Written 6th may
In a recent facebook poll seeking an opinion of whether we should pick riots in Greece or bandits and mafia in Sicily, 66% of people who responded, reckoned riots in Greece - something about immersing ourselves fully in local cultures was mentioned, i'm not sure what this says about us or our friends!! - so here we are.
I had really wanted not to be one of the majority of tourists described slightly disparagingly by one of our Italy guidebooks as 'never going any further south than Naples', and had quite wanted to explore Italy's toe, instep and stiletto heel, but it is not to be. Well not on this trip anyway.
There were some cave dwellings in Matera (apparently the location used for Mel Gibson's filmThe Passion of the Christ') which sounded good but not enough for the detour, and we have decided that given the distance, we could fly to Sicily from the UK for less than the petrol we will use in driving there and back from Bari. So one for another time.
For the same fare as the normal vehicle plus two deck passengers, we got to sleep in our van and free electric hookup - how exciting!
And a sunset view - such as it was - the sea is a lot greyer on this side!
After the limited sleep of the night before, (well I slept, I usually can, anywhere, Will didn't, he just doesn't)we slept really well and our 2am wake up call for a 3am arrival at Igoumenitsa was not the shock to the system I had been expecting - up and about, fresh as a daisy!
We got off the boat, found a village, stopped and even got some more sleep - not bad at all.
No riots (yet) but prices are a bit of a shock to the system after Croatia - €1.50/l for petrol and €2 for espresso - ouch! But quite exciting nonetheless. And back in a land where everything closes for the afternoon. So, an easy day in Ioannina to get over the usual new country, how-do-they-drive, what's-the-word-for-'thank you'-again, culture shock. I have a bucket of feta cheese to eat, I find I quite like greek coffee (half the price of espresso which is clearly a tourist drink here, not the stuff which makes the world go round like everywhere else!), the sun is shining - so far so good!