Karathonas Beach 12/11 – 16/11/2015
Klippity Klopp, Klippity Klopp, Klippity Klopp Klopp Klopp. Just before we left Santorini we had a check on the weather and much to our pleasure we saw the weather was set fine and so made a quick decision to head for the bit of the Peloponnese we missed, the thumb, and made for the town of Nafplio. After the excesses of our Island Break we decided to temporarily join The Temperance Society as virtual members. We are not going to sit around on wooden benches in bleak chaples predicting doom and gloom but we are not going to drink in the van until January.
We did mention in the last post we had pimped the van with some alloys and here is a pic of the Gorgeous Grahams
After a quick lap of Lidl we headed out of Nafplio and headed 4 Klicks south to Karathonas Beach. This is as good as it gets for Wild Camping, nearly. Karathonas is a sandy, crescent shaped beach about 2Km long and is backed by trees and an off-shore island to break up the view across the Argolis Gulf. The bay faces west so there is another tick in the box for sunset aficionados who like to finish the day with an orange glow. There are plenty of places to park with standpipes attached to every other tree, cesspits to empty your waste and a couple of beach bars. The only drawback one can see early-doors is the council seem to employ the same beach cleaning company as they do in Morocco. Plastic bottles and general detritus decorate the beach as far the eye can see even though there are ample bins provided to catch the crap. We nestled the van into a nice flat spot, got the swimmers on and headed for the beach. The sea is still warm enough to swim in and we were joined by locals going for their daily dips. I suppose when the temperature is 26° and the water temperature is 25 then it is not too much of a hardship. We finished the day with a Barbie and snuggled down for the night. This routine was repeated for the next couple of days, Beach, Barbie, Sleep. Pictures of Karthonas Bay.
So, can you imagine our middle-class horror when on Saturday Afternoon people you would not invite to the Summer Fete started turning up in white Transit Vans. I forget the word to reference these group of people and their behaviours so I will try my best to describe the events that led us to move. Firstly out of each Transit disembarked large numbers of feral children displaying the hallmarks of severe soap aversion, next the adults, the females expertly turned the forest into Wing Wong Wu’s Laundry within minutes, it was now impossible to walk anywhere without running the risk of garrotting yourself on a brightly coloured Lycra garment. The men sat down and smoked, got up, urinated and smoked, sat down and smoked. After about an hour of this exhausting masculine work-out they started to build a fire from any piece of wood not being used to support a pink and sparkly garment with the word sexy written on it. It was at this stage we were thinking of moving when the horses started to arrive. Call us old fashioned but as we didn’t want to buy any lucky heather, listen to endless renditions of Volare or go three rounds bare-knuckle fighting in a make-shift boxing ring with Lucky Jim-Bob-Bomber-Lee we left. Not far, about a Kilometre down the road where we parked up close to another van, where a teenager older than I played the riff from Smoke On The Water endlessly on his acoustic guitar shouting Music Night, Ja and ran a generator all night. Doh. Pictures of our friends.
We spent Saturday and Sunday night in our alternative accommodation while the final two episodes of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding were being re-enacted up the road. We did still carry on with our hedonistic lifestyle of lying on the beach and doing not a lot while the sun beat down. By Monday we were running short of supplies so opted to head in to Nafplio to replenish.
Nafplio 16/11 – 17/11/2015
On the way in we stopped off at the Palamidi Fortress, a sizable citadel sitting on a rock outcrop that gives spectacular views over land and sea. This astonishing piece of military hardware was built by the Venetians in the early 18th Century and is considered to be a masterpiece of defensive design with its low-profile architecture and extra thick cannon-proof walls. One can either climb up the 999 steps from the town to the fort or drive. We drove. Unfortunately for the Venetians they didn’t get to play with their new piece of kit as Greece, including the fort, was overran by the Turks. After the War of Independence it was used as a prison for condemned criminals including war hero Theodoros Kolokotronis. You can go for a look-see around his cell and it is a pretty depressing place with no light and no space to swing a cat. Pics at the Fort:
We carried on down to the Port area of Nafplio where we parked up. Nafplio is considered the prettiest town in Greece and to be fair it is a bit of a stunner. So far on our travels we have only been to two places where we could ever consider living outside of the UK, these being: Pria De Luz in the Algarve and St Antonin-Noble-Val in France. Well, we have just added Nafplio to the list. It is a beautiful town in a stunning location with views down the Argolis Gulf one way and the Palamidi Fortress towering over like a protective elder brother. It has attractive narrow streets, elegant Venetian houses, neo-classical mansions and the most stylish bars you will find outside of Manhattan. We kicked off with an Ice-Cream before strolling around and soaking up the atmosphere of this graceful town before dinner and bed.
Parking up in a town is always a bit noisy in a motorhome as you usually have to share the car-park with lorries and coaches. Usually you can get a sleep to about 6am when the heavier modes of transport start up for the day. What we were not aware of when we stopped was we were in a car park not just for vehicles but for 2 million starlings and one million crows who spend the entire night having a beak-off. No sleep was had. If we had not had had a bottle of Greece’s finest with our meal we would have left. Some pictures of Nafplio:
Karathonas Beach 17/11 – 21/11/2015
Tired and dishevelled we went for a lightening dash around Lidl and back to our now Transit free haven. And the routine is now back on a happy medium, Beach, Barbie, Sleep. I even managed to get the canoe out and have a once round the bay experience. Sadly the endless repairs given since the French sinking affair has taken its toll and one of the bladders has given-up signalling the end of kayaking until after Xmas when I can fit a new one.
The Indian summer is still continuing here and so our not-a-lot-to-do-but-be-beach-bums lifestyle is continuing. We have of course broken this up with feats of supreme physical challenge. On the 19th we went for the first of these with a 3Km cycle along a flatish path around the coast into Nafplio. A doddle you may think, especially on electric bikes and in normal circumstances it would be, but not when you chain breaks on the first incline. We made the decision to push on into Nafplio and get the bike fixed. The flatish route now turned into a nightmare as the slightest incline now turned into the North Face of the Eiger as I had to heave the 26Kg of dead weight up hill after hill. Tracy thought it hilarious, they haven’t heard laughter like that in these parts since the nearby ancient city of Mycenae was set ablaze in 1100BC. We managed to get the chain fixed and spent the rest of the day buying bee stings for Tracy’s face and having a crafty slurp of the local brew.
Earlier in the week we mad the rash promise that if the weather was still good on the 20th we would go in the sea for a swim. Well the 20th came and the weather was still a respectable 23°c so we went in. The sea is still warmer than it ever gets in Britain so it was not much of a challenge. But something that is more like Britain is the dinner Tracy cooked for me, and it was lovely.
And away we go. Klippity Klopp.
Love to All
E & T