We’re off for a second Greek Odyssey – this time with Jim and Claire for company – Rubber Duck, this is Plastic Chicken; We’ve got ourselves a convoy!
We escaped Blighty just as the Big Chill arrived, only to find that the rest of Europe was also in the grip of a cold spell – the van”s “freezing conditions” warning light barely stopped flashing for the thousand mile journey to Ancona on the Italian Adriatica coast, where we were met by snow! 24hrs later our ferry steamed into Patras, Greece, under blue skies and a cool but respectable 13C.
A quick sat nav calculation suggested that the drive through Eastern Europe would have added almost another thousand miles and about 20hrs behind the wheel, proving that the “feet up, drinking beer” plan was the right option.
A couple of hours after rolling off the ferry we’d made it to our campsite on the Argolis peninsula (if you think of the Peloponnese as being a hand, Argolis is the Thumb that sticks out into the Agean), exactly 5 days after leaving home.
We’d clearly offended some local gods on the way over, because our first night delivered thunder, lightning and about 3 inches of rain! This continued through much of our first day, but having been cooped up in a van or a ferry for the best part of a week we were desperate for some exercise and ideally a token route. Hence the visit to Frachti Cave…
This is a truly impressive cave system near the south of Argolis, accessed by a 15 mins stroll along the beach. With evidence of continuous human occupation for 40,000 years (mind boggling!) this is a major archaeological site, that also happens to have a few routes in it.
It’s well worth a visit, but sadly our hopes for a YECTOYD went unanswered – the half-decent looking routes at the back of the cave were drenched
… and the undercover options were a slightly odd bunch of top rope lines that were splattered with pigeon poo.
I’m keen, but not THAT keen!
Happily the skies had cleared and we settled down for peaceful night, soothed by the sound of waves lapping on the shore.