Today is our last day in Areopolis and our first visit today is going to be the Dyros Caves. We know that this is a big tourist destination with coaches arriving from cruise ships and resorts in driving distance, so we plan to get there as soon as it opens at 9.00am. There isn’t a bus service for this route so we walk to the bus station where we pick up a taxi. The taxi driver is a friendly chap – he says that he will wait for us and drive us back to Areopolis which saves us some bother.
He drops us at the ticket office first and then drops us close to the entrance where there is already a small group of people. We are ushered into the entrance and given a life vest to wear. We are then led into a small boat and take off in a convoy across the lake. I must say that the boatmen steer the boats with great skill. Rocks from the cave lay within centimetres of our heads and just as it looks as though someone is in for bump on the head, a gentle tap on the wall with the oar diverts what looks like an imminent injury!
My low light photography skills leave a lot to be desired and the photographs don’t even represent the true experience of these caves. They are truly magnificent and definitely worth a visit. Stalactites and mites of all shapes and sizes. Very fine needle like ones, ones that looks like pieces of tripe hanging from the ceiling – some that look rather rude! Just totally fascinating!
Our taxi drivers waves to us as we arrive back at the car park.
Once back at the hotel we decide to walk down to the neighbouring villages of Limeni and Itilo. Eleni tells us that we can walk there as it is all nearly downhill but best to get a taxi on the way back as the hill is steep. Eleni directs us to walk to the main road and just follow it all the way down. However, we stop off at one of the cafe’s for a cup of tea first. We’re pretty sure that we can get on the main road by going through the village and following a path down to the main road. We ask at the café if this is possible – apart from looking surprised that we were going to walk there they tell us yes there is a path.
What a good choice this was. The path is full of wild flowers and takes us past pigs, goats and brightly coloured bee hives, iridescent beetles on bright yellow flowers and moths resting their wings.
Before long we arrive at the main road and continue to follow it down, hardly any traffic passing as we walk. Slowly the bay below us begins to reveal itself. There is the brightest border of turquoise sea that you can imagine. There isn’t a beach here in Limeni but you can swim from the harbour wall.
Limeni is the first village – a few houses and taverna’s along the front and some interesting looking bars. We pass the Mavromichalis Palace, the former home and strong hold of the Mavromichalis family and the tumbledown Church of Panagia. This village seems low key and unassuming though I think it has another side once nightfall hits.
We gather up the energy to continue walking to the next village of Neo Itilo where there is a small beach. Just as we do the sky becomes overcast and the temperature drops.
There is hardly another soul around and we need to try and find someone to call us a taxi to take us back up the mountain! After walking for ten minutes as if summoning a genie, the taxi driver that took us to the Dyros Caves this morning pulls up next to us and asks us if we want to go back to Areopolis! Sometimes things like this just happen!
Tomorrow we head off to Kalamata where we will catch our flight home but for now, we enjoy our last night in this beautiful town of Areopolis – a town that is beautiful during the day – but absolutely gorgeous at night!