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:
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: