You’re doing “WHAT “? Exclaimed Pumper!!
We tried the soft sell… After all why would Pumper not jump at her own swanky, private storage container in Athens… parked up for five months relaxing and giving her weary joints and moving parts a good rest after the four month 7000 mile adventure around Western and Eastern Europe! She has done good, real good!!!
Winter is upon us and in Europe as hard as you try you just run clear out of the beach kinda weather that we like to groove to. After much debate the whole idea to drive Egypt to South Africa has been nixed… who needs that stress!! The political scene in a couple of countries has gone sour and anyway, the ferry from Italy and Greece to Egypt has been cancelled, and we will definitely not be taking the land route through Syria anytime soon!
Option B? An easy one… we are off to India!! OMG!!
Pumper isn’t making this trip with us, she’ll be resting in Athens until we return in the spring to continue our sojourn around Europe.
Scooping a marvelous deal with frequent flier points… hold on to your seats: Athens, Cairo, Mumbai and Goa… Returning via Istanbul: Total cost of flights $260 … opposed to flying through Europe it would have been $1400 for airport taxes!!!
Obtaining an Indian Visa has been a challenge since we applied in Greece rather than Canada. We have been twice to the centre of Athens to get things sorted at the Indian Embassy, watching the political climate in Greece and the protest situation in Athens which has been rife!!
Nothing like starting at the top of the bucket list! Although we are really enjoying the 3+ weeks we have to float around Greece, a large part of me is already on that plane! We are thinking sailing, yoga, meditation, long boarding, and plenty of other activities like roaming distant parts of India, exploring the culture and immersing ourselves in everything mystical and magical… Checking some of its fine hospital facilities for a remedy or two should we experience the expected stomach ailments… c’est la vie!!!
Sleeping on the shores of the Aegean, or is it the Mediterranean, the waves lapping at the shore… this is idyllic!! Camping fee … A whopping zero!! Another stealth campsite in a sleepy Greek village along the highway! I can hardly wait to get up in the Morning, hit the yoga mat as Steve prepares coffee, and lap up all that is glorious about life!
Glorious just about sums up Greece and its people. We are enchanted! For all the news about the terrible state this country is in, the welcome mat has been rolled out, and everybody seems to go that extra mile to ensure the fattest warmest adoring welcome!!
It is hard to recount every detail… Every twist and turn of charm and delight!!! A country that leaves you wanting more as you fall deeper and deeper in love. Mountains that either plunge or flow into the sea, spectacular vistas, and villages, archeological and historic monuments, olive groves, as far as the eye can see, punctuated with vineyards and pomegranate and orange orchards. All ripe for the picking… harvest time in Greece!!! Mainland Greece is paradise with the hugest dose of hospitality to top it off!!
Many of the mountainous and gorge drives would be declared National Parks in most countries. In Greece there are too many to count.
We do declare (again )…. We could live here, as we ramble from one little Greek village to another! Eating our way around, one piece of Baklava at a time!!! … Sweet!!!!
Our journey has been filled with so many phenomenal encounters… many world travelers who have stopped to share, and left us feeling blessed to be on this journey and privileged to get the opportunity to enrich our minds and our souls, chance meetings that inspire and encourage. A wave and a smile are the same in any language.
Into Athens once again to pick up the Indian visa, grab some car parts from WWW.ovaldean.com a 1 year old VW Classic Parts business that is bucking the Greek economic trend. And then head for the beaches to enjoy the last few days of Greek summer.
We have soaked up and been in awe of the Greek history at places like Meteora where monasteries perch precariously on mountain tops, Pylos where the Turks were defeated making way for the creation of Greece. Vivid imagination mandatory when viewing in effect the piles of stones at both the temple of Athena at Delphi, and the ancient site of the original Olympics in Olympia, where monuments to the infamy of cheats were erected at the stadium entrance. Now there is an interesting idea that needs to be revisited!!! And of course the sites at the Acropolis in Athens which although are spectacular you feel you are on a movie set being erected with cranes and machinery all around, – snapping a good image near impossible. It was at Olympia we managed to get a Greek ‘Ear-Bashing’ for our disrespectful behavior posing on the columns… but the photo was worth it!
Mystras is an ancient city set high in the mountains of the Peloponnese Peninsula dating to the Byzantine times, still populated as late as the 1950’s. This is where we met a 30 something man from Toronto, as we were scouting a place to park for the night. This is a story of love, devotion, and sacrifice. He moved a few years ago from his comfortable life in Toronto to care for his aged and ailing father suffering with ALS, who had moved back to his native Greece 15 years ago to his small home on the grounds of Mystras, which must have been in his family for generations. What a treat to meet and spend time with him.
Here also we were introduced to Costas the Sheep farmer: It would seem that Costas may not have met a woman for many years as he encroached my space! I was madly figuring out how to avoid the looming contact, the inner voice screaming run for cover and jump for the security of Pumper! Not wanting to seem totally rude… well that was some handshake… Costas not only held my hand and slid his hands up my arm with what seemed like six hands, but his face also ventured far too close as if to do the old Greek 2 cheek touch!!! Nooooo thank you very much!!! I was unaware that Steve had sensed the situation and watched as things unfolded, and found the entire situation hilarious. He was doing his own calculation of how many sheep he should expect as a dowry!!! Little bugger, still teases me about it!!!
At local docks Steve has been chatting to sailors researching the sailboat rental scene. Just for future reference… now let’s see where could we sail, Croatia, Turkey, Greece? We were invited aboard a luxury catamaran…Holy Moly! Now that is a different world. K, pinch yourself, and get back to the cozy world of Pumper! Steve is determined to acquire his skippers license, and we are considering who would be mad enough to sign up to sail the seas for a month or 2 with us! We might just know of a few who would fit the bill!
7 am – early start for us. Kettle is on, eggs boiling and coffee brewing… Steve peers out the window and announces there is a woman in the parking lot in her underwear! Why are we not surprised? Splat.. as a boiled egg hits the floor.. Steve cursing… something about living in a tin can… he will not live that one down. The rudeness of it all, poor Pumper, how insulting …well can’t count the numerous times I’ve mentioned sardine can!!!
Another day in paradise. Another day of… well, who knows? Just the way we love it!
Peace and Love … to ewe, ewe, and ewe!!!