2019-02-27 Day 168 Wed

 The island was no where to be seen even though we knew it was there.

Fun to see two young calves frisking among the old olive plantation.

Still can’t get good internet. Left early and stopped just past Alexndroupoli on the beach to use some of our Greek data before crossing into Turkey. Moved on about 1400hrs. A fast road to the border. John took over driving so I could do the clearance.


Another remnants of an ancient civilisation, these clay pots, unearthed in a farmers paddock!.

Leaving Greece was quick and easy with a stamp to prove it. Then across the physical border with soldiers standing in their little huts at both ends of the cause way and either side of that purple mark and the two nations flags.
Turkish passport control guy was very friendly even had my hand kissed!!!

Next customs he had a little look inside and in one of the outside lockers.

John received an extra stamp in his passport for the vehicle temporary import. So by 1500hrs we were driving down the Turkish highway.

Initial thoughts that the paddocks are tidier than Greek ones but no rocks just here.
The Turks are sure proud of their national flag. It is flown at every opportunity. 

Still lots of snow hanging around in clumps.
Drove into Kesan. Traffic not so well organized just tends to flow in town. But no pushing and shoving.
I finally found a bank that would give me some money. ING bank. Then I bought some Baklava then a vodaphone SIM. 95TL about A$24 for 6GB. But would take an hour before it works.
Back to the truck to find John and to escape the busy town.

A camp by a lighthouse on the top end of the Gallipoli peninsula

Camp site                     173km

2019-02-26 Day 167 Tue

We drove along the coast road which started out quite good but slowly deteriorated. There were signs to ruins and we found the theater easily but the stone wine press we could not find. Even though we went for a walk around, among the old olive trees.

Just on the outskirts of a town was this corral surrounded by tin roofed huts . These appeared to house the cattle at night and to store their fodder.

Driving through the town of Kavala we drove under this ancient aqueduct structure. The modern town had engulfed.

Found a great camp out on a very rocky point, overlooking an island that was towed away during the night!

Camp site        223km

2019-02-25 Day 166 Mon

Teo and I went to the markets and bought a few vegies for our trip. He then gave John and I a quick hair cut. Hair cut by the most known hairstylist in Greece!! 
Teo's uncle tried to give us a large packet of frozen fish he had caught. Far too many so I managed to break three off and took them saying we only had 5 nights left. He has his own little runabout and loves to go out fishing. 
We got an hour 30mins away and received a text saying we had left out tea pot behind. This is the teapot that dad and mum had bought me in Kerikeri and is treasured. So back we went. A different way of course up through the snow. A slightly longer route but we saw some different things.

Drove straight East to the coast and camped on the beach in a deserted area which would be humming in summer, but very quiet now.

Camp site            164 km

2019-02-24 Day 165 Sun

Not really much snow settled during the night and we were just on the edge of it so after a few of the hairpins we were out of the snow. We didn't get to see much of mt Olympus  hiding in the clouds but we knew it was there.
As we got closer to the city the signs came thick and fast. Some quite confusing.
Down to the coast and north to Thessaloniki and a visit to Sophia and Teo whom we met at “The House” in Athens.
They were very welcoming, we met Teo’s family. His brother lives upstairs with 3 children and his mum lives downstairs. 

Teo's mum made us lunch. Home cooked meat in vine leaves, great yogurt, and a few other things. 
She also bought John up a lovely jacket and a paper bag of about 8 pairs of new socks. The jacket was very nice if a little big for john. It belonged to her late husband. But Theo seemed happy for it to be given away.

Theo and Sophia took us into town for a look around and a lovely dinner. We stayed the night in their guest room.

97 km

2019-02-23 Day 165 Sat

As forecast, it started to rain then snow gently. Visibility was very poor. We packed up and drove to the monasteries of Meteors. These 6-8 monasteries are perched on the cliff tops overlooking the town of Kalambaka. Though only one can be seen from the town.
Arriving at St Stephens Holy Monastery 30 minutes before opening. So we sat inside the cab reading our book. At 09:25 a bus turned up so we let them go in first.
The views would have been spectacular but we could not see much The church had new or newly repainted fresco’s inside. We were not allowed to take photos but the depictions were horrific.
Saints being, beheaded, stoned, ripped by multi pronged hooks, legs and arms cut off, being devoured by sea monsters and the list goes on. Quite bizarre. This monastery was populated by Nuns.

Next we wondered down a path and up 125 steps to a locked door at The Holy Trinity Monastery. In the near past this monastery was only accessible by ladders and ropes. In 1925 these steps had been carved into the rock.
Next the Holy Moastery of Rousanou Another walk down a path in the snow and across two draw bridges to inside. This church was incorporated in the building and could not be noticed from outside.The depictions were equally as gory but not as “new” looking. We bought a jar of Honey and a postcard for a friend in Wangaratta.

Onto the biggest Holy Monastery of Great Meteoraon. But it was closed for maintenance. By now we had our fill of religious relics and stopped in Kastraki for a hot lunch of local sausages, eggplant and pepper dip with boiled wild veges and a carafe of local red wine. An OK lunch.

Now towards the East coast and Mt Amos. Is supposed to stop snowing tomorrow so maybe we’ll get to see it.


The roads were clear of snow till we got to a little village of Karya, there were a few drifts on the road and then I drifted. Stopped on the corner for John to drive and she went a little sideways again. 

Into 4x4 and John drove us up to 1180m altitude and over. The snow was only 4 inches deep.

Stopped on the side of a group of 28 switchbacks with a few of the ocean.
It continued to snow gently.


2019-02-22 Day 164 Fri

The road slowly straightened out and we could increase our speed some. Made good time, although at times we drove through a lot of snow even though the road was cleared. Got up to about 1400m altitude.
We stopped for lunch and internet at about 1200m above a tunnel that the red road went through. Now we could ring John Yeo and wish him many happy returns.
After a few hours we drove the remaining 165km to the Meteora monestary’s. Camping near by up a small hill on a farmers track.


2019-02-21 Day 163 Thu

A big back track of 50km or 1.5hrs till we could turn south West away from where we were headed. A total of 90km before we could start heading north again.
Outside of one village there was these amazing Bronze statue. It would have been great to know a little about them. Although we have done a lot of slow driving we have seen some fairly lovely hills.


We did not get as far north as we were last night but did find a lovely spot to camp overlooking the lake Tekhnete Limne Euenou. It is man made but does not produce electricity although there is a large fall at the dam wall.


2019-02-20 Day 162 Wed

North west again. It took us longer than we figured to get to Delphi arriving about 13:30.

We wondered around the ruins. These were on very steep ground, Another temple for Apollo and a number of treasuries. 
The stadium was fenced off which was a disappointment as it was something we had wanted to see. The gymnasium was below the road and 100m back the way we had come.


One Votive was of a huge figure of a griffin with wings and face of a woman, she sat on a pedestal 7m high.

The museum held a lot of the finds and was quiet interesting. A whole bronze Charioteer was found under ruble caused by and earthquake. Only small parts of the chariot and horses were found.

 We wanted to go north on yellow but the closer ones had sections of white. Well we finally got to the white road and yes it was white. Covered in snow at 1200m with another 400 vertical to go. Not a good idea, so camped on a flattened area for the night.