Mamma Mia, we’re off again!
It’s hard to believe it’s been over 3 months since I last posted an update, finally, I’ve got my backside in gear and have managed to put pen to paper, so to speak.
Having spent several months in Greece, of which the last 2 months locked down in Finikounda, the time had come for us to move on. We’ve had the most amazing time & made some wonderful memories. We’ve walked, run & cycled hundreds of KM’s immersed in the nature & beauty of our surroundings.
We’ve helped look after a puppy abandoned on Christmas Eve, enjoyed a BBQ on Christmas Day in the sunshine & have made some truly fabulous friends. A big shout out goes too; Monique, a talented, free spirited, inspirational woman & her faithful Indian Rescue Dog, King Tommy. Along with Jani, Joris & their two fur babies, Bear, the New Zealand Cattle Dog & Evie, the beautiful Greek puppy rescued from a dustbin on Christmas Eve. Thank you for giving ‘Evie’ a forever home.
Having mapped out a route which would take us up through the Peloponnese, over the Corinth Canal and up into Northern Greece & Macedonia we set off on our travels once again. Our 1st stop was on the outskirts of the seaside city of Kalamata, chiefly renowned for its juicy olives & bustling outdoor market.
Passing back through Amaliada it was 2nd time lucky & I was able to meet up with a friend with whom I had not seen since working there nearly 30 years ago. It was lovely to catch up over a socially distanced coffee and exchange stories of our past & our present lives.
Our route continued through the small town of Glyfa before visiting Loutra Killinis, an ancient ruin made up of an amphitheater, thermal baths & springs before heading to Erineos where we stayed overnight.
Our final stop in the Peloponnese was in Drepano on a small campsite located by the beach. We spent an enjoyable few days here exploring Nafplio, Assini & Tolo. We were also reunited with Monique, King Tommy, Loki & Helena for a few bottles of wine followed by several Gin & Jacks and some drunken dancing.
Crossing over the Corinth Canal we headed to Delphi, an ancient town and seat of the most important Greek temple and oracle of Apollo, once considered by the ancient Greeks to be the centre of the world. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Sadly due to lockdown restrictions we were unable to gain entry into the site itself, but we were fortunate to be able to view from afar and could still experience the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Our next stop was Meteora, a spectacular sandstone rock formation which hosts one of the largest & precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries. This was one of the most amazing sites we have visited on our travels so far. Having hiked up to the summit we spent all day exploring the remaining six active monasteries, accompanied by a local stray dog who faithfully stayed at our side for over 15KM of our 20KM hike.
Our penultimate stop was in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city. Sadly due to strict lockdown restrictions we would not be visiting for pleasure, we were here solely to have a PCR test for Covid-19, a certified negative test result was required to enable us to cross the border. Tests conducted we now had to wait for our results which would be emailed to us within 24hrs. We hit the road again hoping that the miles covered would not be a wasted journey. Our sleeping spot for the night was in the carpark of a deserted taverna at the side of the motorway, it was very dark, noisy but felt safe. The following morning with everything crossed we continued our journey, by 11AM we had received our emails, we opened them simultaneously, our hearts in our mouths, thankfully our results were both negative. We proceeded to the border, anxious & excited in equal measure, sad to be leaving Greece behind but full of wonder as to what lies beyond……….Bulgaria!
Stay safe, stay healthy, there is light at the end of the tunnel – Thanks for reading xxx