A Life in the Slow Lane

Lost in Argos

Normally when we go to Argos*, we can almost manage on auto pilot. We go through the door, up to a catalogue, select an item, buy it and walk out. Hey presto. Not today, as you’ll find out.

Yesterday evening we took a final walk down to Plaka harbour. Not to eat this time, just to stretch our legs. We heard the loudest of frogs in the water filled hole that appeared to be the abandoned foundations from some large project. And then we found some of said frogs, as if pressed like flowers, wafer thin and desiccated, on the adjacent road. Not enough detail left to identify them in my handy Collins European Reptiles and Amphibians!

Today was a travelling and shopping day. We set off northwards on the coast road, aiming for Mycenae. For once the road was wide and well maintained and as an added bonus it closely followed the coast. In places it was a proper corniche road: clinging onto the cliffside with the beautiful Aegean and the occasional harbour, way below.

From our vantage point, hundreds of feet above the sea, we saw a number fish farms for the first time. They are a familiar site in the Loch’s of Scotland, but here I presume they are farming Sea Bream and Sea Bass. At the moment there are not enough to spoil the coast, but who knows in future.

We picked up some bread at a local baker and then found a lovely spot on a beach to eat lunch. Hard boiled eggs and yesterday’s vegetable curry. What a combination!

After lunch we set SatNav to take us to LIDL and, as it usually does when we set that bumbling buffoon to do any proper navigation, the trouble began. LIDL was situated in a town called Argos. Yes it’s not just a shop, but a town in Greece. In fact Argos is supposed to be one of the oldest continually inhabited towns on earth – more than 7,000 years apparently. So probably Argos the town has some sort of priority over the downmarket British shop of the same name!

Unfortunately Argos has a very complicated one way system, which SatNav managed to navigate us through, right up to the point where he wanted us to go over a footbridge! Never mind, we asked him to find an alternative route and we set off on a tour of Argos, until we ended up at the same footbridge for the second time. At this point I felt I was beginning to know Argos better than SatNav so I ignored him and after another not very pleasant tour through Argos’ narrow, double park clogged streets we managed to find LIDL complete with a pick up truck full of beggars!

When we emerged from LIDL, shop complete, we were surprised to see the pick up truck and the beggars had disappeared. Presumably, being a Saturday, they had already too many one Euro pieces to fit any more in the pick up.

Then, finding we were low on cash, and relying on hope over experience, we set SatNav to find the nearest ATM – back in Argos! Fair play to him, he guided us straight to an ATM, which even had somewhere big enough to plonk Basil’s generous posterior.

After I had successfully persuaded the ATM to part with 300 of my hard earned Euros, SatNav set course for Mycenae. All was going well until he requested, for the third time, that we take Basil over a, now familiar, footbridge!

In the doghouse, SatNav’s services were dispensed with, until I had extricated us for the one way system from hades.

I had no wildcamping spots for Mycenae, but knew there was a campsite which got reasonable reviews. We first saw a sign for the grand sounding Camping Mycenae, but upon entry realised that it was essentially somebody’s back garden and that somebody wanted €20 for the privilege of parking there. He was none too happy when we turned down his generous offer.

Luckily we then found Camping Atreus (37.719594, 22.741875). The normal tariff was €23.50, but on the production of my ACSI card it was reduced to €15 and the wifi is actually quite good. This is the second time this has happened to us: a campsite, not in the ACSI book, has given us a discount upon production of the ACSI card. It is a handy card to have.

Camping Atreus

Tomorrow is ancient Mycenae.

By the way, I have already discerned the presence of Mr. Scops Owl. He’s done a good job of keeping up with me from Italy and now all the way round the Peloponnese. He’s as persistent as he is noisy!

*To those non-Brits, Argos is the name of a ubiquitous, catalogue based shop throughout Britain.