Day 18: Patra - Nafpaktos - Patra - Bari
Trip Start Mar 17, 2010
25Trip End Apr 15, 2010
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Nafpaktos was busy on this festive Saturday and I was lucky to have parked well before its centre with the small, old harbour. I walked along the sea and admired the view of Pelopponese to the south, Patra bridge to the north, and the ancient fortifications in the mountains dominating the town. A café latte at the harbour wall was well worth 3,50 Euro, thanks to heaps of tasty frothed milk and a great harbour & people view
Over the brouhaha of people walking around between the table of the coffeeshop and the sound of the small waves which were constantly washing against the harbour wall, I became philosophic about life. Thought about how much I needed to be happy. And the answer was much more simple than the question. I needed to have a few really good friends. And maybe a beach. I was so relaxed.
Saksouki (or probably rather myself) then took me westbound along the coast to a place called Etoliko, a town on a small island, well connected to the mainland through a dam. A little gem.
Once back in Patra I immediately went to the ferry passenger terminal at the port. Received my ticket quickly and then enquired about the customs formalities for the car. With a generous four hours left till departure, I once again went to the 'Si Doux’ café and pampered myself with cheesecake. Lovely. Sadly, the shops were all closed. The night before, I had seen a pair of shoes for 115 Euro which I wanted to have. Call it the Carry Bradshaw factor in me, but those olive green coloured Spanish casual shoes had caught my attention.
Two hours before departure, I was at the port customs office to unregister Saksouki. Only took two minutes and I even received a duly stamped and signed copy of the certificate. Something for my travel collection, will have to scan and upload it.
While waiting for the ferry with the few other cars near a fence, three friendly Algerians talked to me from the other side. Telling me about their life and hardship in Greece. It was touching in many ways… hearing how hard they were trying to find jobs and make their living. And, which was shocking, the xenophobia they were facing according to their description. None of them was begging at all, they simply wanted to communicate in Arabic and French, and be heard. I was deeply touched by their stories and their friendliness and would have loved speaking with them a little longer. But the ferry was ready for boarding so I had to go.
Having seen the floating palaces all around the port, I was expecting some big ferry. But what I got on was a very small one for Greek standards. Nonetheless it had a fully fledged casino (which I didn’t intend to explore anyway), and various restaurants and cafés. I sat down in the largely empty airseat area, near a TV screen with RAI Uno programme. Which was fine. I mean in the beginning. But once we had departed, they switched on the sound. Which was fine. For the news, and even the cybersex warning programme where they interviewed a handful of ladies from the postal police for about half an hour (just thinking about that, there is a specific postal police in Italy??). But then, the whole crappy Italian TV evening shows kicked in with a myriad of happiness and joy coming out of the screen and jumping into your living room. Yuk. Once the next show with mostly untalented children started singing Italian evergreens at very doubtful quality level, I pulled out and chose a seat much more towards the end of the room. And switched on my ipod.