DutchFARSI VERSION oct-12

No matter which way you turn in the Peloponnesian the scenery is stunning from the peaceful golden sandy beaches to the tops of staggering long range mountain views. Following sweeping highway vistas we visited Ancient Olympia, origin of the Olympics with still standing arches, columns, and a 45,000 seat stadium. 

On good twisty roads to the Temple of Apollo in its mountain retreat that still defies the imagination of its creation 2500 years ago. From the far west of Kyllini to the mountain retreat of Dimitsana via Olympia our route traces some of the most rugged and remote areas of Greece.Wrestling a 1977 MGB  convertible on long rally days with a movie star gorgeous co-driver is a trip of nostalgia. When was the last time you were happy to drive one handed holding the top up with the other three hands in a thunderstorm trying to not use third gear as the clutch slipped while avoiding rocky mudslides and goat herds?

 No it wouldn’t stay in third gear, no the driver’s seat belt didn’t work, no the top didn’t stop the rain pouring in, no the wipers wouldn’t stop after the rain, no the interior light wouldn’t go off until a fuse was pulled, no our luggage didn’t really fit, no we didn’t get all of the turns right, no we didn’t understand the rules of the rally as we raced from fourth to thirteenth in the standings, no we didn’t care. We were having too much fun.
But by far the best part of our trip is the legendary Greek warm hospitality. The generosity of everyone is as unexpected as it is heart warming. John, Alexandria and Stavros selflessly spent months of their limited free time organizing a 7 day rally, then holding our hands all day. Petros sight unseen lent us his beloved black 1977 MGB. Miltos gave us a private tour of the Hellenic Motor Museum in Athens and then chauffeured us to the start of the rally all the way across Greece in his family owned since new 1972 dark blue BMW E3. Antonious with his father in a  fire engine red 1970 Alfa GT stopped so often to give us advice in our befuddlement and crack jokes that he probably would have been first instead of second in the standings at the end of the day behind the too good to be true 1967 Mini Cooper.
 
Score at the end of Day One: 13th place out of 18, 7 new friends. We are already winners.

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