One of the many benefits of doing what we’re doing (and, just for the record I’m really into this itinerant lifestyle….it’s grown on me more and more as the weeks have gone past, and Doris, bless her, has become more and more a permanent fixture in our lives) is that I’m having a relationship with my brother. It’s mostly electronic – but we are talking more on the phone now than we ever did – and he may often be abusive about the drivel that I put out there, but it’s better than no comms at all. So that’s great.
And that naturally brings me back onto the subject of wifi, which for both C and I, but me in particular, is a key element to making this all work. I haven’t missed a day on the blog and that must mean we’ve managed to find wifi every day. Which is true. And that’s saying something when you remember that whilst I had plenty of data on my smart twin-SIM phone when we were in Italy and Sicily, Vodafone wouldn’t let me tether. So we’ve had to find wifi every day.
It was a struggle in Italy, with few open networks. So when we weren’t at a campsite we used to stop for coffee and post there. But in Greece most towns have free wifi. And overlaid on that is the Fon network. In France and the UK you have to have a username and password to access Fon, which is fine if you have a BT mobile or broadband (we have that using C’s sister’s account). But otherwise you’re stuffed. In Greece the Greek government, sorry to be exact the EU, seemed to have paid Fon via the government sponsored mobile network OTE to put hotspots in most places. So you can get wifi in Greece either using the town’s free networks or via the Fon hotspot system. Mostly. Today we are parked by a lovely beach in hoofing rain and are listening to Radio Two via Fon. Fab. (Afternote – lost Fon last night and none this morning!)
Back onto yesterday. It rained overnight. Then it rained as we were packing up and leaving the Corinth Camperstop (you’ll be pleased to hear that I didn’t electrocute myself when I disconnected the electricity, but it’s only a matter of time before somebody does). It was a struggle to remain dry as we took Doris off of her chocks, unplugged, packed up, emptied the loo and filled up with water. To add insult to injury I caught my finger in the habitation door – it hurt. The photo of me is remonstrating to C which finger it was. It’s also conveying the very sense of how I was feeling with her in the warm and me outside in the deluge.
It rained all day. We drove to the entrance of the Corinth Canal (I think I’ve done the history before, but it’s six kilometres long, joins the Aegean to the Adriatic without a single lock and from where I took the photo looks fab. It was built at the end of the 19th Century and is now used infrequently as the canal is not wide enough for big boats). We had coffee at a lovely all glass coffee shop at the entrance to the canal – coffee at €1.30 each and great music – and did some e-admin. The girl who served us said they have thirty ships a day pass through the canal, but we were there for an hour and didn’t see a thing. So they must be queuing up somewhere…
After lunch we drove over the canal further down the isthmus and stopped for the night on the beach just north of Kineta just off the main road to Athens. I think we both thought that finding a decent wild camping spot would be tricky this close to Athens especially as the first bit of beach was a sprawling refinery (with about twenty tankers moored up) and then row after row of half decent villas having bagged the sea. But we turned off after about twenty kilometres and found a quiet place looking across to the Peloponnese. It would have been a remarkable sunset. Alas she was off entertaining someone else and had left us to the attentions of Mr Rain and his cloak of doom.
Oh, before I forget. Greek radio has just got better. I stand by what I said about not being able to find anything to listen to apart from a bit of jazz on the Peloponnese. Now we’re on the mainland our radios are alive with pop and stuff actually worth listening to. I grant you, it’s not quite ‘very normal people’ (Milan 102.5), but it’s more than manageable. Well done the radio folk!
We settled into a quiet evening routine. Frankfurters and ratatouille. No TV, just a bit of reading. I spent half an hour looking at the maps of Norway, Sweden and Finland. They’re big, long places….and the weather is unlikely to be kind. And the midges…and it’s expensive. But there’s a thought.
Believe it or not Mrs Sun has just popped out to say hello. There’s a half decent forecast for the next three or four days, but I’ll wait to be convinced. Jen and James arrive tomorrow! Yippee!
Have a great weekend.