilada last year but only stopped for a look around and a coffee. This time we are parked up on the harbour (37.417423 23.12650) looking across the bay to the mouth of the cave at Frachti which we also visited last year.

We're assuming we are welcome also:

We left Nafplion this morning and took a twenty minute drive down the coast to visit Tolo which looks like it could be very busy in the summer, plenty of small hotels and apartments to rent but today it was pretty quiet. The main excitement came as folk drove up the main street to be confronted by red and white barrier tape stretched across the road as there was a JCB digging a hole a little further along. We sat down for coffee with the old men and watched the show. A car would approach, the old men would shout something and the driver would then get out, untie the tape, drive along and then stop and go back and tie the tape back up again. Eventually somebody left the tape blowing in the wind and life returned to normal. There wasn't too much else to entertain us at Tolo so we set off on the back roads through stunning scenery again climbing nearly 500 metres into pine forests and then as we descended we looked down on a plain of patchwork fields. Not the usual olive groves or orchards but wheat or corn or barley.

Kilada is a working port with larger than usual fishing boats and some very expensive looking yachts. There's also a couple of enormous boatyards on the edge of the village with vessels of all shapes and sizes being repaired or renovated and plenty of yachts which look like they are in storage. We think the bay here must be visited by Dolphins because there are lots of images of them around the village and the street lights have just come on and they are all in the shape of Dolphins too.

The sign above the football stadium:

We've seen no signs of actual Dolphins yet though, maybe it's the wrong time of year?

When we arrived here last year we had almost run out of water but thought we wouldn't have too much trouble as there's nearly always water at harbours. We discovered that all the water taps required a credit card payment which wasn't too appealing so I asked the baker where I could find some water. Greek hospitality was demonstrated once again when he gave me the keys to his outside water tap and told me to help myself. This time after we parked up I idly turned the tap on one of the machines requiring a credit card and lo and behold, water gushed out. We filled the tank quick as a flash and the two water containers we have so we could top up again in the morning. So thank you to whoever left a drop of water for us on their credit card!

I haven't posted a photo of a sunset for a while so here you go:



Sunday, 22 May 2016

Greeks bearing gifts

Sunday 22nd May.

We've been on the campsite here at Plaka for a few days now and had some mixed weather, everything from brilliant warm sunshine to thunderstorms and high winds. On Friday night we had heavy rain which dumped even more (North African?) sand on the van giving it a kind of desert camouflage effect. No question it now needed a clean so I borrowed some ladders and Phil and I set to. We now have a solar panel on the roof rather than an orange slab and we can see out of the windscreen and windows. Whilst up on the ladders I noticed that a sealing strip which runs along the length of the van had come loose, it's a rubber or pvc strip which had gone brittle over the years. I managed to relocate it where it should be but I think a more permanent solution will have to be found when we get home. When we had nearly finished restoring the van to its former glory Kristos from the site walked by and told us it was going to rain again that night - grrrr. It did rain but not enough to camouflage the van again fortunately and the forecast is mainly dry and sunny for the next week.

The day after we arrived here Paniotos, one of the two cousins who own the site, came up and carefully placed eight, still warm, eggs on our table "A little gift, enjoy". Shortly after we walked into the village and noticed a new mini market (there was only one last year) and we popped in to buy some milk. "Welcome, all our fruit and veg is biological, My name is Margaret, what is yours?" We told Margaret our names. "Wait here please I have a little gift to welcome you, it's nothing much but enjoy." Whereupon Margaret gave us a bag containing a dozen oranges, two lemons and a cucumber (or courgette?). "All biological". We bought a super little low-tech orange/lemon squeezer from the mini market next door (Margaret didn't have one) for a couple of euros and our morning orange juice can't get any fresher. The eggs, hard boiled and scrambled were delicious too.

Easy peasey, orange squeezey!:

It's too easy just to stop here and do nothing but I'm still aware that I need to try and get the handbrake repaired so on Tuesday we'll set off for Nafplion where I might find a garage and a day or so after that we'll be in Corinth and maybe I'll have some luck there.

We're still undecided as to whether we'll visit the ancient site of Mycenae or not. The general consensus is that it really needs two days to see everything and it's pretty much up and down hills. Whilst Phil's ribs are healing and they're much improved we're still not sure if it might not be a bit too much, we'll see. Mycenae isn't going anywhere and I'm sure we'll be back in Greece again.

Meanwhile it's nearly lunch time and we're going to treat ourselves in one of the harbour side tavernas. We had a meal there last year and it was one of the best we've had in Greece so we're looking forward to it.

The beach here looking a bit "moody":


A little later................... Mmmmm, delicious lunch, everything fresh and tasty - Fried zucchini & cheese balls, boiled spinach, mousaka, veal in tomato sauce with aubergine; a cheeky ouzo, a coffee, a jug of wine, complementary preserved quince - £25!

The Taverna:

The harbour:

Pretty house:



Thursday, 19 May 2016

The tracks of my tears.

Tuesday 17th May

We arrived at Gefyra this morning and parked up on the harbour (36.68627 23.03942) to await the arrival of our friends Margaret and Mick. Phil took the opportunity to have her hair cut and went to the same hairdresser that she went to a year ago. Then they gave her a kind of Cilla Black haircut and we were dreading a repeat but a different lass made a much better job of it this time and Phil had no complaints. We got a text from Margaret saying they would be delayed so we had lunch at one of the harbour side tavernas while we waited for them. Eventually they arrived after a long, long drive and after a couple of "catch up" beers we left them to enjoy a siesta. In the evening after a walk around the bay we found a restaurant that looked promising as it was full of Greek folk. It developed that they weren't all there for the food but to watch the Greek Cup Final between Olympiakos and AEK (1-2 as you ask). Bizarrely the game was played behind closed doors due to what can best be described as poor behaviour by some fans in the semi finals and there were only 300 invited guests at the stadium which led to an eerie atmosphere during the game. From the silence which greeted the AEK goals it was apparent who most of the guys in the restaurant were supporting. I asked a group of young lads why there were no supporters in the stadium and one of them explained the situation to me, he said that after Olympiakos he supported Liverpool and who did I support. I told him and he commented ruefully on the fact that we had beaten them 0-3 in the Champions League this season. " Things could be worse though" he said "I could be a Spurs supporter". Top lad.

View from our restaurant in Gefyra:



Wednesday 18th May.

We bade Margaret and Mick farewell this morning. They are heading south for the beaches on the island of Elafonisos whilst we were heading north. We had a last walk around Gefyra, bought some bread and set off for Kyparissi. The road hugs the coast for a while before climbing up and offering dramatic views over the Myrtoo sea. A few miles after setting off we saw a great looking spot to stop for coffee and pulled off the road - into sand!! Within seconds the front wheels were axle deep. I emptied the boot and dug out the sand mats I had just for this purpose; dug out behind the wheels, put the mats down selected reverse and - out came the mats and the wheels sunk further. Whilst we were calmly surveying the situation a car drew up and a guy gets out, shakes his head and remarks that we are in trouble. A somewhat unnecessary comment I thought but the guy had a "can do" attitude and was soon gathering large stones to put under the wheels to give some traction. After a bit more digging and a few more stones I selected reverse gear again but the van wouldn't move. More stones, more digging - same result. "You need someone to tow you out" said my new best friend Taz. He phoned the local BP garage but they had no idea, he phoned the police and they reminded him that the hotel a half mile away had a "bulldozer". Taz jumps in his car, drives off and comes back a few minutes later and tells me the guys with the machine can pull me out but they want €20. No problem, so Taz speeds off again to tell them, wishes us the best of luck and gives me a card for his taverna in Geraka. Five minutes later we hear a rumbling and a JCB comes round the corner with a couple of guys on board. I explained I had no towing point on the rear and they said they would tow me out in a big circle from the front but "It's going to be rough!" In fact they had me out in a couple of minutes without any drama. Apparently they do this about a dozen times a year when mugs like me mistake sand for gravel.

The tracks of my tears:

We repacked the van and set off again and after a few miles started seeing hand painted signs on the rocks advertising Taz's taverna "To Remetzo". We followed them and arrived at Geraka Port - the windless harbour, a unique fjord in Greece. As we entered the village it dawned on us that we came here last year but didn't stop as the weather was not too good and there is little to do here. But the scenery is stunning and as we drove along the harbour squeezing between the whitewashed buildings and the taverna's table and chairs we found Taz. We parked up on the end of the harbour, (36.78563 23.08677) walked back to the taverna where we were greeted like old friends by Taz and his few customers as though we were now part of the exclusive "stuck in the sand" club.

Well, of course we couldn't just stop for a beer, we had to have lunch and what delicious food it was. Taz's taverna was apparently featured in one of Rick Stein's programmes a while ago. Phil had fried "little fish" and I had grilled Dorado. Both were fresh and cooked to perfection. There were a group of English folk lunching there together with a Swiss and a Greek guy so the wine and conversation flowed. Three hours later and we were ready for a siesta but not before we had a conversation with a guy from Amble who had just arrived in his sailing yacht. He invited us for a cup of tea but we declined saying we would see him on board later.

To Remetzo:


Thursday 19th May.

Yesterday at Geraka Port somebody told us that we must visit the beach at Vychlada (36.85862 23.03832) a few miles further up the coast so after breakfast and a tidy up we set off. We had planned to stop at Kyparissi tonight and it was on our way. After the village of Richea we didn't see another soul as we drove up into the mountains looking down into a long twisting gorge before descending via a series of hairpins to the beach. It was stunning scenery all the way:

Our descent to the beach:

The beach:

This was, by far, the remotest beach we had been to, there's nothing there apart from a beach cafe which is open in the summer. One single track road strewn with rocks on one side and crumbling away on the other takes you down from 400 metres to sea level over about 4 kilometres. Not the kind of place you find by accident and we were glad of the recommendation to seek it out. Back to Richea and we squeezed through the village with inches to spare on either side of the van and then on to a decent bit of Tarmac. We climbed up gradually to over 900 metres and slowed down to let these guys cross the road:

We drove through some stunning scenery again as the olive trees firstly gave way to small vineyards and then cypress and fir trees. Onwards and upwards we drove to 950 metres and then........... no more tarmac! The "road" turned into single track dirt and gravel and swept down quite steeply with another succession of hairpins. We commented that this was just like a road we had driven last year although on that occasion we were travelling uphill. Finally we entered a small village and we realised that we had taken the road last year. Things look different when you travel anti-clockwise! Before we dropped down again to the coast we drove through a site of special scientific interest, although we're not quite sure why because there's a lack of information signs but at the highest point there is a small lay by with a water supply:

Now, they could have put any old tap on the wall but no, they put this one on, best tap of the trip:

We had decided to give Kyparissi a miss and push on to Plaka and Camping Semeli where we have stopped for the last two years (37.14961 22.89208). We were amongst the first visitors when the two cousins here opened the site in 2014 and they remembered us and gave us a warm welcome. It's a beautiful site amongst olive and lime trees and bougainvillea and oleander bushes. Twenty metres from the beach and a five minute walk to a tiny harbour with a few tavernas, it really is idyllic.

Over the last few years we have some great journeys but today's was one of the best. If ever you're in this part of the world we can highly recommend the back roads from Geraka Port to Plaka.



Monday, 16 May 2016


Monday 16th May

Over the last few years we've stopped at some fantastic locations. Beautiful campsites, sandy beaches, harbours; up in the mountains and down in the valleys. We've also stopped at a few places that haven't been so good; grotty dirty campsites, noisy car parks and a couple of places where we haven't felt too safe. But on the whole most of the places are memorable for all the right reasons. But occasionally, like today, we've stopped somewhere which is just, well, boring really. This evening we are parked up in Elia on a tiny car park looking down on the harbour (36.75147 22.80011) and there's nothing wrong with Elia per se it's just that pretty much everywhere is closed. There are maybe a dozen bars and tavernas and a mini market, a couple of small hotels and a lot of holiday apartments circling the bay. It's too early in the season for holiday makers so just about everything is shut up.

Last night we exchanged a flurry of emails with Margaret and Mick who we met in Spain over the winter and who said they would also be in Greece about this time. In fact they've been on Corfu for a few weeks visiting relatives and were arriving on the mainland today and to cut a long story short we arranged to meet up tomorrow at Gefyra, the town by the causeway to Monemvasia. So we kind of had a day to kill. We left the campsite near Gythio this morning and headed first for a large supermarket at Skala to stock up on essentials (beer mostly) and then had a look at the map to decide where to stop tonight. We couldn't really find anywhere and so decided to drop back to the coast and follow the road until somewhere promising emerged. We drove through miles and miles of orange groves, through a couple of small market towns and came to a taverna next to a shingle beach which looked promising.

We stopped for a beer but decided it was just that bit too quiet to stay the night. Last year we stopped at Tigania beach, just down the road but felt obliged to buy a meal there at the taverna in exchange for the owner allowing us to ignore the 'no camping' signs on his beach. But we didn't want a meal today as we had bought a load of food in the supermarket! So we drove into Elia, it looked OK, we couldn't be bothered to drive any further so here we'll stay. Don't feel too sorry for us.




Sunday, 15 May 2016

Kotronas and Mavrovouni

Sunday 15th May.(St Totteringham's Day)

Our daily driving is hardly exerting, our last four journeys have been 18,6,10 and today another 18 miles from Kotronas to a campsite just outside Mavrovouni. We've been in Greece since the 23rd April and whilst we spent nearly a fortnight at Finikounda we've still only travelled 358 miles and that includes one journey of 106 miles. So, hardly the kind of mileage we do in other southern Mediterranean countries and coupled with very little traffic makes for a stress free day.

We've spent the last couple of days at Kotronas, parked up on the harbour (36.61880 22.49418) looking out at Kolokithia Bay with mountains behind and to the side of us, stunning:



We met Kev and Liz this morning at Kotronas, I'd seen their Motorhome parked next to the beach at Finikounda and Kev recognised mine from the distinctive painted mirrors. They're on an extended tour of Europe and into week 10, you can read about their adventures here: tge-thegreatescape.blogspot.co.uk

We swopped places to stop and tales of places we'd been to, commented about the lack of UK motorhomes in Greece and they recommended that, as we needed a campsite, (domestic chores needed doing) we should try where we are now at Camping Meltemi (36.73105 22.55311) which is pretty enough, set in a massive olive grove leading down to a sandy beach. The parking pitches are all named after Greek Gods:

The olive trees are all in perfect straight lines so we suspect the Romans planted them. We've washed everything that needed washing, emptied everything that needed emptying and filled up everything else and it only remains to charge up everything that needs 240v over the next 18 hours so maybe tomorrow we'll push on toward Gefyra, a small town with a causeway leading to the fortified town of Monemvasia. We also need a supermarket as we're running low on food and, more worryingly, beer!

I have to be conscious of where we park from now on. The mechanic in Areopolo had a look at my handbrake a few days ago and said he couldn't fix it, I need a new handbrake assembly! He phoned the Renault dealer in Sparta and he didn't have one. At one stage he said that maybe the "panel beater" could repair it but the "pb" had a look and declined the challenge so now I need level parking. We live on a hill back in the UK so it really needs to be fixed before we get home - I'm guessing France is the answer.

Final day in the premiership today. Oh Tottenham!! - a 5-1 hiding by 10 men, relegated Newcastle. Can't use emojis on the blog but if I could, well you know that 'crying with laughter one'? And a Giroud hat trick, you couldn't make it up.