From Sterea Ellada to Peloponnese
After three days in Vonitsa we started to move again, and instead of the road to the west, we drove 42nd east to Loutraki and then south on 5th/E55 to Aitoliko while it was raining now and then. Aitoliko is a fishing village, located on an island in the enormous lagoon north-west of Mesolongion. There are two road connections to the island, a western and an eastern, on very long bridges in the lagoon. The lagoons are the richest waters in Greece as far as fish are concerned. Of economic importance is even the saltworks located to the east next to the old GR-5 (Agrinion - Mesolonghi).
From Google Earth, Aitoliko looked interesting but the reality proved one of the most boring towns we have seen in Greece so far and the only place in Greece so far, where a pack of five free dogs was going to attack on Bonnie from behind. “Stupid dogs! You’re picking the wrong dog and master!” Bonnie growled and I growled and yelled angry at them and waved my clenched fists. They had enough concept to back up and turn around for that dangerous man! The villagers in the square thought it was funny, when they saw my eyes, they looked away. We left this inhospitable “hole” and continued to Mesolongion where we got a good parking with free Wifi , at the harbour captain's building. We were there two days, to allow the worst lightning and rain storm pull over us.
A very nice and picturesque town with approx. 35.000 inhabitants. The city has an important historical past in the Greek struggle for freedom. All heroes are on statues in a beautiful park, even the wealthy English poet Lord Byron, who tried to lead and finance the rebellion, but died of fever three months after his arrival. A short career to become a hero in Greek history!!!
He is regarded as a big hero in the Greek struggle for freedom against the Turks. His heart was buried under his monument here in Mesolongion. His body was sent back to England without the heart. We visited this beautiful park to the memory of all the Greek heroes. The advantage of the bad weather is that we can soak up some historical culture.
Since the weather looks like to become better again, we decide to leave Sterea Ellada and drive over the beautiful Rio-Antirrio Bridge (costs € 13.20) to the Peloponnese.
We are usually free parked, almost always with access to water and beach shower, wherever we please to stop, but after another night at the Golden Beach, Loutra Kastrou Killini, the laundry basket is now overflowing and winter open campsites are rare. We find a nice campsite in Glifa, Aginara Camping, at the beach, for 12 € / day. Now, cleaning and laundry begins. The first "working day" on the campsite is very hot, resulting in two times bathing in the sea which is still 23 dgr.C. and laying in the sun on the beach. It feels like a good place to rest before continuing our exploration of the Peloponnese.
Just as I've always liked best, when sailing, to be in the natural harbour, rather than in a marina, so, I like to be free parked in nature with the camper. I can accept camperparks but dislike most campsites.
Bonnie likes campsites better, pretty soon she goes in to defend her new territory, our little camping lot. Woe to those who get too close!!!
Stina loves campsites! She enjoys the simple and secure existence that camping life offers.
Although I do not like to spend time on campsites, I realize some benefits: washing machines, showers with hard, hot rays and if I’m really lucky, a swimming pool.
Now that we have been for two days on Aginara Camping, I must admit that I like this campsite. No unnecessary luxury, the necessary facilities work well, the campsite is lush and green with some sunny places (we have one of them) and great many flowers even though we now are almost in the middle of November. The owner is sweet, friendly, straightforward and speaks good English and German. She offers fresh eggs from her own chicken farm. "Check in" she thought was unnecessary (hence the low price?) And she goes around at the camp several times a day to talk to the guests, mostly Germans, Austrians and Swiss. She has "an eye" on what’s happening and cares for her plants and flowers masterfully. Wifi is available throughout the area and works admirably well with the help of five different open network amplifiers. The campsite is situated on a pleasant, slightly hilly, beach and has a delightful little beach bar right next to our plot.
Do you hear my enthusiasm? That's not like me, when it comes to camping! Well, lo and behold! Here, we shall stay for an entire week at Camping Aginara!
Yesterday we’d spend most of the day on the beach with sunbathing, swimming and snorkling. The evening and the night was unusually warm and dark clouds loomed in the west. At night came Zeus and threw down some very big thunderbombs so the ground was shaking, and put the camper rocking. I had forgotten the support legs after we were out shopping in "town". Bonnie threw herself around my neck, she tends to be a little too close when there is danger. She's not as tough while thunder goes on, as she is when she must defend her "territory".
When the silly god was ready with his funny game, it started RAINING. It felt like the motorhome had become a submarine. Instead of cranking up the periscope I put on the snorkel-goggles and rolled in the awning, which was braced with straps but who dares to trust in them, when diving under water? The wind increased simultaneously and would soon become a storm. I got a little flashback from the old days at sea and came to realize that life with a camper is so much less complicated, you go to bed again and go back to sleep.
In the morning, the wind has decreased somewhat, the sea is roaring and the sun did not manage to get through the "greybeard". It continues like this, most parts of the day, with alternating a little wind, a little rain and a little thunder or all at once. The outdoor temperature is 20 dgr.C.
Otherwise it doesn’t happen so much when we are camping for a week. Many procedures, maintenance work, late nights, etc.
Camping life starts demoralizing, time for the next scene in our script.
The Olympic Games?