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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Backpack Greece and Italy: A Fabulous Introduction to Greece!

My oh my have we done a lot since Italy!

After arriving in Syvota on the ferry, we spent some time relaxing at the pool which was surrounded by nothing but mountains and palm trees. Ben, Jake L., and Adam used the seclusion to show off their volleyball skills in the water.

The following day we left the pool behind for some action on the high seas and went sea kayaking in the morning. Emma and Jennie took to paddling so naturally that they looked more at home in their kayak than Wilbur and Orville Wright did in their plane! After paddling about the islands and exploring some caves, we moved up the beach a few kilometers for more water sports.  This was where the boys on the trip had the opportunity to show off their newest purchases as all of them agreed to buy short European-style bathing suits. Besides a sunburnt thigh or two, they truly were the most fashionable ones on the beach! Jake W., Emily, and Hailey then showed off their tubing skills as crafty Poseidon bounced them about in the waves doing all He could to toss them into the sea.

After working up an appetite in the Greek sun, we travelled to beautiful Parga for dinner where Pam and Jake L. demonstrated their curiosity, and bravery, by having fish nibble the dead skin off of their feet. How jealous the rest of the group was when they found that this had left their feet softer than a baby’s bottom.

During all of this, our guide Yiorgos (who must be a descendant from Zeus himself as he was our driver, tour guide, interpreter, and logistical master) was certain to make sure we had all we needed and navigated better than any GPS ever could.

In Monodendri we took the first of our two rafting trips where Carly and Alanna were masters of their raft and were able to make the entire trip without ever being thrown from their boat. This small mountain village offered a quiet dinner in the town square which we reached by taking the same stone paths that were laid for the animals centuries ago.

We were very lucky while in Olympia to see the ruins of Zeus’ Temple (one of the seven wonders of the ancient world!), the spot the Olympic torch is lit every four years before the games, and the original Olympic stadium which still had the running track in it.  Our tour guide was patient enough to allow us the time to run some races ourselves and get a firsthand experience of what it was like to run in the stadium. Cody and Adam ran well, and if it wasn’t for a loose shoe which ended up falling off, Cody may have pulled out a victory.  Well done boys!

While en-route to Nafplio, we stopped once more for the chance of rafting in Greece. Not only did we get to see a side of Greece that none of us expected in the steep cliffs and deep gorges, but this time Hailey and Sydney showed off their chic wetsuits and paddling skills by navigating rapids and the boulders strewn throughout the river, and only finally felt the chill of the cold mountain water when they chose to leave the raft to go for a swim in one of the pools in the river.

We have seen and done so much in the last little while! We are so fortunate to be experiencing such adventures.

Until next time,

Marissa and Kurt, Backpack Greece and Italy Tour Leaders

The Westcoast Blogger