Travelled: 84 kilometres from Kalo Nero to Katakolo, the Peloponnese.
Visited: Ancient Olympia, Archeological Museum and Archeological Site €9 pp.
Stayed: On the waterfront at Katakolo just east of the port, free no service. N37.65114, E21.31718
It’s been a very pleasant night at Kalo Nero, we have been chatting away with our Dutch neighbours about camper car adventures and the Greek work ethic V Angela Merkel. Another Dutch couple wander over, they spent many years in Australia when they were younger and have many fond memories. We BBQ some calamari and cook a paella having a walk up to the taverna for desert later in the evening. It’s a hard life on the road.
Another cool night and we hear a little rain on the roof, but by sunrise the sky’s are clear. First light is not until after 7 am and a dozy sleep-in is very easy. It’s a busy morning, there are several motorhomes parked along the beach and people are swimming or servicing their vehicle prior to moving on, we are doing both.
We depart by mid-morning heading north before turning east into the hills for Ancient Olympia. By mid-day we have arrived in the village of Olympia and park with a couple of other motorhomes near the entrance to the site. After the last week or so on the coast, it seems hot here in the hills some 30 kilometres inland. We have a coffee before walking to the ticket office, we are €9 pp poorer and begin the walk through the gardens to the museum.
It’s proves to be a fascinating visit, the archeological site is immense, the museum extraordinary. The sacred grove of Olympia took shape a thousand years before the birth of Christ. The ruins of most of the significant buildings date to the 7th century BC. Games were conducted here every four years for a thousand years. For a couple from the Shire it stretches the imagination. The Olympic torch relay starts from here, every four years.
There has also been an obvious effort to shorten the dole queue by employing a huge staff within the complex. Every 50 metres in any direction there is another security person. Co-incidentally every security person is talking on their phone to family or friends. The security staff are all female between 20-30 but we presume that’s co-incidental or there are three men on the selection panel. Then there’s the rules regarding pictures, you can take a picture, but not a selfie, no personal photos and no photos of the security staff, however that may be something to do with them being on the phone.
It’s been a great visit and we walk up to the village enjoying a gyro for lunch and some free internet. The Greek gyros are a great lunchtime snack and our favourite with a refreshing beverage. We manage to upload some photos and post a blog before heading back to the coast for some R and R in Katakolo.
On our way into Pyrgos we start to see large piles of rubbish on the side of the road. There is obviously something going on, a strike perhaps, we never find out why. But it’s windows up and airconditioning on until we pass through Pyrgos which takes a while. It’s the worst thing I have seen for a long time and I don’t know how they will ever clear it.
Travelled: 51 kilometres from Katakolo to Melissa Beach (Kastro), the Peloponnese.
Visited: Lazed on the beach.
Stayed: Melissa Beach, free with tap and toilet (unbelievable as it may seem), taverna nearby. N37.88937, E21.11149 (2 nights).
Katakolo is the port a few kilometres from Pyrgos (free of mountains of rubbish thankfully). Pyrgos is a large town, Katakolo is really a village. While Katakolo may have developed as a regional port, it’s apparently a cruise ship stopover for tourist to visit Olympia. In fact there’s a very fancy little motor-rail running from Katakolo to Olympia. Why all this trivia, we go to sleep parked next to three other motorhomes and wake up to a large cruise ship docking just behind us.
While we are technically parked on the beach, it’s a fine hard-packed sand almost like powder and being a port you would not swim here. To us Katakolo was a quiet spot to spend the night and little more. A quick coffee and fruit before we say goodbye to our Austrian neighbours and head north looking for a proper beach.
Michael and Pam