We arrived in Kalamata (of the famed olives) in the late afternoon by bus. Our wonderful host Stéphane picked us up at the bus station. We loaded into his dusty Prius and drove to the beautiful rural olive groves of Gialova, Greece. (not far up the coast from Pylos).
Fairway Residence in Pylos
We arrived at the Fairway Residence villas after dark, and even at night the view is spectacular. The lower terrace looks out over Pylos and the Aegean Sea. At night the foreground is just a dark expanse of olive groves.
We moved into our temporary home, a deluxe two bedroom villa with full kitchen, big screen TV, and 6 person hot tub. Unbelievable! The pool is only a few steps away, and there is a large, open kitchen and dining table just above.
Stéphane explained to us that another family will be renting “our” villa for 3 months. We will be house- and cat-sitting at their home, a few kilometers away. There are two cute, nameless cats that need occasional feeding and hugs while Stéphane and his wife Laure-Anne are back in Belgium visiting family.
We’ll be contributing to the running of the villas, just so you don’t think we’re a bunch of freeloaders. We’ll be managing check-ins and check-outs, maintaining the grounds a bit (there’s a gardener and a pool guy) and doing some painting. It’s not clear how busy we’ll be, since the owners have never kept the place open through the “winter” months so they don’t know how many bookings there’ll be.
Both the villas and the house are surrounded by olive groves. The olives are harvested in late November and early December to make olive oil. During the olive harvest they strip the olives from the branches with long rakes and then prune back the branches. Apparently, only a new branch will produce olives. We will certainly have some olive leaves to sweep as well when the harvest is finished.
Sorry, no pictures of or from the house yet. We did go and have lunch at the house with our lovely hosts. We met the cats, we toured the property and house, and relaxed on the terrace.
The house itself is airy and comfortable. There are two bedrooms, vaulted ceilings, and a wood stove for heat. The terrace has an even better view than at the villas. The view is west-facing, so every night is a spectacular sunset. There is almost no light pollution, the closest village is quite small. I’m pretty excited to see the Milky Way, I haven’t seen it since I lived in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
We’ll be staying in Pylos from early December until mid February, but we won’t be entirely stationary. The house-sit comes with a rental car, and the cats are semi-autonomous. That means we’ll be road-tripping around the Peloponnese Peninsula on one or two day jaunts from time to time.
Good times, and a great place to spend the Christmas holidays!