After years of hopping around the Greek islands I decided in 2012 that it was time to take a look at the mainland. By bus.
Interest sparked by reading ‘The Mani’ by WW2 hero Patrick Leigh Fermor, made the wild, rugged central peninsula in the south of the Peloponnisos a magnet and that was to be the core of the trip.
A month or two of planning saw other destinations added. An explosive confrontation with the tutor in a Greek class had made a visit to the iconic monasteries of Meteora top of the list. A growing enjoyment of skiing suggested a resort in the Pindus Mountains. A glowing recommendation of Parga, its proximity to friends with a house on Paxos and a former walking companion visiting Corfu meant the inclusion of the North West corner of the country before the long journey south to The Mani.
The plan was to travel from place to place using KTEL, the long distance bus network in Greece, and in each destination to spend time trekking in the mountains.
Reaching The Mani marked a shift in emphasis from travelling to trekking, with a month exploring the Taygetos Mountains barely enough.
So much was added to the original concept that the Grand Plan became unachievable but the two month trip was to spectacular locations with fascinating encounters. Altogether I travelled about 1,500 kilometres by bus and to a limited extent by train at a cost of €150, about €1 per 10 kilometres.
I recorded the trip on the blog as usual but now I’ve turned it into a book. I’m no great writer. I’m no great photographer. But putting the two average abilities together I thought might work. Originally conceived as an e-book, I have yet to find a way of overcoming the technical problem of converting pages of text with embedded adjacent photos into an appropriate e-book format.
However, ‘Greece by bus’ is now available as limited edition print copy. A4 in size and 160 pages long, in colour on quality paper, it combines travelling, wild walks and reflections. I’m still exploring other ways of making it available.
The covers and a sample chapter in PDF format are below. If you like what you see and would like a copy please contact me. The cost will be £20 plus postage to wherever you are.
There will be one more Greek island blog this year, looking briefly at Kalymnos, before I head to the Canadian Rockies for skiing and trekking in December.