21st May 2018 – 26th May 2018
Our next destination through our tour of The Peloponnesus is Kalamata. A large town which makes me think ‘shops’ and oh yes there were. We stayed right on the marina, these are always great places to stay as there is always something going on. We met a mad Dutchman who had his yacht parked up right next to us. In the space of 5 minutes we found out that he lived in Athens, been married for two years but his wife had thrown him out, for the 7th time and he was living on his yacht for the time being with his most amazing cat.
We met up for drinks with Simon & Helen in the evening which was lovely. The next day we went to explore, leaving Chloe resting in the van. Explore, I mean hitting the shops and I only went and found a Zara ! Yes, Zara ! . Not very big but a lovely pair of trousers were purchased. I must add though that David did quite a lot of shopping of his own. New shoes, T Shirts and Swimwear. A nice lunch and a look round the park on the way back, that must have been the old railway station at some point, as it had some amazing old trains, which were quite fascinating and could have been in a film set. The next day we waved goodbye to the mad Dutchman as we headed off, passing through Kardamyli which is a gorgeous little village, a little tourist destination with lovely shops and tavernas and we stop for the night in Agios Nikolaos. It is a small fishing port with tavernas and bars hugging the shoreline and the best waffle shop in the world. Do a detour if you are ever near it ! After a great night’s sleep full of chocolate and nut waffles, we head off to wild camp near Diros Caves. David looks on google maps to check out the roads first but with another look of panic and ‘we’re not going down there’ from me, he checks out the road on foot as we near our destination and says that it should be OK. We head down and find several other vans parked right on the most beautiful pebble beach. There was another resident stray dog, quite large but so friendly. Luckily it looked quite healthy and took a shine to our van or maybe it was Chloe and sat next to us in the shade. She would curl up in the road at night and sleep. A water container seems to be regularly filled by people with Motorhomes which is good.
We chilled out for a couple of days and on the last day we walked over to the Diros Caves, know as nature’s underground Cathedral and luckily not far up and over the hill side. Now I don’t know why, but whenever David and I have to get in a boat with other people we always draw the short straw. The boat seats 8 people but because our Greek fellow passengers were so large (David says at least 20 stone each), two of them has a double seat to themselves. Anyway, we set off with the top of the boat very close to the water. The caves are well worth visiting, but the Greeks didn’t stop talking and when one moved we all moved and were on the verge of capsizing. I couldn’t contain the fit of giggles and even the Greek man steering the boat who didn’t speak any English obviously knew I was laughing at our fellow passengers and joined in. The caves have dramatic and beautiful formations of stalactites and stalagmites formed millions of years ago when the sea started to rise. The vast caverns stretch 15km into the rock and the 40 minute boat ride gave us a taster of this natural wonder. Even though David said their electrics lighting up the caves was a disaster waiting to happen !. On the walk back we saw our first wild tortoise walking along the path. I was so excited, I love tortoises. We had one as a child called Fred with his name painted on his shell, although we don’t think he liked living with us as he was always walking off into our neighbours gardens. As we got back to the van, Chloe greeted as, if we had been gone years rather than 2 hours and we packed up to headed off to Nafpilon.