Kalvrita, Mt Chelmos and Cave of the Lakes

Our second recommendation was up another valley and gorge to Kalvrita .
Our first stop was a small café with some wonderful views of the gorge which we will see close up tomorrow on our rack and pinion railway trip.

If you look closely you can see the railway line at the bottom of the gorge.
Rounding another corner we spot the Monastery of  Mega Spelio believed to be the oldest in Greece.
Once again standing precariously on a cliff face.
On reaching Kalavryta we pick up our tickets for the train and also the cave of the lakes.
As we climb the hill out of town we pass by the Second world war Memorial to the Martyred male population of the village in 1943

The high plain opens out in front of us as we head towards the caves.

The cave of the Lakes is near Kastria. This cave system has fifteen lakes of which you can only visit two. No photographs were allowed here, so I took them quietly.

Ever onward and not to be daunted by the gatering thunder clouds we head to the ski slopes of Mt Chelmos.
No skiing at this time of year but a few patches of snow remain.

Crossing the mountain range our road starts its hairpin journey down into the Krathis river valley. Apart from the pot holes and washouts which constitute most of the road , it is a dream on two wheels.

On reaching the valley bottom we head upstream to the pretty village of Zarouchia, another recommend.

We backtrack down the road and our last visit of the day is to Lake Tsivols.
This was created by a landslide that blocked the natural course of the river.

Luckily we managed to stay ahead of the rain and descended into lovely sunshine again.

Ancient Achaia and Theatre of Egira

On advice from Manolis our jovial host at Camping Akrata beach, we set off to explore one of the river valleys and gorge on our trusty scooter.
The river Krios is about five Km to the east of our camp site and we head up the western side of the river past the Monastery of Agias Vassiliou built into the cliff face.
We pass through small villages  high in the mountains and get chased quite regularly by the local dogs.

We round the corner before the road runs out of tarmac and head back down the eastern side of the valley past the modern village of Eges with the incredible rock face as its backdrop.

As we approach the coast we see a small brown sign pointing up to the hill top to a Myceanean citadel. After scrambling up the bank, keeping an eye open for snakes, we reach the excavations.

From this viewpoint we cannot see any evidence of the theatre that Manolis mentioned. So we head on down the road and suddenly Sarah screams stop.

There, a tiny brown sign is hiding in the grass to the Temple and Theatre.
A short walk down the track takes us to the gate which we had already been told would be closed, so we took a few pictures of this Theatre which is slightly different as it has been carved out of the natural rock face.

Chelmoutsi Castle and Kotichiou lagoon.

 We have now moved campsite again to Glifa and Camping Ionion beach a superb ACSI site with a wonderful swimming pool and lovely flowers.

On route to Chelmoutsi castle we decide to go to Kotichiou lagoon for a bit of bird spotting.
We drove down what really was not a road but a farm track complete with tractors whose drivers  looked at us with some disbelief.
We did however catch a Little owl in full sunlight, I don't know who was the most surprised.
Around the lagoon, any guesses ?

In the distance from the bird hide a group of Flamingo's an a few Pelicans.
Chelmoutsi castle.
1219 to 1223 AD
The most famous Frankish castle in Greece.
Its other name is Casteltornesi after a coin that was minted here.
The hexhagonal keep has huge vaulted halls.

Some of which have been restored like this curved section.

This is one that needs a little bit of work yet.