It‘s taken us forever again to give you guys an update! Seems like we always find an excuse not to update our blog. Yes, sorry about that.
The last entry of our blog was from our visit to Monemvasia which already seems ages ago (looking back it is almost three weeks ago. We cannot believe that we are now entering week 6 already! Time is flying past!)
After Monemvasia, we drove to Methana. Quite an isolated area, it is famous for its volcanic landscape. We did not know what to expect, and it turned out to be quite stunning. After looking at some weird camping spots, including one with a guy living in a shack with a pet pig, we ended up with another EPIC camping spot.
I do need to say that Greece is absolutely insane when it comes to wild camping. It’s actually forbidden to wild camp here, but as we are totally out of season, it seems to be tolerated.
We are also very careful and if we are anywhere near houses or on a beach where there are people we try to be as discreet as possible. No chairs out, no table, just our van and us inside. I think that’s only fair, given that you can nearly park anywhere in Greece and stay overnight. Out of season that is.
We also never have a campfire in the wild out of respect for the environment and the potential dangers of bushfires. Ash is from Australia, as you probably know, and fires are a big problem there. We drove through some areas which were affected by the terrible fires last year and it‘s sad, so sad, to see the consequences. It was like driving through the movie Mad Max!!
We passed the Corinth channel which was quite impressive, but very touristy. And watched as the Greeks ignored the pedestrian crossings where the tourists were waiting! Traffic is a whole other game of chess and escaping death in Greece.
We wanted to get away from all the crowds, so we stopped for a few days on a nearby peninsula with an awesome lake. Here we managed to find yet another EPIC campsite on a cliff above the beach. We started a hike one morning and Ann was concentrating so much on the ground that she hit her head on a huge tree. There was BLOOD everywhere. She looked like Rocky after he lost that fight to the crazy Russian. This is the first time in 20 years we have had to use the first aid, but I quickly got the blood under control and saw that it was not as bad as the blood had suggested! She did get a nasty concussion though, and was dizzy and not well for two days.
So, we went to a campsite to relax and she stepped on a bee! Which was obviously not happy about that and stung her small toe. All the insects want to party when Ann is around, so if you have a mosquito problem, just invite her over for a few hours.
After visiting Pelion and it’s stunning houses and hills, we stopped at a beach near the famous Mt Olympus and did a stunning walk in a canyon there! No one talks about Greece’s mountains, but trust us, there are some epic spots to go hiking here.
We then quickly moved on to our next destination Halkidiki. In Halkidiki it is all about the beaches (and hot chicks in bikinis, of course). And it definitely delivers! The coastline is lined with beautiful beaches, tiny, big, rocky, sandy, anything you can imagine! So, if you are a beach lover, book your next vacation down here, you definitely won’t regret it.
There are a lot of hotels and holiday homes, of course, but the Greeks seem to keep it nicely under control. You actually never ever see any big high rises, which is nice. Everything is still very undeveloped. And right now, there is no one around. Half of the restaurants are still closed too. If we go out for dinner (Ann still cooks a lot and we are most of the time somewhere off the beaten track with nothing around) we often sit on our own in the restaurant. We always wonder how these places survive. The season is so short (July & August) and after Corona, it must be really tough.
We cruised through the first Halkidiki finger (peninsula), found some nice hikes and camped, as usual, right on the beach. Yes, sorry, it does start to get a bit boring – all these amazing campsites. We are sooo spoiled! But we hope you enjoy seeing them too.
We always try to find some hikes and Greece keeps on surprising us with the choices we have. They are never easy, and we usually have to do a lot of bush bashing (that’s Australian if you don’t know it) and route-finding, so our arms are kind of sore! But the landscape is so diverse. It’s so green (not what you would expect in Greece) and the vegetation blows us away every single time. Thyme grows like weeds, and Oleander is huge and everywhere. We always thought Greece was dry and rocky, but the mainland is a different story! I secretly think that Ann is going to be a botanist once we get back to Switzerland.
OK, time to go and get the laundry. Yes, we still have to do the household chores in the van. See you!