Driving into Pilos
Pilos is a great little town, pretty as a picture, which goes about it's daily business in the usual chaotic Greek way.
Coming into Pilos from Gialova direction, you have to first join the main Kalamata - Pilos road, which heading to Pilos is fine but returning, the junction is a little nasty as you are crossing the main road on a long bend and visibility is not good. A little further on, there is a place opposite the Hotel Philip where you can pull in and admire the view down to the town. There is a telescope but we didn't bother seeing if it worked, the view was good enough without it.
Next exceitement is driving down the steep, extremely winding hill, full of real hairpins, in to the town. It narrows down nicely in places, you'll encounter numerous vehicles parked in dangerous places and then you may even encounter the delights of meeting up with a bus coming UP the hill, on a blind bend. One day, I was positive a coach was about to hit us, it didn't give us chance to back up to a safe place, it just kept on coming. Luckily, it missed us, by how much I wouldn't like to say. I suppose you have to trust Greek drivers some of the time!!
Once at the bottom, you then have to negotiate the roundabout and the manic traffic before finding somewhere to thankfully park on the quay. By this time, you are most definitely ready for a reviving drink!!!
No, really, it's not that bad if you hit the place at a quiet time!!!
- Road Trip
Building and Demolishing
Now I have to mention the demolishing of old factories and the building of new villas and golf resorts, just to put you in the picture.
At one time, Gialova's land was developed for farming , with olives being the main crop. and there were some vineyards. In the 1960's, some big-wig decided to turn the land over to the wine industry and people were paid to plant vines. A number of wine processing factories were bulit and there was a promise of the harbour being deepened to enable large vessels to transport the wine away.Well, people grew the vines and the factories processed but the harbour project never happened. Gradually, the demand lessened for the area's wine and people became aware of a new product:- Tourism. Much of the land reverted to olives but nowadays, the building of holiday apartments is big business, along with restaurants and other tourist orientated eyesores.
The factory next to Hetty's Houses was in the process of being demolished while we were there and as I speak, probably no longer exists. What will replace It? No, not apartments but I believe a Lidl supermarket. Very handy but is there enough custom in this area?
2008 UPDATE. THIS FACTORY SITE REMAINS EMPTY, NOTHING HAS SO FAR BEEN BUILT ON THE LAND.
Also in the area are two huge golf resort complexes being built, one just outside Gialova which is still in the land clearing stage and the other fronting on to Romanos beach, slightly further north.
I have to admit that we kept an eye on the factory demolition. Some days it was full speed ahead for a few hours, others it was a couple of hours and that was it. Often, we would hear no machines working, but suddenly there would be a tremendous crash of falling masonry. I'm not sure how safe the site was, there was no security and while work was proceeding, the gate would be open. I guess they knew what thay were doing!!!
- Luxury Travel
- Spa and Resort
Mozzies + Scorpions...
Our rep told us mosquitos weren't a big problem in Gialova. I'm afraid we have to disagree. The first night, we were all bitten to death, even though we had repellent on and had two repellent machines plugged in at our accommodation.
Every night, Nick, in particular as he reacts badly to the blighters, would liberally plaster himself in Autan only to awaken the next morning with bites swelling to balloon proportions. Naturally, having bad blood, he reacted and many of these bites festerd. Fortunately he survived by taking anti-hystamines but even now, four days after we have returned, some are still mattering horribly.
Be prepared, and don't forget to plug your machines in. I even awoke most nights around 3am to the sound of zizzing and had to put a new tablet in.
Oh, and Philip found a scorpion lurking in a hole in the wall at Hetty's. Very exciting but remember to leave well alone and check your shoes every morning (if you leave them outside!!)
- Family Travel