|Fire trucks waiting for the parade|
|The lovely Githio|
|Very much as active fishing port...|
|Anyone for octopus?|
|Filou pastries - we chose, Pistachio, Lemon, Chocolate and a Noisette..|
|In order to reach the harbourside tables...|
|the waiter had to dodge the traffic on the busy main road.|
|At the sight of the courgettes, quick fried in a tempura batter, Gill is quite overcome.|
|OK, it's a plate of chips, forget Skegness here, they are lightly fried in olive oil and dusted with oregano.|
Although the campsite is hardly busy, there are probably more than a dozen other vans dotted about, so by Greek out of season standards - a hotspot. All the usual suspects are here, and our next door neighbours who are, well, what is the best way to describe them? Extraordinary might be a good word.
First the usual suspects:
1. Us - the recently retired on a shoestring....
2. Grand Tourists
3. Bear Grillis goes motorhoming
His truck is all set for crossing the Sahara, all wheel drive, a metre ground clearance, winch on the front, additional fuel and water containers (metal camouflaged) strapped to the side, solar panelled roof...we saw them later in Lidl car park.
"Aaah bless," we sixty somethings go, at the sight of the cute young couple in an ageing campervan, taking a career break to travel.....
In Spain last year we saw variants of the same characters, and others beside - Concorde millionaires, ardent homeschoolers....but we never came across anything quite like our nextdoor neighbours here -
|The tribe's tents|
|All wrapped-up against the evening chill...|
Most days were sunny and warm and the toddlers and tweenies ranged across the site left to their own devices, the older ones looking after the younger. They had lots of fun, were boisterous - but they never bothered anyone else or got up to real mischief. What was surprising to our British sensibilities as they ran amok without a stitch on, and clearly had been doing so for weeks as they were tanned from head to foot.
Two things struck me, firstly tabloid hysteria in the UK concerning fears about paedophilia have made us very nervous about children and public nudity. We are more prudish than a generation ago when it was fairly normal to allow under fives to run about bare in the garden or at the beach. Fear of abuse and paranoia about skin cancer has put a stop to all that.
The second thought I had was how much all of this was linked to aspects of the Bettany Hughes book I am reading. One short chapter concerns the education of girls in 5th Century Athens; its called 'Running With the Bears.' Once Athenian women were married their lives became quite resticted. However, pre-pubescent girls were sent to outdoor camps between the ages of ten and fourteen where they were able to 'run with the bears'. The idea was that by allowing them to run freely in the natural environment, looked after by priestesses, they would 'run the animal' out of themselves, and so become more moderate, and 'modest' adults. What we seem to be doing is precisely the opposite, restricting children's opportunities to be free, and saddling them at a very early age with SATS and measurable targets and so on. Most children now are in nursery early, and pre-school places are required to meet external standards just as much as schools. Of course these places should adhere to high standards of care, but sitting in meetings with Ofsted inspectors talking about 'a curriculum for babies' I just wanted to scream. So for all the tepees and the harem pants and the paraphernalia of an outdated hippydom, I was glad to see next door's tribe 'running with the bears', or should that be 'bare'!
In its own modest way, staying at Githion Bay campsite has proved thought provoking as well as enjoyable, furthermore, it is rather lovely too. I do like Greece....
|Lovely wooded pitches|
|direct access onto Mavrovouni beach.|
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