RV Roadtrip – More Greek Peloponnese, Methoni, Pylos Marina and Kalamata
After our ‘wild camping’ with Marley, Fiona and Jay, we were headed off to Camping Thines for a few days. We had a nice but rainy stay there and had a wander into the local village and marina for drinks. It was an idyllic little village but quite sleepy in the off season. We also met another German couple that had converted a Sprinter ambulance and were planning on staying on the road as long as possible, picking up temp jobs here and there when the money ran out. They were also keen kite surfers chasing the wind and the waves. Good luck Nina and Marco wherever you are!
One of the side adventures after Camping Thines was a visit to the seaside castle and fortress of Methoni. Methoni has been identified as the ancient city of Pedasus, which Homer mentions under the name “ampeloessa” (of vine leaves), as the last of the seven well-peopled cities that Agamemnon offers Achilles in order to subdue his rage. (from Wikipedia)
According to the information plaque at the castle, only small bits still date to both the ancient and subsequent Byzantine city that was here and the earliest fortifications still standing are from the earliest Venetian rule in the 13th to 15th centuries. In the 15th century the castle was additionally fortified to withstand artillery fire and then later augmented to withstand canon balls.
Getting to the castle parking lot was a bit of a chore. The advice we were given about Greece was even if the RV GPS says it’s fine, sometimes it is best to get out and make sure. While we did make it I was a bit nervous. We were going down a very narrow one way street, people were double parked and there were balconies and awnings overhanging. Plus there was this super annoying woman driving in front of us constantly stopping and delivering things to the people and merchants along the road. When she finally parked I had to drive up on the sidewalk and hope we didn’t hit an awning or balcony. Oh and I nearly squished an old grandma between us and a building. Serves her right for walking on the sidewalk!
Once at Methoni we had a quick lunch in the camping car, caught a good break in the weather and went in to see the site. We didn’t take Sebastian in with us but Oli and Karolina did take Peska when they went in a day or two later.
Here’s a bunch of photos of Methoni –
After Methoni we were off to the marina at Pylos, another free camping site and where we were meeting up with Oli and Karo again. It’s always nice to have at least one other camper; safety in numbers or something like that. Once they arrived we all decided to head out into the village and find some dinner spot. This was our first sit down restaurant in Greece and I was super excited to finally get some moussaka. Unfortunately they were out that night and I had to settle for some crispy fried meatballs; my moussaka would have to wait for another time.
In the morning we set off to Kalamata and the marina there. This is not a free spot but comes with electricity, water and has proper bathrooms and showers. Once at the marina and parked up, we were very psyched on our spot! Million dollar marina views for around $15 a night. Our orange Land Rover friends would be joining us there as well later in the afternoon. The marina in Kalamata is ideally situated for biking or walking for provisions and site seeing. There is a little store on site but the selection is quite limited, especially in the off season.
Just up from the marina is a lovely park dedicated to the abandoned train and rail system that was there and then further on the old town area has lovely shopping and restaurants and is pedestrian only, our favorite! After wandering about we found a local joint selling souvlaki skewers for €1 a stick and so we had some drinks and skewers on the lovely outside patio.
Refreshed and nourished we continued on to the days goal, the Kalamata Castle. In theory, this town was originally called Firai, an ancient city also mentioned by Homer and built more or less where the castle is today. (again from Wikipedia) Our quest was pretty easy, just keep going up hill. We walked by some nice churches and stopped for a quick peek in.
Once at the castle a few € entrance fee was paid, Sebastian included, and we went exploring. I’m not going to lie, there wasn’t much there aside from some pretty amazing views down onto Kalamata. Worth noting, the evil Processionary Caterpillars that are so poisonous to dogs were here in abundance, tons of nests in the trees so keep an eye out if you venture there with your four legged friend.
Descending from the ramparts, we targeted the large open air green market. This one had way more than just vegetables. There were fish mongers, butcher shops, bakery and much more. We were late in the day and most vendors had closed up shop but we did manage a few things including walnuts and some local wine in plastic bottles. We didn’t end up with any of the World famous Kalamata olives, that would have to wait for our next stop.
After a few days in Kalamata parked up at the marina it was time to either sell the rig and buy a boat or keep pushing on further down the road. We opted to keep the rig and move on (this time!). Stay tuned as we bid auf wiedersehen to Oliver and Karolina, head into bustling Athens and run into our friend Daniel, meet up with him and his family in Delphi and again in Meteoria and then leave Greece and head into Bulgaria.