It had cooled down from 45 degrees in Turkey to 39degrees when we arrived at Mandra beach in Greece for the night. It was straight down to beach to cool off although the water was very shallow for 200metres so we had a bit of a walk before we could cool off. I was glad to find a freddo cappuccino after having had none in Turkey. There they have either Turkish coffee or Nescafe but most of the men sitting in the bars drink tea in the mornings.

It was about 500 kilometres to drive to Igoumenitsa with a scenic deviation through some beautiful mountains and mountain pass. The Kalami campsite at which we arrived was beautiful with lots of colourful bouganvillea, a stunning beach metres away and a very good restaurant where we ate nice fresh fish, good moussaka and Greek salad. The general standard of campsites is better in Greece with more facilities and the family run ones like Kalami beach were even better. The only drawback was that there was no regular bus service to the town. It was an hour and a half walk or a 7minute taxi ride for 15euros.

A housekeeping/cooking day with a couple of swims in the lovely clear water preceeded our day trip to Corfu. The ferry left at 9.30am for the 1 hour 45minutes trip over to the island. It was a Sunday and most of the shops were closed which made for a much quieter walk around the old town with few tourists in the 36degrees heat . The narrow passageways through the old town were very atmospheric and we then happened upon a little train which took us further around the bay. Corfu had a much more relaxed feel to it than Rhodes where there were more historical buildings but Rhodes was terribly crowded in the main old town. We found an excellent small cafe for some needed refreshments and some delicious thick Greek yoghurt with honey and walnuts before walking back to the ferry for the trip back to Igoumenitsa.

Our last day in Greece was spent with a trip into town to buy from the “Illy coffee agent” some Freddo Cappuccino glasses and some good quality chocolate powder for Maurice who no longer drinks coffee. It was very humid in town so we went back to the campsite for some lunch at the restaurant and a last swim. We really appreciated the extra of our airconditioner especially at night. You could tell the campers who didn’t have any by their exhausted looks in the morning.

The ferry back to Italy and to the port city of Ancona was to leave at 11pm but was late and at first attempt at landing the ferry wasn’t quite in the right spot and had several attempts to straighten it up. It had put it’s ramp down a little early on one attempt and taken out a piece of the wharf’s concrete. The whole landing procedure didn’t exactly inspire us with confidence. Maybe it was a trainee captain. We eventually got away about 1am after having 5 hours on the dock some of it in the last heat of the day on the wharf before a breeze finally kicked in about 10pm.

We had such wonderful experiences in the past two months in Greece and Turkey and we hoped for more as we headed on to our next stage across Italy, France and Spain to Morocco.

Luckily the crossing (a 15hour one) to Ancona was smooth and everyone was quiet overnight. We landed about 4pm and drove straight to Gubbio. It was too late to have the technician look at the fridge so we settled at a campsite and was at his workshop first thing in the morning. He took a quick look and asked us to wait while he replaced a connection and had the fridge running within 10minutes. Such an easy fix after two weeks of searching for ice and trying to keep some food cold.

Relieved went back into Gubbio to see the old town before heading for Tuscany via Cortona another beautiful old walled town unfortunately very touristy so we didn’t spend long there and made for Greve in chianti and our friend Mary who at 91 lives in her beautiful old converted farmhouse. Mary is our role model. She still goes on holiday and drives. We had a couple of relaxing days there and left for Pavia and an overnight stop. It was nice to have some lovely Italian food and good bread again. There was something wonderful about the aromas and goods available in the service station shops and supermarkets in Italy.
We headed off the next morning for our trip over the Alps and into France.

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