Posts for January, 2014


Delphi was closed (Delphi, Greece)

Journal entry for Wednesday 1st Jan, 2014 (day 273, miles 18,823)

As we drove those 40 km to Delphi this morning the road became increasingly narrow and twisting as we climbed into the mountains and had us wondering whether we would in fact be able to enter the town and get to the archaeological site and museum for which the town is now famous. With that concern in mind we parked right at the entrance to the town's main street and went exploring on foot. As it turned out modern Delphi's main street is actually two streets, one in each direction. They are both quite narrow and made even more so by the habit of locals and visitors parking down each side of the street. But never the less it seemed likely we could get through; if tour buses can do it so can we. So after a tense 10 mintes passing by parked cars with literally inches to spare on each side we were on the other side of the town and parked in front of the Archaeological Museum. There, together with a smattering of other tourists we discovered that the museum was closed (it was after all New Years day).

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Delphi this time open and sunny (Athens, Greece)

Journal entry for Thursday 2nd Jan, 2014 (day 274, miles 18,939)

This morning the sun was out making a perfect morning for our visit to the ruins of ancient Delphi. There were only a handful of other tourists around as we climbed up through the ruins admiring the various buidings and other artifacts. Despite being a tourists mecca, and a bit of a cliche, the place was really quite impressive. Many of the more delicate statues recovered from the ancient site are now housed in the nearby museum and after our visit to the ruins we spent some time there admiring the masterful statuary (both stone and bronze). One could not help but wonder how much of our civilization will be visible in 3000 years.

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Some chores in Athens (Athens, Greece)

Journal entry for Friday 3rd Jan, 2014 (day 275, miles 18,939)

This morning we caught a bus and the metro into Athens (actually the Syntagma Square area). Transport proved to be very easy and incredibly cheap. 1.4 Euro allows one to travel on any combination of bus and metro for 1.5 hours. We had three chores on our list.

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A day in camp (Athens, Greece)

Journal entry for Saturday 4th Jan, 2014 (day 276, miles 18,939)

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The Acropolis (Athens, Greece)

Journal entry for Sunday 5th Jan, 2014 (day 277, miles 18,939)

This morning we visited Athens star attraction, the Acropolis. Our first sighting of this famous place was from the street just after getting off the metro and I must say that first glimpse was a surprise, I had not expected it to seem so big. Those outer walls seem enormous from below.

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Ferry to Santorini (Athens, Greece)

Journal entry for Monday 6th Jan, 2014 (day 278, miles 18,939)

This morning we were awake at 4:45am in order to get to and catch our 7:30 ferry to the Greek Island of Santorini. The ferry ride took all day as the vessel made stops at a number of Islands as well as Santorini. The journey was uneventful, though a bit boring. But fortunately the sea was calm even though the weather was overcast.

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Santorini (Oia - Santorini, Greece, Greece)

Journal entry for Tuesday 7th Jan, 2014 (day 279, miles 18,939)

Santorini Island is visually quite an interesting place. It is the rim of a volcano, the land is long and thin and curves around the crater or caldera. It stands up from the water perhaps 700 ft and thus the first view of the island from the ferry are massive volcanic, multi-colored, cliffs. Much of the habitation is right on the top of the crater rim and the buildings are almost exclusively white with blue trim. So in addition the spectacular cliffs are topped with regions of white that look from a distance like some form of white growth, or snow, covering the cliff top.

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Santorini - II (Oia - Santorini, Greece, Greece)

Journal entry for Wednesday 8th Jan, 2014 (day 279, miles 18,939)

We spent part of the day with more sightseeing, and walking through the narrow streets of some of the towns. After that we packed and rested up a bit in anticipation of our all night ferry ride back to Athens.

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Peloponnese (Xiropigado, Greece)

Journal entry for Friday 10th Jan, 2014 (day 281, miles 19024)

We spent yesterday recovering from our overnight ferry ride and doing a bit of "getting underway" preparation so that this morning we could depart our friendly camp ground for the next stage of our Tour of Greece. Navigating was easy as we traveled out of Athens towards Corinth and the Island of Peloponnese.

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A glorious day (Monemvasia, Greece)

Journal entry for Saturday 11th Jan, 2014 (day 282, miles 19,118)

Today was a glorious day, warm (60°F), sunny and with the bright blue Mediterranean and many picturesque villages to admire. We spent the morning simply enjoying the coastal scenery.

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Diros Caves (Lobkadika, Greece)

Journal entry for Sunday 12th Jan, 2014 (day 283, miles 19218)

We lazed around Monemvasia this morning enjoying the sun and doing a little exploring of the nearby village. But eventually it was time to get going so we continued our adventures on mountain roads and narrow village streets towards the west coast of Peloponnese to Areopoli and then a little south to the Dimos Caves.

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A cute village (Near Sparti, Greece)

Journal entry for Monday 13th Jan, 2014 (day 284, miles 19318)

A prompter start this morning as the weather was not so inviting and we had more on our agenda today. First off we crossed back over to the west coast of Peloponnese, past Areopoli again and then north along the coast to the little village of Kardamyli. Nina had read/heard about this place from one of Rick Steve's tapes/books/shows. The people of the village apparently have worked hard to prevent over development. So after a lot more narrow roads and even narrower villages we arrived at Kardamyli.

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New friends and expedition trucks (Near Olympia, Greece)

Journal entry for Tuesday 14th Jan, 2014 (day 285, miles 19477)

This morning we continued east towards the town of Nafplio. Now anyone following our antics on Peloponnese will have noticed that this route takes us back almost to the start of our Peloponnese journey so the natural question is why?

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The Ancient Olympics and drugs in sport (Near Patra, Greece)

Journal entry for Wednesday 15th Jan, 2014 (day 286, miles 19568)

You can guess the nature of the first part of todays travel - yet more narrow mountains roads and very narrow villages. I think we can safely say that Peloponnese roads are perhaps the most challenging we have driven on this trip. While the road surface is good and we therefore dont have the shakes and bumps of Tajikistan or Mongolia the narrow village streets with their balconies intruding into the road space (at least for a vehicle our height) have been very demanding.

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The ferry and watch out for Pakistanis (Ferry To Ancona, Greece)

Journal entry for Thursday 16th Jan, 2014 (day 287, miles 19598)

This morning we were not in a rush as Patra was only 50 km away and we did not have to be there until around 3:00pm. This could have made for a relxing morning but it didnt, we decided to do some cleaning of the inside of our mobile house.

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An unexpected meeting (Ancona, Italy)

Journal entry for Friday 17th Jan, 2014 (day 288, miles 19568)

Before getting on to todays report I want you to look at the photo of the green truck in yesterdays photos and note the seating position of the driver. We thought our Unimog was pretty smart with its variopilot which allows the steering wheel and pedals to be moved to the other side of the cab to make the truck right hand drive. Well the tug trucks that move trailers around the port of Patra go one better; they can actually turn the driving position around so that they don't have to reverse with mirrors.

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First taste of European roads (Faenza, Italy)

Journal entry for Saturday 18th Jan, 2014 (day 289, miles 19702)

Once awake this morning we moved our vehicle back into the ferry waiting area and the catching up with Gary and Monika continued. In addition now in the light of day we could take a few photos of the twoadventure vehicles parked side by side. However eventualy it was time for the Wescotts to checkin for their ferry and for us to get on our way.

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Venice across the water (Fusina, Italy)

Journal entry for Sunday 19th Jan, 2014 (day 290, miles 18939)

We had a rude awakening and a few sick moments this morning. Lying in bed half asleep I could hear the engine of a nearby semi-trailer and deduced from the noise that the driver was manouvering around some kind of obstacle. After a few moments I realized that the gray mass just outside the window over our bed was not fog but the side of a truck and then that is was only 2 inches from the window. Yikes; the driver was manouvering around US. I bounded out of bed with the intent of either sounding our horn of moving our truck. I got the engine started, bare foot down on the clutch pedal to engage the gear, and my left calf muscle screamed in anger with a cramp. You see I was too quick; the truck had not built enough air pressure to provide power assistance to the clutch and my still sleepy legs did not want the stress of pushing the un-assisted clutch.

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A day in Venice (Fusina, Italy)

Journal entry for Monday 20th Jan, 2014 (day 291, miles 18939)

Today we were off to spend a day seeing Venice. The starting point for this adventure was a stop at the ferry ticket office where for 26 Euros each we got a return ferry ticket to Venice and a pass that allowed us to unlimited use of Venice public transport (mostly ferries running up and down the grand canal).

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The alps, expensive roads (Muhlbachl, Austria)

Journal entry for Tuesday 21st Jan, 2014 (day 292, miles 20063)

Today we planned to simply drive as far as we could in the hope of clearing the alps during a window of relatively good weather - you see we don't have snow chains for our trucks and hence we did not want to be in the alps during a storm. So we headed out towards Verona along the A4 and then north along the A22 towards the Brenna Pass and Austria.

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Finding a camping ground near Munich (Munich (Langwieder See), Germany)

Journal entry for Wednesday 22nd Jan, 2014 (day 293, miles 20198)

Today we were looking for a camping ground on the outside of Munich. We wanted a place to park for two nights so that we could visit some Gig Harbor friends who are spending a year living in and experiencing the German lifestyle in Munich.

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catching up with friends (Munich (Langwieder See), Germany)

Journal entry for Thursday 23rd Jan, 2014 (day 294, miles 20198)

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Unimog Central (Haupstrasse, Germany)

Journal entry for Friday 31st Jan, 2014 (day 303, miles 20437)

It is catchup time; our last entry was 9 days ago so what has happened since then?

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