29th May 2018 – 11th June 2018
We broke up the journey to Nafpilon stopping for afew days at Mavrovouni. The first evening we walked along the beach and came to an interesting restaurant, the traditional Greek music playing and twinkling lights drew us in. ( well me !) We sat down; now the Greeks take everything at a slow pace and eventually the owner wandered over, welcomed us and we asked for a menu. No menu he replied and reeled off the starters that were available, we said that we only wanted a main course and he said he would bring us drinks and then take us to the kitchen to show us what food was available. Strange we thought, well as the night drew on and we were starving we got up from the table to walk to the kitchen. The owner came over and said, no, no, no, you have to wait your turn. I will come and get you when you can visit the kitchen. We wish we had ignored the Greek music by then and eaten somewhere else. Finally, we were escorted to the kitchen and there in tiniest of spaces with a single oven was his wife, all hot and flustered, opening pans and the oven door showing us what was on offer to eat. This was a first, we chose our dishes and returned to our table. The food followed and it was delicious. We do wonder what they do if they run out of food, the poor wife can only cook so much in the kitchen. It was certainly a unique experience. The next evening we cycled into the town, again me using turbo power and David on pedal mode only. Destination was the pharmacy for drops for my continuing ear ache. We also found the most amazing shop selling all the delicacies of Greece. What we do love are sesame seed bars in honey, which must be so fattening and they made them in this shop. Several bars later, a massive box of turkish delight and some healthy dried apricots safely in our pannions we look for somewhere to eat. We found a small taverna on a roundabout and had Tapas. There was a Greek couple behind us and we basically ordered what they were eating as it looked delicious and it was. There was another little heart breaker too, a lovely old dog who we think was going blind just sitting begging for food. The restaurant owner said that it had been around for several days, it did look well cared for and a collar attached but I said to David that it had probably been dumped. We fed it fresh squid which it loved and left it with a full belly.
We finally arrived in Nafpilon and decided to hire a car for a week to explore more. Our lovely little Citron V1 Sewing Machine was perfect, we felt like holiday makers ! Nafpilon is one of the loveliest towns we have found on mainland Greece, it has lovely shops, a fantastic market and more coffee bars than London we think. The Greeks love a coffee bar, more that us Brits, at least there are no Costa or Starbucks to ruin the independent ones. It is also a port that the cruise liners stop off and all the small trinket shops via for the attention of the tourists to part with their money and buy anything from worry beads to leather sandals. We explored further South of Nafpilon and were recommended to visit Poros Island. We took Chloe and set off over the mountains only to find that we needed fuel, it was Sunday and even David looked worried as we passed first one, then two garages that were shut. Finally, BP saved the day and we refuelled and arrived in Galatas, to take the ferry costing all of €1 each and the dog went free. It is a haven of yachting and all things boats and we wandered around the harbour looking at all the amazing yachts and wondering who owned them. The coast road on the way back is stunning, hugging the side of the mountain with the beautiful flowering pink & white escallonia shrubs. On the way back instead of the story of the chicken crossing the road, it was the tortoise. We slowed down as the tortoise made his way across the road and as we passed and turned the bend, David saw a car approaching the other way. Trying to save the tortoise life David flashed his lights and waved frantically at the driver to slow down. God knows what he thought must be round the bend and if he saw the tortoise, he probably thought we were mad ! Hopefully he lived to tell another tale.
We also visited Epidaurus, the most celebrated healing centre of the Classical World. People went there in the hope of being cured from their ailments. It is fascinating, even for me, but I think some of it was the gorgeous tutor explaining all about Epidaurus that I tagged onto and swooned over his voice. The theatre is amazing, seating 14,000 spectators and still used today and admired for it’s exceptional acoustics. Although we didn’t test it, if you stand centre stage and light a match, you can hear it from all the stands.
Our time near Nafpilon was nearing it’s end and as always we stayed longer than we thought we would. Part of reason was the lovely couple who we had pitched up next to when we arrived, Patsy and Ian and their gorgeous dog Wilfred. We spent a couple of great evenings sitting drinking some good and not so good Greek wine and this is what is so magical about this ‘Once in a Lifetime Journey’, meeting people, sharing a glass or two of wine and laughing.