An eventful drive over the Pelion peninsular, Greece

For such a little shop, they had a big choice of cakes - there were two of these chillers full!

Dave the motorhome has crossed the Pelion peninsular, and is now on its east coast sitting by a beach (for a change) in the resort of Horefto (N39.45757 E23.11861).

Last night as we headed to bed it started to rain. We like it when it rains at night, it keeps the ‘neds’ away (neds being anyone who dares to be noisy after we’ve gone to bed!). The only problem was we were parked under trees, so the rain was doubly loud as it bounced onto Dave’s roof. I struggled to sleep for a large part of the night, eventually drifting off at the weather eased.

This morning we had a lie in, tired from lack of sleep we didn’t surface until gone 10am, well it is Sunday! As I tidied Dave and washed the pots Jay took Charlie for a walk in the woods around us, we knew we’d have quite a bit of driving today so we thought it would be good if Charlie had a bit of a leg stretch.

Jay's morning stroll followed these steps into the woods
Jay’s morning stroll followed these steps into the woods
Ivy growing in the cool of the mountains
Ivy growing in the cool of the mountains
Don't be fooled by the look on his face, Charlie loves bridges over fast flowing water - not!
Don’t be fooled by the look on his face, Charlie loves bridges over fast flowing water – not!

We set off to drive over the Pelion peninsular, firstly heading for the big town on the route – Zagora. We hadn’t gone far when we spotted a large, furry shape in the road. We’ve seen many dead animals at the roadside, it seems to be the norm around here – yesterday I saw a chap dragging a dog from the road by its hind leg. The shape looked up at us, it was another collarless dog. There were several others sitting on the side of the road watching it. Its face was splattered with blood and its hind leg badly damaged. Jay undid his seatbelt to go and see if he could help the poor creature, but I had to stop him. Injured dogs lash out, some bite – I’m pretty sure even Charlie would if he was in pain – and although it was heart wrenching, we had to drive on. The look in its eyes will stay with me forever. I hope someone stopped and took it to a vets, but I doubt it.

Another few kilometres up the hill we were at the scene of a recent accident. A car had somehow driven off the road and up the rock face next to it. Another car was parked behind it with its hazard lights on, we pulled in behind. I jumped out to check everyone was OK, a man said yes everyone was OK. I checked to make sure that there wasn’t anyone trapped in the car, but fortunately everyone had got out. Jay checked the visibility of the crash site and decided that our warning triangle wouldn’t be much use, it was a fairly straight bit of uphill road, so no one (except the car up the rocks) would take it at great speed.

No idea how she managed to do this!
No idea how someone managed to do that!

The woman nearest to the car was on her phone and lighting a cigarette, a common combination for Greek drivers – perhaps that is what caused the accident, or was it the boy racer man? Once we were sure that we couldn’t help any further, we headed off. It was only after we had gone that I realised that the woman next to the car was probably the driver, on the phone to get help and having a cigarette to calm her nerves. The man, who I had assumed was the boy racer/driver, must have been in the car behind with his young family. Lesson learned, never jump to assumptions Julie.

Over the top of the peninsular, and we pass the local ski resort
Over the top of the peninsular, and we pass the local ski resort

As we got closer to the town of Zagora, the trees either side of the road changed from wild pines and olive trees to cherry and apple trees. Our guide books tells us that this is the apple capital of Greece, it’s just a shame we were here at the wrong time of year.

The trees were loaded with tiny little green and red apples, but none of them were big enough or ripe enough to eat. The cherry trees were a different matter, most of them were already picked, but those which hadn’t were heavy with bright red and yellow cherries. As we reached the town we found somewhere to park Dave and set off to find some cherries to scoff.

It appears that here cherry  pickers don't actually use cherry pickers to pick the cherries - they use a ladder and a truck!
It appears that here cherry pickers don’t actually use cherry pickers to pick the cherries – they use a ladder and a truck!

As soon as we opened Dave’s door I could feel the difference in temperatures. Up here in the mountains it was much cooler, Jay reached for his fleece, I put on my jeans for the first time in ages. Zagora stretches along 5 kilometres of road, and as it was Sunday lunchtime most of it was shut. Unable to find anywhere selling fresh fruit, we went for the next Greekish thing we could think of – cheese pies! We’ve developed quite a taste for Tyropites, feta cheese wrapped in filo pastry, made into various shapes and sizes, and  served warm. Today they were huge triangle ones, so we had one between us, and also bought another type, sprinkled in icing sugar, for desert. The shop keeper informed us it was cream, it wasn’t cream as we know it, but it was very tasty. We sat in the shadow of the local church, looking out from the balcony towards to the sea way below us. We were joined by a local dog and feeling guilty about the poor dog we’d left in the road, we fed it a few extra bits, when Charlie wasn’t looking.

Main street in Zagora - luckily I can spot a cheese pie sign from a distance (the green lettering on the top sign!)
Main street in Zagora – luckily I can spot a cheese pie sign from a distance (the green lettering on the top sign!)
For such a little shop, they had a big choice of cakes - there were two of these chillers full!
For such a little unassuming shop, they had a big choice of cakes – there were two of these chillers full!
We ate lunch in front of a church that seems to use dinner plates for decoration!
The church we ate out lunch in front of seems to use dinner plates for decoration!
Charlie checking we haven't left a tyropites in the bag.
Charlie checking we haven’t left a tyropites in the bag.

Another eight twisting kilometres brought us down from the cool of the mountains to Horefto, its wide sandy beach stretching out along the cove. Being a Sunday there were even a few folks on the beach, and if beach bat and ball ever became an Olympic sport I think the Greeks would win hands down. We parked up and went for a walk, the town is mainly rooms to let, restaurants and beach bars. As we got half way along it started to rain a little, I looked up at the forest of green trees on the slope above us and it was lashing it down there. This gave us just enough warning to take cover under the awning of a closed ice cream stall for the five minutes of rain. When it finished we decided to head back to Dave, the air around our feet got noticeably warmer as we walked and the coolness of the rain evaporated.

All day party!! But we're only just down the beach and can't hear anything.
All day party!! But we’re only just a short way along the beach the place is empty.
The rain on its way to drench someone else
The rain on its way to drench someone else
First one of these that we've seen in Greece - it appears to be home made (possibly by the campsite at the other end of the village?). Jay's just spotted one on the ground by where we are parked - but we haven't seen it if anyone asks!
First one of these that we’ve seen in Greece – it appears to be home made (possibly by the campsite at the other end of the village?). Jay’s just spotted one on the ground by where we are parked – but we haven’t seen it if anyone asks!

Jay has started to play his Ukulele again, so while he did that I finished my Agatha Christie book The Clocks
– I had sussed out some bits, but totally didn’t see the whodunit! I really enjoyed reading it, even though I never watched any Hercule Poirot when it was on the telly, so I’m going to hunt out some more of her stuff and see if it is as good. This afternoon we went for another walk along the beach, but in the opposite direction. The next bay along has a couple of tents on it as it seems free camping is the thing there, that and sunbathing naked – still at least it wasn’t flabby old men putting their wares on show like it usually is, but unfortunately for Jay there were no ladies getting an all over tan either!

Walking through the trees feels like you're in a jungle - birds screeching and exotic looking plants.
Walking through the trees behind the beach feels like you’re in a jungle, it’s hot, damp and has screeching birds and exotic looking plants.
Jay enjoying the beach
Jay enjoying the beach and checking for rain
Poor Charlie, the reverse fling is never his best dive.
Poor Charlie, the reverse fling is never his best dive.
If you ever pass by this way, please check to see if my stack of stones is still on the path to the southern beach!
If you ever pass by this way, please check to see if my stack of stones is still on the path to the southern beach!

The sun has set behind the mountain above us, and we’ve moved along the beach to be as far away from the town and villas as possible, although most of the villas seem to be locked up and uninhabited. It might be June, but the season hasn’t really kicked in here just yet.

Dave's kipping spot for the night
Dave’s kipping spot for the night

Ju x

 

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5 Comments

  1. I love the pic of Charlie on the bridge. I know that look well as we used to have a Cavalier. Also I can remember the look on the face of numerous dogs encountered on trips. Quite a day!

    Hope you sleep well tonight.

    • It could for Ju, cakes and cakes! Enjoying a bit more strumming, can’t get a decent B flat though, choosing songs which don’t use it. Cheers! Jay

  2. B flat is my nemesis, It was suggested that to play it cleanly I needed to hold the uke more upright. That worked, but then it was difficult to change to another chord. Who said playing the uke was easy? Look for strum sticks on you tube, now that looks easier.
    Cake will always ease the way.

    • Strum sticks? Cool, I’ll have a look as soon as we get decent t’Interweb. At the moment our 3G dongle’s on a 5m cable on a long stick taped to the wing mirror, just managing to scrabble a bit of signal from above the cove we’re in! Nope, I’m not complaining mate.

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