Having waved goodbye to our new chums the Majors, with a tear in our eye, we headed south from Patras towards Camping Ionian Beach, which came highly recommended on the ACSI camping website. We passed through some run down streets and buildings on the outskirts of Patras, but as soon as we were out of the town things perked up.
The Peloponnese is very beautiful. Large hills and mountains covered with lush trees, slope down through olive groves to crystal clear sea, and that was just on the drive to the campsite. Ionian Beach turned out to be a winner for settling us into Greek life. We arrived and had a wander round the beautifully manicured sight, complete with large water fountain, plenty of plants and flowers, and to Dot’s delight a great swimming pool and a beach!
The owner came to greet us with perfect English, a smile and a warm welcome. We chose a beach side pitch (of course!) next to the pool and had fun pushing the caravan into place in the heat of the Greek sun. After a swim in both the sea and the pool, we headed for the restaurant for dinner. It had a great view down the manicured gardens to the sea. George, the owner came to ask us what we would like, but when we explained that we hadn’t seen a menu he laughed and then told us that there were only a couple of choices, Greek salad, tsatziki, souvlaki or cutlets. The drinks were 3 types of beer and any colour of home-made organic wine. Needless to say the food was delicious; I am in love with their Tsatziki.
Next day we went exploring in the car. Having seen a sign for thermal spa I was most keen to check it out…Closed until summer! Typical. However we saw a sign for beach and followed it….along a road, turned into a lane, turned into a track, turned into a field and eventually reached the sea. After Italy however, I will drive along anything!!
The beach didn’t look much from the top, but as we reached it we saw the clear water and smooth sand, not to mention total emptiness! Sadly we had forgotten our togs, but as there wasn’t a soul around we went in for a skinny dip, it was far too good an opportunity to miss. Dot thought this was mortifying, then totally brilliant!
Today we left Glifa and drove to Ancient Olympia, home of the Olympics and The Temple of Zeus. Our journey again was lovely, apart from the huge piles of rubbish everywhere; we think there must be a strike. The camp site Alphios is high in the hills overlooking Olympia, and has the most incredible views. However there is a massive heat wave and it reached 35 degrees today, we hid in the shade for most of it, but did swim in the lovely pool a couple of times.
Once it started to cool down we went to visit the museum and archaeological site at Olympia. It was really incredible to see how much they were able to find and piece together. Even more amazing is the size and scale of the finds! Dot found all the boobs and willies on the statues hilarious! I was blown away the whole place, its age and its history.
Tomorrow after our short stop in Olympia we are pressing on to the Southern Peloponnese at Finikounda – can’t wait!