Monemvasia - Gerakas Port
The second day in the new year, we leave Monemvasia to do some provision in Skala. Both Lidl and Carrefour are closed for inventory. Until they will open again next day after, we park for the night at Kokkinia beach. Here we meet Danish Bent, a nice fellow with some 30 years of experience by motorhome. After Skala we also have a look at Valtaki beach again, just outside Gytheio, to view what the recent storm has done with the wreck Dimitrios. Unfortunately, the stern was now broken during last week's storm. Of the once beautiful hull, is soon just a rusty pile left. "Dimitrios" stranded here 23rd dec 1981. Coastern was built as "Klintholm" in 1950 at Fredrikshavn and went many years under Danish flag before it became Greek. The story of the stranding is found here: Dimitrios shipwreck
After a tumultuous week, we drive back to Mani Beach Camping, here we find the complete peace we need. The nights are cold but in the morning, it soon gets warm in the sun and I hear a slightly complaining outside that it's getting too hot, clothes come off and it's not far from the sea that still holds 18 dgr, affordable if it would become even hotter. There’s a high pressure and sunshine across the Peloponnese. We have no big plans yet, for the new year, just cuddle and have a good time in the sun. It is good enough for a few weeks and right now it is very good in the sun, a New Year's bath in the sea is not far away. We thrive on Mani Beach Camping, not like Hotel California, but at least we can check out and leave, whenever we want! For this, we pay 13 €/day included 16A power without limit and Wifi in the camper! Unlimited hot water in the showers, sinks and washing places. The beach is wide, 4km long and has now been cleaned after the storm in December. There’s deep water only a few meters out from the waterside so you can dive in right away. The worst I know, is a long wade out, to get into the sea. It is possible to cycle along the beach all the way to the village Mavrovouni and then it's another 3 km to the city Gytheio. There is a Supermarket outside the campsite but it has only the most essentials so we usually walk two times 3km, to a bit larger Supermarket in Mavrovouni where they have everything. Gytheio is a very friendly and lively little town with many restaurants, tavernas, cafés and some nightlife or anything else that one might need.
In five days we didn’t have anything else but clear blue sky. The nights still go down to 6 dgr. but we have electric heating so we hardly notice it. At daytime temperature’s quickly rising to 18 – 20 dgr. The sun can sometimes be too hot , at least inside our camper tent. The second week in January, we were swimming almost every day in the sea, still 18 dgr. Actually it doesn’t feel as cold as in Sweden maybe because the air feels warmer in the sun down her and it usually has not been any wind. Several days we also see Greeks on the beach and all were bathing in the sea so it's not just Scandinavians who swim in the sea this time of year! After a fine summer week #2, it will be partly cloudy in week #3, some days overcast mixed with rain and one day with gale and heavy rain.
It does not happen so much now that we have reduced our tempo. Therefore I will tell about the camp's animals and livestock in general. Here it looks a little like a children's farm, two horses, two dogs and about ten cats. The horses can sometimes graze among campers and caravans, cats are begging continuously, and gather where they know there is the biggest chance to get something to eat. The dogs keep track of the situation , despite their meager conditions. They have great respect for the visiting foreign dogs. Rocky is the "caretaker" and Argos his ”assistant”. Rocky has, after many years of barking got wrong on the vocal cords, when he barks he sounds like a laughing Santa Claus.
The Greek have a totally different view on animal husbandry than what we are used to in North-Western Europe. Dogs are usually loose or tied up in chains as a watchdog, cats are just there and have to manage as best they can. Horses, cattle, pigs and goats, are often tied up a foreleg to a backleg, they can go free but not far or fast, there are often not so many fences as in northern Europe. I do not really want or mean to add some values in the Greek animal husbandry, I'm a tourist, I'm a guest in Greece! Nevertheless the animals at the campsite and surroundings, live a much better life than we have seen in many other places, even in Sweden. Large flocks of sheep or goats are always a good attraction! Many animals have bells around their necks and are often guarded by a shepherd with hefty shepherd dogs. When it comes to guarding sheep or reindeer, they have a lot to learn, especially in Sweden!
Then suddenly, one day, it happens! We’ve got camping-mould! There are two things one must beware of when lying/standing still for too long, shipworm and mould! Not even a long walk a few days ago, 16km to and from and around Gytheio, did help. Ye shall know that 16km is quite far, for us anyway! It is probably true what the German says, he has overwintered many years at the camp here, "Winter in Greece lasts from December to January!" Quite right, a few days ago the spring began, many plants got both flowers and outgrowth. It is getting hotter in the sun, every day. The nights are not as cold anymore! And then even mould appears! We, at least I, are getting restless and want to roll on the wheels again. So after 15 days on the campsite, we tore the camper-tent, washed and cleaned up the motorhome and ourselves, leaving Mani Beach Camping. First to Skala to shop at Carrefour and Lidl and then to Ariana where Peter keeps on learning both the Germans and the Greek how to catch the big fishes. We were especially welcomed by Wovi. The beach at Ariana is a very nice place to stay with the motorhome, but there’s only room for five campers and Greek fishermen also need some place to park but they’re usually gone in the morning. It is beautiful and quiet, the sea is inviting but unfortunately a bit too cold now, approx. 17 dgr.C. The following day, Peter is out fishing with his disciples and we like to look around the neighbourhood and Peter thought we absolutely must see Gerakas port.
Gerakas Port is a small, well-protected, picturesque fishing village. As Greek, as it screams light blue around it. We are standing at the end of the harbour and the turning area. We work long hours sitting in the sun, cuddling by the view and tranquility. Walking around in this quaint village that has some traits of the alleys in Fiskebäckskil, though in Greek manner then. When dusk falls, five fishing boats, one by one, large and small, sailing out to try their luck. We remain here for the night. There are three restaurants that look to stay open, only for us?? There are no other guests, as we can see! We can not go on all three and we must go further tomorrow, to Monemvasia. It is not always easy! Gerakas Port is a real highlight, but nothing for campers greater than 8 m and 4 Ton. The day after we went back again and stayed for several days in Monemvasia. Swedish summer days changes to Swedish autumn weather during one week. One day we were both at the hairdresser in Gefyra, my hair and beard cut costs 10 € and Stina's cutting costs 13 € .
When the weather starts to get better again, we leave Monemvasia and drag across the mountains westward to Neápolis. The road leading there, is incredibly beautiful. Up and down, sharp curves and narrow passages through the villages but it was worthwhile. Several stops with beautiful views making the trip twice as long as anticipated.
It feels good to be on the road again!