Traveling to Korinthos

Trip Start Jan 05, 2010
Trip End Jan 23, 2010

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Where I stayed
Glaros Camping

Flag of Greece  , Peloponnese,
Thursday, January 7, 2010

   We had wanted to get up early today to get on the road so that we maximize the amount of light in the day. The plan was to bus to Korinthos so that we could take a short walk and go see the canal. Following that quick stop we would bus on to Kineta to Glaros Camping just outside of the town. Unfortunately we slept in later than we wanted as we didn't hear the watch alarm and finally crawled out of the tent at 8:30. The showers in the campsite were disgusting and we opted to skip them to both save time and avoid the appalling condition. We still had oatmeal for breakfast but not wanting to eat muck again we headed to the supermarket to see what we could find. We came back with some apples and cereal thinking if we put that in there it might help. Chopping up the apples and dumping a bunch of cereal in to give it a crunch it was way more edible but still pretty muck-like.

    After a slightly more edible breakfast than yesterday we packed up our gear and headed for the bus. I voted to just take the bus stop we got dropped off at but Scott wanted to walk to the transition point when we had to switch buses. Winning the decision we went wandering looking for the other stop. Unfortunately it all went bad and we got really lost and eventually made the decision to turn around and backtrack to where we got dropped off. We stopped in a harbour and grabbed some kebab beef things in a bun that were pretty tasty. After a fairly lengthy wait it finally showed up and we had lost a lot of our daylight. After watching where the bus went we were headed in the way wrong direction to get to the transition point and it’s a good thing we back tracked.

     Once back in Patra we headed towards the bus station that we had walked past on our way in. We stopped at a grocery store to stock up in case there wasn’t anything open in Kineta and after getting screwed time and time again on getting groceries we were getting frustrated. The packs were also comfy enough that we were fine with adding more weight to them without worrying too much. While in there we had put our packs at the front door and while in the back area heard someone say "Who’s from Canada" and the store owner pointed to the back. An amazing lady came over to us and asked if we were from Canada and explained that she had just got back from 8 months there. Having a lot of problems shopping due to the Greek language we asked if she could speak Greek and said yes very well. She then walked around the entire store with us helping us find everything we were looking for as we planned to make a Risotto and were also looking for brown sugar. Anytime she couldn’t find anything she would bring the owner over and translate for us and we basically had two helpers which was awesome and so helpful. At least with French and Italian you can still half decipher words and what is going on but Greek is just impossible. Scott eventually figured out how to translate it somewhat to at least the English alphabet but with all the words not being English after translating it didn’t help much. It did certainly help with city names and street signs though as those would directly translate.

    Loaded up and ready to go we hit the bus station and got some tickets to Korinthos. It was a fairly nice bus ride with some gorgeous scenery but we got really confused when we got dropped off in Isthmus instead of Korinthos. We were so turned around and no idea where we were and no maps in sight we started to panic a bit. It was already 3:00 and light was starting to fade and not even knowing what direction to walk to get to the canal our plan had fallen to shambles. Disheartened and confused we went back into the bus station to pick up some tickets to Kineta. The ticket lady was incredibly rude and started actually screaming at us. We were trying to ask her where we were but she just got mad and kept yelling louder and louder “Where do you want to go?” Completely appalled we gave up and just said Kineta and got our tickets. It was 6:30 before the bus showed up and night had already fallen. The bus driver looked at us and was really confused and came out to talk to us. We said we were going to Kineta and he didn’t believe us until we showed him the tickets. Apparently it is not a tourist spot, especially in the winter so he was pretty confused why we were going there. It’s also a really small town and nothing to do so you could see why. We weren’t technically going there anyway though as the campsite was a couple kilometres out of town and we told him which one we were going to. Luckily he was a much nicer bloke (unlike the ticket lady) and was going to drop us off right at the gate of the campsite and save us the 4km walk. Certainly a nice bonus as it was already dark and we were getting really hungry and already pretty rattled from the confusion.

    Once the bus departed we drove over the canal which turns out was no more than 1km from the bus station. If we had of just walked in what we thought was the right direction we would have been able to see it but not being able to triangulate our location we didn’t want to risk it at the time. As it turns out Isthmus is a suburb just east of Korinthos. Our plan was to get dropped and walk to the canal but turns out the bus actually took us to where we were going to walk to but due to the fact that every city has about 3-4 names we didn’t realize we were there. The problem lies in the fact that there is the Greek name, an English name, a Greek to English translated name, and finally multiple versions of the Greek depending on where you are in the country. For instance the town we were shooting for can be spelled: Corinth, Korinth, Κόρινθος, Kórinthos. Not really helping with the navigation as every map seems to pick a different version.

   Finally making it to the campsite we headed in and met who would become our best friend ever. The owner of the site was an elderly chap and was actually about to close the gate so we just got there in time. It was €17 for the night and we paid and trekked off to set up our tent. While setting it up he came walking over and asked if we were hungry. We replied with we were starving and about to cook but he said don’t bother as he made too much for himself and to come back to reception after setting up the tent to eat at no extra cost. We couldn’t believe our ears and showered him in “thank yous” as we quickly set up the tent and headed back. We were presented with a homemade bean recipe, a rice soup, wine, and fresh bread. It was the most glorious moment of my life as we had a hot, home cooked, multicourse meal sitting in front of us for FREE! It was absolutely delicious and his English was so-so but we kept a basic conversation going. Once done he presented us with a couple oranges and some dessert apple stuffed things that were pure heaven. The orange in particular is by far the best tasting orange I have had on this trip and we had eaten tons in Italy.

    Fully stuffed and on cloud nine we headed outside and wandered down to the beach. It wasn’t much but looking up at the stars with the waves crashing in after a home cooked meal; we were pretty sure we had died and gone to heaven. Heading back to the camp we played some cards at the patio area trying out a new game we had learned and eventually headed back to the tent. I looked over nearby and counted at one point 9 cats running about. Still can’t get over how there are cats and dogs just living all over the place but still taken care of; almost like community pets I guess. Crawling into the tent after the best meal of our lives we dozed off quickly with full stomachs and then some.
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