From Glifa to Kato Samiko
We have been with our motorhome around the Mediterranean for five years now, Portugal, Italy, Sicily, Sardinia and Portugal again. Nowhere has it been so easy to park for the night on beaches or ports, as in Greece. Nowhere has it been tight together with many other campers, like in the south of Spain or at the Algarve in Portugal. Mostly we have been standing alone or with only a few other campers. Of course we are "off season", which makes it much easier to find a nice night parking but everyone we talked to is telling the same: it works almost as easy in the high season, provided that one does not avail an extreme camping behavior. Camping outside campsites are actually forbidden in Greece but the law is aimed more at camping gipsies than the motorhome tourists. Most campsites are closed now. The police tolerate motorhomes almost everywhere as long they’re not obstructing the traffic. Several times, we talked to the police, they were curious where we came from, how many we were and they were most interested about our well being. No sour comments, absolutely no reprimands / requests. We were free to park there as long as we wanted. They know so well that tourism brings money from outside Greece.
Should we sharpen it up a bit, we do experience Greece, as the freest motorhome country around the Mediterranean, within the EU! It's easy to find a beautiful place at any beach with access to water and beach shower. There are not many official "pitches" with all the necessary facilities, as in the rest of Europe, but many accepted (read tolerated) motorhome-parkings / -sites, usually with access to water. Emptying toilet wastewater, however, can become a problem sometimes, you may use open or closed cafés or public beach washrooms, sanitary sewer system. We have two toilet tanks so we're better off, with a little imagination, and if you ask around. The campers engine runs often enough to recharge the batteries as supplement to the solar panel, depending on sun availability which has, so far, been sufficient. On the Peloponnese there are estimated, about fifteen winter open campsites. That is more than enough for our 5%-term camping needs.
Greece is beautiful, this is the European cradle of culture, the waters are crystal clear and the beaches divine! Of course the medal has a backside! But that page is so boring to talk about! We take it an appropriate other time.
After four days of thunderstorm and heavy rain and the last three boring days, at the campsite, but with clean sheets and clothes, we continued to Katakolon. There were no cruising ships in the harbour so an otherwise very prosperous village was closed, totally death. Even the Ancient Technology Museum had closed. You can’t see it all!
Katakolon is a big arrival port for cruising ships, here are all passengers taken to Olympia by busses. No ship in the harbour? Then the village's very expensive and lyxurious shops, restaurants and cafés are closed! We spend the night in front of the coast guard boat.
The day after we travel to Olympia. Stina ran two times 200 m in the original Olympic Stadium. No, I will not reveal the time! Very impressive Olympia village, at least what is left of it! Olympia Museum was as impressive as beautiful! 2-3 thousand years old high-culture! In northern Europe at this time, they tried to turn around and got the stones to stand up, they walked around in bear skins! The two-day visit was well worth all the time and money. Enough with culture!
Time for beach boys and -girls! The sea is still 22,2 dgr. C, the air slightly cooler but the sun was shining in a clear blue sky again, bringing about 33 dgr. The gulf between Katakolon and Kyparissia, called Kyparissiakos Gulf, has so many beautiful places worth visiting, hundreds of bathing parkings with beach showers and lighting, we are somewhat spoiled. We inspect approx. five places a day and choose the prettiest or where we can stand closest to the beach shower.
Now I get euphoric again! What a motor home country! We’re bunkering full of food and drinks in Amaliada, Pirgos, Olympia and Zacharo and enjoy the Greek beaches and culture. We have travelled together with Marcel, Remy and Janna from Holland, since we met them in Albania. They left us after two sunny and warm bathing days on the beach at Paralia Kato Samiko, they should swap Greece for Spain but we'll meet again, next year in spring in Holland.
Thanks for the pleasant and entertaining company, Marcel, Remy, Janna and Iona! To you we want to dedicate the lyrics and music of Nina Simone:
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life and I’m feeling good!
That’s how we feel every new day!
Have a very nice day! SBJ