Greece on the brink

Mon 20 Jun 2011 16:05
41:23.162N 25:05.289E
We have today driven over the mountains from Greece into Bulgaria. Primary reason ----- Greece is too expensive. Diesel, Euro 1.50/L +, camping Euro 17 per night, local equivalent of fish & chips, Euro 20. The place is madness! Huge new roads, massive city centre development, but the place has the sense of chaos. Lots of people lounging about doing nothing, parking and road discipline a complete joke and as far as we can tell the tourists (in the very small bit we have seen) are staying away in droves. Not surprising, next door there is the dynamic Turkish economy and across the border in Bulgaria a hotel room sells for Euro 20 and fuel is less than Euro 1. We can’t see any hope for Greece. They look stuffed. Interestingly, there is also a lot of military, air force and police activity in the area we have just driven thru. Is something up??
Anyway, we are going to explore the Rhodopi Mountains from the Bulgarian side for the next few days and will then drop down into Greece to meet Sandy's brother in Parga on the Adriatic coast before crossing into Albania. We never thought that we’d see the day where we preferred an ex Soviet state to a western European country, but there you go! 
On the mechanical front, since our man in Istanbul has tweaked the truck we have torque and power from the engine, the front suspension no longer clunks when we go over bumps and the steering doesn’t tighten up on left turns! A fantastic result and very cheap. God knows what that lot would have cost in the UK. We are now planning to do Central Asia in Autumn next year after having the truck prepped in Istanbul.

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