After an amazing morning spent viewing the monasteries at Meteora, I headed for my first stop in the Peloponnese, Patras. The route was easy going at first, but the wind picked up and it did get more than a bit hairy descending down from the hills towards the Rio–Antirrio Bridge. The high winds were catching my cycle cover, filling it like a balloon and steering the motorhome from the rear. At 70 miles an hour it got my heart racing and it is possible, that a swore more than once during this time.
The Rio–Antirrio Bridge, is quite impressive, but with the toll at €14, it’s a relatively expensive crossing. In fact, I found the tolls in Greece to be quite expensive and unfortunately, with the limited time available to me, I couldn’t afford the extra time it would take to avoid them. In one five hour motorway stint, I spent €60 on tolls. I don’t know the total amount I spent on tolls, but it was well into the hundreds of euros. For me, this was the biggest disappointment of the whole trip. I often found restaurants and bars in some of the towns to be deserted, with a limited number of foreign tourists. Due to the high costs of the tolls, I was spending less money where I believe it was needed the most, in the bars and restaurants. I don’t know if it gets busier during the school holidays, but aside from the really popular destinations, I found the Peloponnese as a whole to be quiet. Which is great for avoiding the crowds, but not so much for the people living there that depend on tourism for their livelihoods.
I stayed at Camping Kato Alissos, which is just south of Patras. The campsite extended onto a beach. I had coincidentally parked next to Dick and linda, who were on their way home after spending 9 weeks in Greece. I must to admit to a little envy, I would love to extend my holidays and be able to take my time and not have to rush as much, 9 weeks would certainly allow that. Dick and Linda were great company for the evening, even travelling solo, one doesn’t have to be alone.
The following morning I got talking to the receptionist, who is studying in Milton Keynes and had return home the previous week for the summer. They were able to give me some local guidance on the destinations I had in mind. The Greek people are so kind and willing, I cannot help but warm to them. Later that morning, I went for a swim in the sea, I was the only person in the water at the time, it was great to have the beach and sea to myself.
But Olympia was calling me, so onward I travelled. Until next time…