Shells, Grapes and Wine

Rugged Mani
Too much food in Pylos
europe2013 , greece

This five day beach stop, 30 minutes south of Kalamata, was our favorite place yet. The beach was not the best so far (but it did have showers which was handy), but the generosity and friendliness of the local people made it. Dimitris, was a very nice guy we got to know quite well, he would go to the beach every afternoon and would stay until sunset, this had been his routine for years. On admiring his shell collection on his dash board one day he insisted I chose some shells as a gift.

He then took us on a long walk down the beach scouting for shells. We have now started collecting them…

Later in the week he took us snorkeling with him where he showed us where to find the octopuses. One of the octopus was sufficiently threatened by this it squirted ink in our direction!

As we were parked near the action it was easy to get chatting to local people, they would pass by and say hello. It was such a small place we would see the same people everyday.

One afternoon we stopped by at the family run taverna to buy some tobacco and ended up staying the afternoon drinking the home made wine, chatting, drawing pictures and making origami flowers with the kids. We returned to the taverna on the Friday night for a meal. The family were all dressed up for a party in a nearby town. We ended up following them to the party in Petalidi for a night of Greek dancing, music and lots of fun…

Another local we got to know quite well was a fireman Kuliakos we met in the taverna.

On discovering we took a liking to the local wine later dropped us off some in a big coke bottle to share back at the van. We had seen a fire in Greece already and he said they were a big problem here. On one of the days we saw planes dropping down to the sea and scooping up water to extinguish a nearby forest fire.

Grapes were another theme of this visit. We were given an absolutely absurd amount of them. Both Dimitris and Kuliakos gave us huge carrier bags of them. We ran out of space in the van storing them so it was grapes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If we had the space we would be making wine with the local recipe!