Monday, 25 July 2011

Penistone to the Peloponnese again 3

Day 12 Aginara

I forgot to write that Yiannis tried my electric bike yesterday- and loves it! It’s strange how  everyone who has a ride on it comes back with a smile on their face. Pete has collected driftwood and sticks and had his first attempt at making a frame for a mirror- it’s not as easy as he thought but he seems pleased with the result. 

We had another chat to our German neighbours ,leaving tomorrow in their VW. What lovely people. We went to eat at the very quiet restaurant- lamb in the oven and chicken which went very well with the rose wine and 2 ouzos on the house. Now for another first- we’ve been to this site so many times and never , ever been to the bar that sits amongst flowers near the beach. I’ve no idea why we’ve never been- just never fancied it I suppose. Well, we went after our meal and it was lovely! It was so pleasant to watch the lights of Zakynthos twinkling across the water, the fireflies dancing , and the beautiful moon. ( Mind you, several fireflies were eaten by swallows zooming past but that’s nature for you) We talked to an older guy who works in the bar- he lives in Kastro and hasn’t been to the castle for years so I showed him my photos. It was much cooler in the night.

Day 13  Camping Kyparissia, Kyparissia

We set off early for Kyparissia  but didn’t do our usual stop for shopping at the A and B supermarket ( closed) or stop at Kaifa Lake for coffee. The road was quiet. There’s a new receptionist at the campsite as Nikos has retired  but Apostoli was very good, explaining about the site and facilities- he didn’t know we’d been there a few times. We got set up in the area known as the bar- on grass, next to bamboos and about ten metres from the sea. We’ve got a lively bunch of cicadas who lie to balance on the awning strap for company. We had a lazy internet afternoon in the shady, breezy spot before going to the next beach ( Trefylias) for a swim and a float about though it was a bit like being on a roller coaster with the big waves rolling in. we had the beach to ourselves. We watched the sun sinking into the sea- fab sunsets here- then walked for a least a minute to the restaurant  to order a salad, souvlaki and pitta. The guy who does the grill here does a really good job. We had Patsouras rose wine to go with it and sat under the trees watching the sky change colour. We caught up with some phone calls and texts to England and Greece.

Day 14 Kyparissia

We’ve put the white curtains with ties up on the awning to give us some morning shade. Pete made toast, trying out the Camping Chef new kitchen ( £20  reduced at Asda in the winter) He found out it’s quite fierce and fast!
We cyled up to the square and had coffee, watched the  comings and goings, then went poking about the little shops. There are so many little ironmongers and handy bits shops- Pete is in his element and isn’t having withdrawal symptoms  from the lack of a Wilkinson’s shop. Another first- we went to buy a lovely little basil plant ( good for keeping away mozzies) and found  a secret garden – well, garden centre, behind the shop. What a lovely green oasis and we’ve never seen it before despite walking past loads of times. The chap there was really nice and we had the sort of Greeklish conversation I resort to when I don’t know the words………I dissuaded Pete from buying an olive tree ( his didn’t manage the frost this winter) as I couldn’t bear the thought of travelling with it in the way. He did buy some fish, fruit and salad- the tomatoes are so delicious. We went right along the next beach and the one after so Pete can indulge his passion for skinny dipping as it’s an accepted place to do it. He took garden shears with him so he could get rid of the scratchy bits off plants on the cliff path as well as a large plastic bag so he could pick up any plastic bottles and rubbish- good man!
We had the fish grilled for tea with ‘George’s salad’ ( George from the Aegean restaurant on Kalymnos makes a wonderful salad with garlic, lemon and oil and it’s my favourite salad) Pete toasted tortillas on the Cadac grill  and they were great filled with salad. I updated my blog  and sent a bit of an emotional email to my Dad trying to encourage him to eat and get active again after his bowel cancer operation.

Day 15 Kyparissia

It was very cool  in the night. We cycled left out of the camp along to the blue flag beaches
were lots of people go , looking for a little cove to ourselves. We cycled past the port which is being gentrified- new grass area, buildings renovated…looking very smart. We went to check a fig tree we know but it’s too early for figs yet then cycled  back as there was nowhere that took our fancy for swimming. So off we went to the usual beach and when we got back it was after seven o clock. Salad Nicoise for tea.

Day 17 Kyparissia

We didn’t hear the sea from our bed when waking up this morning- partly because of the noise of the church bells and partly because it was absolutely flat calm. We swam opposite the van and saw two cyclists from the site push their bikes along the sand and up a little lane which we’ve never explored. Of course we had to find out where it went. It was a steep stony track to start with that leads to the Apollo Art Hotel and through olive groves to the main road. We saw the railway that is now overgrown since Greece shut down a lot of its railways in January. We walked back then Pete cycled along to the archeological site where last year he met the archeologist and she told him about the Roman ruins they were unearthing. They hadn’t many finds last year and the dig had started when the water park was being demolished. She wasn’t about but there were more walls and building footprints  to see and it looks like ongoing work.


Day 18 Kyparissia

There was a howling gale in the night so we got up to put the awning in. We put it out again this morning though the wind is strong. We cycled up to town  and went to the Atlantik supermarket but sadly it’s no longer a supermarket- just a half empty shop. It seems like the out of town Lidl and Carrefour must have taken the trade. When we got back- the awning got up in again as the wind got up even more. Pete went round the headland for a swim  under strict instructions from me to be careful  but came back dry clutching two carrier bags full of rubbish that the sea had thrown up. He’d wisely decided not to go in, in case of undertow.  We went over to the grill for a meal- the spaghetti carbonara here is really good ( 6 euros)  Greek people were sitting in the garden in front of the bar enjoying the wind but it felt rather blustery.

Day 19 Kyparissia

The wind died down in the night and I had a big cleaning session. Pete went to the bike shop in town as his back tyre kept going flat. He came back with a new tyre , inner tube, greased and checked over for 25 euros so he was happy and the bike guy was pleased to see him- we had the bikes respoked here last year for less than £50. We walked to the far beach and were delighted to see a small fox scurrying off through the shrubs. Another first for here! Pork chops and veggies for tea. Pete spent ages getting pine resin from Aginara off the front of the van- note to self- don’t park under pines!

Day 20 Kyparissia

We cycled to the market- always worth a look to see the people and what they are selling. Pete got some new shorts as he’d split his ancient favourites climbing down from the fig tree yesterday when he was cleaning. I bet they don’t get put in the bin though….( he's wearing them as I write)
Our old beach brolly lost yet another spoke yesterday so we treated ourselves to a strong one and had a laugh getting it back to the van on the bike! Pete bought a whole chicken which the butcher chopped into pieces- they cut meat so differently here- and I thought it was a daft idea to get so much but he cooked  it all on the Cadac with sliced courgettes and new potatoes while I did green beans and carrots. It was really good. I had very newsy emails from Katie and Lucille which was lovely.

Day 21 Kyparissia

We eventually got the maps out today- been going to do it all week but it’s so easy to be last here. It was flat calm and I swam from the ebach outside the site to the next beach while Pete walked along to meet me- a big swim.  We went along the far beach later and Pete’s good planning with the chicken meant a quick tea of chicken salad. We had a look on the net at stopovers, places to stay if we went to Athens to see friends etc. Decisions, decisions….how do people who travel all the time ever decide where to go? We'll check with friends in Athens to see when they have free time then decide when to go.

Day 22 Kyparissia
We had a disturbed night as it was windy again but we didn't need to put the awning away. I washed bedding in the huge sinks they have here- I quite like splashing about doing the washing here. ( No ironing either so I don't have a pile of it sitting like I do at home)
Lazy day looking at maps, going to the beach (- too bumpy for me to go in) and eating gavros ( small fish) at the restaurant.

Day 23 Kyparissia
We woke to an unusual noise- it was rain on the roof! Pete got up and put things away under the awning and I closed the rooflights but it didn't last long. It made everywhere smell fresh.  We cycled up to town, did some shopping and had beers with mezze at lunchtime in a street cafe bar under plane trees. There were lots of old guys sat putting the world to rights while we drank beer and ate all the lovely little bits on the plate- cheese, mini cheese pies, keftedis ( meat balls) olives, chips, pork pieces, salami....mmm.
When we got back the wind started up again, the awning went in and so did I! I slept the afternoon away....then we made definite plans for the move tomorrow.

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