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June 3rd 2017
Published: June 3rd 2017
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26th to 29thMay

Kato Gatzea near Volos

It’s back to the coast and a lovely campsite called Sikia run by two sisters. The campsite is busy, partly due to a big group of cloggies. We were offered a tiny patch with a view of the sea but opted instead for a more spacious pitch with a view of the sea if you crane your head to the right. Behind us is the Pelian, a mountain range that has a small ski resort at the summit. There is a network of cobbled paths that link the hillside villages with each other and the coast. After buying a map we planned a couple of days walking but first we decided to cycle along the coast. We passed through the lovely seaside villages of Kala Nera where we stopped for a coffee and Koropi. It was supposed to be a gentle, flat cycle ride but of course it turned into an endurance trail. When we left Koropi the road climbed so high, we hit the pine tree zone which as far as I am concerned is very altitude stuff. Eventually we made our way back to the coast and had a late lunch in Kato Gatzea along with a well deserved beer.

Our walks took us up to the villages of Agios George and Milies. There is a narrow gauge railway that contours along the hillside with picturesque stone bridges and viaducts. It still runs a train at weekends and bank holidays but whilst we were there works on the line meant we could walk along the track without the worry of getting mowed down. The cobbled paths ranged in width and quality. At their worse, they were overgrown with broom and as it had rained overnight, we were soon soaked as we brushed past their water laden branches. It was also very humid. The views down the coast are extensive, a string of small bays edged in golden sand. We walked through olive groves, shoulder high shrubs and deciduous woodland, all very verdant.

The weather has been a little stormy during the last few days but mainly remaining dry until late afternoon and thunderstorms keeping us awake overnight. On Sunday we had torrential rain for the whole day. At one point there was a river of water pouring down from the road onto our pitch and flowing under the van where it pooled at our door. We stayed in and finished our jigsaw.

On our last night we ate in the campsite restaurant whilst a small group of old Greek men played local tunes. The views over the flat calm sea as the sun set were beautiful.

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