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.