It’s all Greek to me! 9-11/09/10

Posted: September 16, 2010 in 4.Greece

I’m going to start on a bit of a rant, the chosen topic: campsite attire for today’s modern camper. It seems that when the weather is hot, or even luke warm to be honest a number of men of every nationality deem it perfectly acceptable to walk around, chat, cook and wash up in their speedos, and if they don’t have speedos then normal everyday pants seem to do just fine. PANTS, I mean come on! Really? Would you do this at home? Would you think to yourself, I need some milk but can’t be bothered to put on any clothes so I’ll just wander down the street in my Y Fronts instead? No sir, you would not. My personal favorites include; after eating a rather large dinner and losing the toss and therefore having to wash up I made my way to the sink only to find a ‘big boned’ man with more hair than a Yak who had missed a few haircuts bending over the sink washing up in nothing but a pair of tiny speedos! The contents of my stomach indicated that they also wished to join the audience for this grand show, meaning only the swiftest of exits would keep them off the guest list. I returned a good deal later, hoping the show was over. Or the other chap who had clearly forgotten his speedos and therefore thought it perfectly acceptable to strut along the beach in his light grey briefs during the midday sun. Grey not being the best color for a hot day, especially as the man in question tended to sweat a lot… I shall say no more. I wanted to put pictures of these men in the blog to name and shame but boring old Megan said “ah no Simon, I think not.”

OK sorry about that, I feel better now so moving on the Athens.


It’s funny how sub prime mortgages in the US, quantitative easing and the global recession thwarted our first attempts to get to Athens. We turned up nice and early after getting up at ridiculous o’clock and driving the winding road to the station, which was about 30km from Athens itself, only to be told that there was a strike on and there would be ‘no trains today my friend’. Doh. After all our previous parking issues we had decided that driving into the third largest urban mass in Europe (I know, right? we were surprised to read that too!) would not be a good idea, so we went away muttering that this kind of thing would never happen in England, conveniently forgetting that it actually happens all the time, and sat on the beach to sulk. A hard life indeed.


Trains back on and the strike ended by everyone apologizing, hugging and shaking hands (I’d like to think), we caught the train into down town Athens. We didn’t really know what to expect from the Greek capital but we were both blown away by the food markets, the Acropolis and the Parthenon. What an amazing view from the top of the Acropolis; the sweat patches and mild heat stroke were well worth the climb to get to the top, and we tagged on to a Japanese guided tour around. Now we don’t speak Japanese but we think we got the jist- it was built by the Vikings right…?


We somehow managed to drag ourselves away from the beach and drove on a further 4 hours towards Istanbul. We had been told about an amazing campsite near a place called Volos from our new found Swiss friends and decided to check it out. We arrived to actually find the best campsite known to man and it goes straight in at number one top five all time best campsites. Our pitch, and where I am typing this now, is on the edge of a 10 metre cliff looking down onto a deserted beach and a tiny little fishing village. Postcard perfect, in fact I’m going to have a job trying to drag my co driver away from here, and the phrase “squat toilets are used throughout Turkey” that we read today in the Lonely Planet will do little to help the cause.

Things weren’t all peaches and cream however, on our first night here the rain that continues to haunt us from Italy struck back with a vengeance. Man what a storm, hopefully the photo below will show you the extent of the downpour. Within minutes of the rain starting a river of Amazon proportions started flowing under the car and over the cliff. Megan’s comment that perhaps we might be washed over the edge was strongly rebuffed but secretly I was thinking the same thing but could not be bothered to survey the situation, as getting out of the tent would mean taking a fully clothed shower. Needless to say we didn’t get washed away and spent the evening playing dominoes in the tent whilst the thunder, lighting and rain did its best to interrupt our nail biting game. We later learnt that it was the first rain they have had since June, classic Maple luck.

Ah but I hear to ask, if it rained, surely the car must have leaked? How wrong you all are, how dare you suggest such a thing! All my stuff stayed 100% dry, mainly because it was behind Megan’s clothes, which didn’t. They were actually washed by the rain, which I thought was ideal as we didn’t have to pay for a washing machine and to be honest Megan had started to smell, two birds one stone! She however didn’t see it my way, so after using every available bit of string we had and hanging up Megan’s entire wardrobe I did battle with my arch foe, silicone sealant, and attempted to plug the gaps. Stay tuned so see if it will work…….

Just on a side note, it’s been really nice once again to get messages from family and friends and people who have come across the blog, as well as those who have read the article in LRO. We will do our best to reply to everybody as soon as possible, but whilst the internet costs €4 a minute the potential costs involved in sending these replies would result in our budget getting us no further than the Turkish border!

  1. Jason says:

    Finally finished reading LRO and, having gawped childishly at the photos, read your article. This led me to your blog, which has literally had me in stitches. I’m pleased to see that the biggest winner of your trip so far is not your, clearly razor sharp, driving skills, terribly understanding girlfriend or indeed beautifully prepped 130, but your razor sharp wit!

    I hope the rest of the journey is as entertaining for you as I’m sure it will be for the reader. Good luck!

    Jealous from Suffolk

  2. Keep the updates coming Simon and Meg, really interesting and inspiring! We took our roof tent off to the South Western coast of France this week, views of the sea and beach from the roof tent … awesome way to wake up in the morning!

    Although your pics are more likely to give vertigo!

  3. Anette de Ruiter says:


    We met on your first camping in Dijon. I love your landrover. And also reading about your trip. I would love it if you send me site updates.


  4. Michiel says:


    I’ve read your article in the LRO too. I will follow you on the diary. Wow, what an epic trip. Are you planning to ship the landy back home or sell it in Oz?
    I like the landy a lot. I have an overland prepared 110 myself. Only been to France and Italy myself. Also been to Sienna, but I think we have parked at the bottom of the 1 mile hill you discribed, but there was a park and ride parking with a good bus connection to the centre of the city. Would have saved you the walk in the baking sun. Also we were there just before you got there. I was going through my mind if we had not seen you on our way north, but the dates are all wrong, so we didn’t see you…. Did you get a lot of waves and main beam signals in Italy? we did, mainly from other landy drivers.
    Hope you are not haunted any longer by the rain in Turkey and that you have a wonderfull trip. Like I said, I will be following you.

    All the best and stay safe…. Michiel

  5. Ian says:

    I read your article in LRO and here I am having a look at the blog. Hope you guys have a fantastic trip!!

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