Friday, 6 September 2019

Maiden Voyage for a Neo. France, Italy & Greece. Part 2

We finally made it to Ancona and after collecting our tickets for camping on board we were on the dock in the right queue.

The only van with a GB sticker!

It appeared chaotic at times but Anek Lines are Italian run so it was not as bad as the Minoan line which we had used on our last trip. The ferry was due out at 1.30 pm but actually left at 3.30 pm! Only a two hour delay then! The boat was actually quite empty with loads of spaces for cars and vans but pretty full for foot passengers.

We were a bit anxious about the loading process as a lot of the big lorries were going in backwards. As it turned out we drove straight on an were soon settled on board.

We were given an electronic key to access the car deck. There was an electric hook up available and good showers and loos. Once moving you could use all the ships facilities which we thought were quite good. It was very hot though, even with doors and roof lights open. We ate in the self service restaurant and spent some time on the ship, no worse than our cross channel ferries really. Prices about the same on board. We slept well in our own beds!

Watching the sun coming up! There was even a swimming pool on the ship for those who fancied a dip.

Patras harbour. We arrived at around 3.30 pm, so it was exactly 24 hours on board. The boat stopped at Igoumenitsa first, so lots of passengers got off there. Reassuringly boat announcements were also in English so we knew what was going on most of the time.

Disembarkation was relatively easy. We had to do a "u" turn but by then the car deck was quite empty, so not too bad! From Patras Port a short 30 minute drive and we had arrived at our first Greek campsite Kato Alessis.

Soon settled in under the olives again.  A basic site but good hot water, a small shop, friendly staff and a restaurant overlooking the sea under a massive olive tree.

A few camp dogs but of the friendly variety. There was also a youth group on site but they were all very quiet and well behaved.

Dinner under the olive tree. Spectacular setting. You feel you are really on holiday when you get here, a glass of wine and a view to die for. I think the only disappointing thing about this site is the beach. Very scruffy now and sadly gradually eroding into the sea with remnants of old rusty beach bars still in evidence. However, a very relaxing stop we stayed for two nights to chill out.

The next stop on this trip was Oympia. Camping Alphios. We had stayed there on our previous escorted tour so thought we would go for a few days and revisit the Olympia site and museum. We had a very warm welcome from the campsite owner and soon found a pitch over looking the valley towards Mount Kounis. A stunning view. We were pleased that there was extra shading.

View towards the Olympic valley from our pitch.

A fabulous pool at Alphios and very well maintained. There was also a very good restaurant and all the food was home made by the family that ran the site. We tucked into moussaka that night.

We walked down the very steep hill to Olympia. Easier going down than coming back up! The campsite owner told us to go in the afternoon, it was hotter but so much quieter! We had Olympia practically all to ourselves for the princely sum of 6 Euros each, with wrinkly discount ( take a passport or driving licence!) We wandered around the ruins.

The deserted running track!

We later went up to the museum ( included in the admission price) and introduced ourselves to Hermes and Nike! The museum was also deserted but very cool so we had a good look around.

Hadrian himself! I wonder if this was before or after the wall! 

After the museum we made for the town and enjoyed a nice cool drink before a very hot climb.

From Alphios we really had no plans but decided to make for a beach stop next. Straight down the Peloponnese towards Pylos. Camping Erodius at Gialova.

The campsite is right on the beach and here we have stayed for 5 nights. Again, great little village just a short stroll along the beach and a lovely walk towards the lagoon in the opposite direction. The campsite was quite full, mainly Germans. The weather has been beautiful and the facilities excellent. Loads of showers, loos and a great taverna on site.

The beach is a picture postcard. Loads of water sports going on and posh yachts coming and going, so plenty to watch. The beach is only used by the campsite with lots of sun beds free to use. 

Just down the beach is a resort village with plenty of shops and small restaurants. A carafe (50 L) of white wine for 3 euros. Not much to complain about.

It must be coming to the end of the season because everyone seems to be leaving. The campsite is emptying fast.  We have decided to move on tomorrow to Mystras and the campsite called Castle View. We may see a few more ruins on the way but the site we are heading to has a good pool which we may need if this weather continues. Fingers crossed.


  1. Ferry crossing car decks are usually very stuffy and noisy with the ship engines and fans always going. Did you find that when you slept in the Neo ?

    1. It was stuffy but that was just the very hot weather. No real engine noise either. It was so much better than the previous year sleeping in a cabin. I got bitten to death not sure if it was mozzies or fleas.