Monemvasia - Kondyli Beach
We left Gythion Bay Camping on Saturday morning and went into Gytheio to refuel cash. After Gytheio we find many fine, possible night parkings but we need gas, so we continue to Skala to refuel LPG. At the pump station, we meet a Friesian from Harlingen, which we previously had contact with through the Dutch Camper Forum. Michael, was travelling with his beautiful dog Ravi, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, in a Hanomag veteran camper. We decide to meet up in Monemvasia where we also will meet "MouseCat" but the mouse send us a SMS, that the cat is out fishing, somewhere on the coast at Ariana, he will come on Sunday. The weather is getting worse when we get to Monemvasia but the coast, with the village Gefira on the mainland, still shows a pleasing beautiful impression and we drive over the 200m. long bridge and park on the island.
"Moni-Emvasi" means "Single-Entry" and refers to the long bridge that leads to this 300m. high and large rocky island which is a well-known fortress with an ancient city, located on the southeastern side of the cliff. Monemvasia Wiki Monemvasia YouTube
Next day, on Sunday, we will make a visit to the old city. Another old medieval (or earlier) town inside fortress walls and still populated. The name of them, starts on "Mon". Now we've got three of our greatest favorites: Monsaraz in Portugal, Montereggioni in Italy and Monemvasia in Greece.
When we return to the motorhome, even Peter (MouseCat) has arrived with his dog Wovi, coming back from the fishing trip. His stories about all the big fishes he has lost just before they were landed, confirm the myth about all fishermens fishing stories. We bought som things to Peter in Sparti and he rewarded us with a 1˝ kilo Barracuda, so two dinners are saved. The remaining day we talk about everything, from fishing to motorhomes in alternating, Swedish, English and Dutch or later in the evening on a mix of all languages. In any case, we have an awful nice evening and it’s getting very late!
Following day, the sun shines over Monemvasia, Peter looses more fish, Wovi is chasing passing motorbikes, Michael assembles hinges on his solar panel, Ravi is guarding the camper, Stina and I are probably taking the last bath, supervised by baywatch Bonnie. I say probably the last bath, for the cold water from the Black Sea comes a little closer every day.
Peter has lived over a year in his motorhome, mainly here in Monemvasia. We can understand that Peter likes Monemvasia, this is just the right place, quiet, nice, beautiful and here you can find anything you need. Four nights we stayed at the buss parking in Monemvasia, this time of year, there’re no visiting tourist coaches. Although we will travel on to Navplion, we will soon come back here. Monemvasia is a treausure!
We said goodbye to Peter & Vowi, Michael & Ravi. Partly because we had to move the motorhome, because of the storm and the waves, and partly because we had no desire to sit and huddle by the stove in the camper all day. Peters motorhome stood near the breaking waves when he woke up in the morning. He and Wovi came out wearing safety belts. No wonder that the bottom of his motorhome is getting bad! Unfortunately, we had no life jackets with us so we had to move our motorhome to the fishing harbour. There we emptied waste water and filled drinking water.
We should travel to Nafplio via Astros and thought of exploring a little different culture, the Greek rural culture in the mountains. Straight to the north through the mountains. Already at 800 m. height there was some snow on the road, especially on the north side of the mountains. Where the forest was badly burned by previous fires, it was relatively free of snow but it had not been burning everywhere. We also had to clear the way for windfall and burnt tree trunks on the road. We relied on our snowtires we still have left, on the driving front wheels. At 1200 m. perhaps we should have mounted the snow chains but we waited and saw that it would soon be over. With a lot of effort we came through a mountain pass at 1540 m. altitude, there was 15 cm. of snow. At least it went slowly downwards, to the village Kastanitsa. On the way down, there was even more, 20cm. fresh snow. We have snow chains, but the worst was actually, that we often did not have phone coverage and then you feel pretty left out, in this mountainous wasteland. However, GPS and Autoroute in the computer worked perfectly, we knew our position all the time and could see in front of us. Only one car had probably been driven several hours before us. In three ours, we didn’t see a soul before Kastanitsa. Well, thanks to Stina who has some experience driving in the snow like few others, we arrived without mishaps, to the quay at the port of Nafplio, after dark. There, we met up with KGB from Sweden! It's just 4 dgr.C. outside in the evening but inside, it's warm and cozy .
The huge harbour plan in Nafplio is well lit, we stood under a large floodlight post, together with a Dutch camper, we had previously met at he campsite in Gytheio. Next day it was good weather for viewing all the sights of Nafplio, stroll around, enjoying the sun and sit outside a café. The night we wanted to spend by a nicer view than the quay. We drove to Nea Kios by the shore at the small fishing location.
Stina is getting nervous about celebrating Christmas so it's time to inspect the three winter open campsites near Iria. We were not impressed, either for small spots, strange pricing-system, sub-standard facilities or boring beachside, not one came near the Gythion Bay campground. Iria Beach Camping had quite many visitors and some long-term settlers had broadened out in two or three plots and the plots we could think of, were used as caravan owners parking places. Obviously, we did not encroach on their privileges.
For this night, we parked at Iria fishing harbour. The weather was still very good so the next day we found the great beach Paralia Kondyli. Here we have two hot days and balmy nights and the opportunity to swim in the 20 dgr. crystal clear water, December 15th! A good contrast to 20 cm of snow at 1540 meters altitude, the other day.
We have determined to celebrate Christmas and New Year at Gythion Bay campground, not the cheapest but the best facilities, best location and best Wifi, 15 €/day, all inclusive and without being bound to contracts with electricity meters, so we can leave whenever we want, in case we do not enjoy or find something better.
Now that we have made a decision, we are not in a hurry and have time left, to look around, before we settle down decorating the Christmas tree.