18 March 2021 21:36
Und dann noch eine gute Tat vollbracht: Hilfe beim festgefahrenen Pickup! 👍💯
Wir freuen uns schon auf den nächsten Bericht von euch und wünschen weiterhin eine gute Reise!
09 November 2021 19:34
Viele Grüsse von uns
800 litres of Diesel were just enough to explore the Greek mainland. We used quite a lot of it over the last few weeks on the Peloponnese. This large peninsula south-west of Athens that looks like a hand with its fingers spread also had a few driving challenges up its sleeve. But more on that later.
If like us you come from the North, you must cross the Rio-Andirrio bridge to get to the Peloponnese peninsula. Although “must” is not quite the right expression. Because it’s a real experience to cross the cable-stayed bridge which is more than two kilometres long and has the Gulf of Patras on one side and the Gulf of Corinth on the other.
Camping at its best – on Golden Sand Beach on the Peloponnese.
We had thought that in Greece the winter temperatures are always pleasant and the sun forever shines. And we did have a few lovely days in January. However we now know that that is not a given: recently constant rain has been accompanied by winds so we needed our winter coats every day. Despite that we were still able to hike through the pinewoods behind the beaches.
On the third day we had to use our traction plates, though not for us: a family had got their pick-up stuck in the sand right up to the chassis. But with a bit of shovelling, pushing and the plates underneath, we got the car out first go.
However, we got into a sticky situation once too, while driving through the mountains when the ground was soft – on a small road we slid into a ditch. Luckily, Mike reacted quickly and was able to activate the differential locks and the all-wheel drive on the Axor. There wasn’t even time to take a photo of the “accident”. It was still a close shave though.
In Messenia in the south-west of the peninsula we camped at the Voidokilia beach in the almost circular Ox Belly Bay – it’s probably the most beautiful place in Greece where we have set up camp. The Axor stood directly next to the water, protected from the wind by bushes so that we could even spend time outside in our t-shirts.
From there we hiked to the Navarino castle. It’s walls are in ruins, but you can still climb them to walk around the castle without having to struggle through the thicket in its interior. The ground falls away steeply from the walls so you can’t afford to take a wrong step.
As the days progressed, more and more people arrived at the Voidokilia beach in vans, camper vans and trucks. We moved on, but all of the beaches in the southern part of the Peloponnese peninsula were well-visited. At one of them there were more than 50 vehicles. Despite Covid – or perhaps because of it – you meet many travellers here or people who camp for weeks on end over the winter.
Inland on the peninsula the landscape is very different to that of the beaches. In some places it’s almost tropical. Back at the coast we camped close to the Dimitrios wreck which is the subject of many stories, some more credible than others. We still don’t know the true story of why it is sitting just rusting away. But it is always a great subject for a photo.
The little town of Monemvasia perches on the coastal cliffs. Since the sixth century it has been besieged by Frank, Byzantine, Venetian, crusader and Turkish armies. Today it has been named a European cultural heritage site and is only invaded by tourists.
We could only see the ruined Byzantine city of Mystras from the car park because a part of it is being restored. So we drove on to a ski resort about 1600 m above sea level – where we found it a bit difficult to imagine anyone skiing. Has anyone ever heard of winter sports in Greece? And there was no snow either.
Before we reached Patras, our starting point, we visited a reservoir in the mountains. Travelling through villages on the way there made us break out in a cold sweat. The roads were wide enough, but a lot of the inhabitants don’t care too much about how they park. A good few times there were only a few centimetres between our front indicators – the widest part of the Axor at “car height” – and the mirrors on the cars.
The road around the lake was overgrown on both sides and eroded in parts. We were relieved to reach a meadow where we could camp. The water level of the reservoir was so low that you could see the ruins of flooded houses. It was a fascinating look at long forgotten times.
Finally we left the Peloponnese again via the Rio-Andirrio bridge. Beforehand we considered what our next destination should be and now it’s been decided. To make the journey and be allowed to move freely once there, we need three negative Covid-19 tests, two ferry passages and a week quarantining in a hotel. That could lead to one or two surprises, so we don’t want to give too much away. You can read whether everything went according to plan in our next report.
An unparalleled journey.
Andrea and Mike Kammermann have been on tour in their Axor for three years. "4-Xtremes – The World Tour" is the motto of the journey that the two Swiss nationals embarked on in mid-2020 and which they share with the RoadStars community. Keep up to date and don't miss out on any of the stunning destinations visited by the adventurous pair.
You can find all the parts from the “4-Xtremes – The World Tour” series here.
Photos and video: 4-Xtremes