Our Greek Odyssey – Chapter 4
Camped up in the seclusion of a campsite, just south of Nafplio on the eastern Peloponnese, I have a chance to reflect on our fourth week in Greece. It’s so hard to believe that nearly thirty days have elapsed since our arrival from Italy. Who would have known that we would have fallen in love with this ancient land with so much fervour and passion.
Travelling with our Follow our Motorhome buddies has allowed us to treat this chapter of our full-time adventures almost as a holiday and so our experiences have been enriched with a playful energy. Pinching the famous chocolate’s strap line, travelling with friends ‘helps you work, rest and play.’
What has struck me as I’ve trawled through my thousand and one photographs that even a Chinese tourist would be proud of, I’m struck by the natural beauty of this special place. Whilst undoubtedly the people and the history are draw enough to this haven, this week I have been enveloped by Mother Nature’s delightful canvas.
And so as our wheels rolled from the beauty of Epidavros towards Méthana’s peninsular, it was the active volcano that intrigued us. It never ceases to amaze me how incredible nature is as we clambered up the craggy face of what I imagine the moon to look like. Rock formations that seemed as if they had frozen in time, as they were catapulted from the volcano’s last eruption some three hundred years ago. Granite boulders and volcanic lava framing this incredible landscape where you feel like you are on top of the world. There was something quite surreal knowing that this was no normal mountain – this was a volcano that still rumbled deep beneath the surface of the earth, ready to burst forth its pent up energy, at any moment. Thankfully, not whilst we were there.
Galatas was our next destination so that we could check out Poros. This tiny island, a short ferry ride away, is one of the prettiest Greek places we’ve seen so far. Red roofs, multicoloured facias and deep pink bougainvillea were the cast of this incredible movie, directed of course, by Mother Nature herself. Yet beyond the mulit-million dollar yachts that made this aqua car park look rather unique, fishermen, who had years worth of history etched into their faces, still went about their daily chores. Octopus hunters pummelled their wares upon the rocks so that supper that night could be enjoyed by their family and their skins dried above the barbecues, perversely looking to entice the bravest of tourist. It was May Day whilst we were there and we were told how the locals pick wild flowers and make them into wreaths for the front doors or as headdresses for the ladies to wear. At the end of the month, the wreaths are then either thrown to the sea or burnt as a gesture of good will to the gods. Traditions and culture fascinate me and of course I entered into the spirit of it, as best I could. Bright yellow wreaths sat on our dashboard and then were caste to the sea the next day as an offering of thanks. It’s been a long time since I picked flowers for creative purpose – took me right back to my childhood.
Despite the intoxicating lure of the Greek coast that we called home for a couple of days, close to Ermioni, it was the wildlife that had the greatest affect on me. A carpet of purple flowers coloured the ground and just to watch the amount of life buzzing around this colourful tapestry was entertainment personified. Humming bees, insects and dragonflies all searching for their own sense of survival as they danced, darted and hovered around us. A whole world of existence right beneath our feet.
Our final ‘home’ was Porto Cheli where we found a secluded spot overlooking the Peloponnese mountains in the distance. The waters here rival any staged Aquariums and I had many moments simply watching the shoals of fish as they waved around the shallows, crabs that crept along the water’s edge and sea urchins clinging to the rocks beneath the surface, awaiting their prey – even if that happened to be my bare feet. A whole new world for us to experience – perhaps it’s time to learn to snorkel Myles? Would love to see some dolphins, although they are elusive at the moment. Keeping my eyes peeled though.
What a joy to see the wildlife here so unique to this dry and arid land and an education in itself. The journey we are taking may cover many miles, crossing country borders, driving from coast to coast, although it is the humble lessons that nature has provided this week, that have enhanced my nomadic experiences. One more week to go before we change direction and head towards Piraeus and the ferry that will take us to some Cretan adventures for three weeks and a rendez-vous with my gorgeous mum. Until next week. Kx