GREEK COAST-SCOTTISH VIBE – GREAT BAKERIES AND CAMPING IN THE RAIN, 1976

THURSDAY 14TH OCTOBER, 1976

“Very windy and overcast.  Lovely coastal scenery once more, rather Scottish again with blue fingers of land and grey-blue sky.

Stopped at Lavadia for shopping stop.  Shops never very well presented.  Greek towns dirtier and less attractive than I’d imagined.  Had lovely pastries with cheese filling (Heidi, Frances and Diana) – I won’t lose any weight on this trip!

Picked up the other 6 at their beach camp.  They’d had lots of sun and fish barbecues etc.  Went to Thessalonika, tried to cash money, all banks close between 1 and 4 though.  Had sandwiches down by the waterside.  Very grey and windy, but quite stuffy too.  Others (Paul and Mark) had big gallon flask of ouzo type drink (“Cheepero”) which they tucked into.  Others of us drank wine – couldn’t touch the ouzo again!

Began to rain this evening.  Pressed on along coast to camp where ferry crosses to Thassos Island – absolutely chucking it down – had no trouble getting pegs in tonight!”

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METHONI, GREECE – SWIMMING, DANCING, ‘SMASHED’ 1976

On cooking duty in Greece – went over budget and overboard with the garlic and sustained a blister courtesy of the bubbling Smash (does anyone else remember that distinctive industrial taste of powdered mashed potato?)  Had my first and last encounter with the mind bending substance Ouzo – now I understand the warning: beware of Greeks bearing gifts … 

SATURDAY 9TH OCTOBER, 1976

“Left early for Greek border.  I was doing cooking with Nikki and Chris.  Stopped at small town to shop – lots of sign language in the market (all 4 stalls!).  Overspent money.  Crossed border making butties!  Beer at border a rip-off.

Made for east coast, camped in afternoon at Methoni fishing village.  All went down to the beach (tents a stone’s throw away from sea), swam in the Aegean Sea! – very slimy and shallow!

Prepared meal with frisbies flying everywhere – got one in the back of the neck!  Fantastic spicy, garlic etc stew (La stew as opposed to Le Stew.  Drew up stupid menu – wide-mouthed frog and caterpiller pie, les afters, tic tac a la Robert etc!)  The smash (volcanic) spat at me and burnt finger – gorgeous blister.

Then all went down to nearest bar – some people been there since very early.  Tested out ouzo – only drank half bottle (too many).  Other Greeks there playing instruments – so some got up and did Greek dancing with them – Shirley being one of course.  Adrian keeled over – took 4 of us to get him to tent where spewed up.

Other group – 2 Scouse, I Irish and girl who is getting lift to Athens with us.  I thought I was OK but got to bus and memory is a complete blank!  Apparently I was feeling awful, hanging out of bus window and sounding upset.  Remember heading for sea at one point and sitting there – Rob came and rescued me, got things out of bus and found my tent.  After that I escaped again and headed for bus because heard music playing.  Apparently nearly murdered tape deck and shouted obscenities at Fred and Jan about the noise – vague recollection – Fred said that’s last time I get to choose music!”