A quick Greek lesson - a lot of words have 'aki' (pronounced ai-kee) on the end of them which turns it into a sweet way of saying something eg: Pouli is a normal bird, poulaki is a sweet bird! So finally my van became vanaki and it was a real sweetie. A couple of small things along the way but the engine is unstoppable, it was super un-greedy with the fuel and we love it.
In Giannitsa we had a little hole in the exhaust. Not only did the mechanic fix it for only 20 euros, he also gave us two small bottles, one of homemade wine, one of homemade tsiporo! Then he showed us out the back of the workshop the kind of makeshift 'summerhouse' he'd made complete with bar and stone oven so that they all had somewhere to hang out after work.
We got off the ferry in the port of Venice on our way home intending to park up, spend a day looking round Venice, a night sleeping in the van then head off. The weather was hideous - really wet, dark and stormy, parking was proving a problem and then suddenly the van wouldn't start. Got on to the insurance company, got taken to a garage who diagnosed a melted ignition which would need to be replaced but they couldn't do until Monday (it was Saturday afternoon). We were then sent a taxi to take us to a nearby, very nice hotel where we happily stayed for two nights. The next day was full blue and shiny, Venice was stunning and the bus that took us there from outside the hotel drove right passed the van so we were able to jump out and have dinner there!
One of the best gifts we got on this trip was the new curtains that Billy's Aunty made for the van. The old ones were really nasty, dull patterned things and I always felt it deserved better. So I was absolutely thrilled with our lovely new ones - yellow with greenish flacks and - so flash - different fabric for the kitchen! (Yellow and white check with pink and red flowers and butterflies!) Thanks to this lady.....
Billy's mum's sister and her husband outside their mountain house.