Githio, a picturesque small fishing port, has a small islet, Marathonisi, with a good local museum housed in a 3 storey tower, detailing all the famous explorers that passed through. Many of these expeditionary leaders wrote a book of their travels which is shown under their story, Lord Sandwich was one! We then crossed the Mani Peninsula to the Diros Caves, an extraordinary river cave complex close to a long sandy bay. You travel in a small flat bottomed boat with a guide paddler at the rear. The trip takes about 30 minutes as you skim through narrow caves and passages into larger chambers all with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, - at times you have to duck to get through. The river is fairly shallow, a meter or so, for most of the journey but up to 30 meters at the deepest and all quite spectacular! You exit on foot for the last ½ km onto a rock ledge just above the bay.
On to Stoupa , a pleasant small town with a sandy beach catering for the Brits then to Kardamyli where we stayed at Anniska Hotelon the water's edge, although to get to the water you had to walk over rough rocks to a ladder. We spoke to an English guide and were directed to her favorite restaurant on the edge of town, a large new stone building with large outside eating area. There is no menu and no prices! We are welcomed by the owner who goes through the selection of the day, many great sounding dishes - he tells us the whole grilled fish is very good and apologises that fish is expensive and it would be 14 euro! I ordered the fish and Di had roast lamb - it was all great. We watched the sunset over the Messinian Gulf.
The region appears to be receiving EU money - lots of new stone fences, new paved squares, period street lighting, footpaths etc. The aid must be tied as many older houses even vacant ones have been cleaned up; ugly concrete houses have been reclad in stone and all new development is in stone and of good traditional design. The area is looking very good and it appears the Brits are buying up land and building holiday homes; many Europeans return to the same holiday grounds each year.
Before leaving town the next morning we walked up to the old town which is now part of an open museum linked to other regional museums. A small fortified town with church watch tower. food storage, olive oil press etc on the side of a small stream.