Day 240 Galini Neo Marmaris, Sithonian Peninsula to Kato Gatzea, Pelion Peninsula, Greece.

Today we dragged ourselves away from our gorgeous campsite on the Sithonian Peninsula, bidding farewell to George in the taverna, and the lovely owner, who made us promise we would return someday. Frankly, it would have been very easy to have stayed another week, but seeing as we had drunk all the bottles of nice white wine (they only had two!), we decided it was time we moved on. On this entire trip, there are probably only a handful of places that we would contemplate returning to, and this is definitely one of them. All the better for being off the main tourist drag, and only possibly to visit by staying in the campsite. It is hard, sometimes, to vocalise the advantages of camping, over staying in a luxury hotel – but this is a prime example. You could never replicate this experience by staying in a hotel. To be able to sleep that close to the beach, with the waves lapping on the shore, is utterly priceless, and undoubtedly better for being out of peak season.

We had a long drive ahead of us, moving first westwards past Thessaloniki, and then southwards towards the Pelion Peninsula, recommended to us by one of Howard’s Greek work colleagues. As we drove southwards on the motorway, we noticed a towering range of mountains to our right, with one tall peak in particular. It was only when I checked the map that I realised that it was Mount Olympus – quite impressive indeed.

After a couple of stops for shopping and refreshments, it was after five that we arrived at our next campsite, another family run affair. The female owner was very pleasant, and walked us around the various available pitches. It was hard, however, not to compare with what we had just left. Our pitch is fine, with glimpses of the sea, but the beach bears no comparison to Sithonia. We are here though, not for the beach, but to visit the local mountain villages, which is our plan for tomorrow. Howard has become very excited, since this peninsula was home to the Centaurs, half men, half horse in Greek mythology. Having scoffed at him, and told him not to be ridiculous – he would never see a Centaur – he shrieked with delight, as the car in front of us had a Centaur spare wheel cover! Easily pleased, I guess!

After a quick lap along the beach, we settled for supper in the beach-side taverna. We watched another lovely Greek sunset, and planned our day ahead. 

A paucity of photos today, as we have been in the van most of the day.

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