Camping near the mountain of the gods / 13.11.12

Our last two campsites have been in full view of Mt. Olympus. It has been clear and cold, with a slight breeze to keep down the frost, and the mountain has snow on its cap. Each of us has been digging deep to find all the warm clothes we are finally glad we brought, and the fires have been a bit bigger than usual (especially since the night a Greek farm woman showed us how it was done).


Most recently we followed a dirt road around a walnut grove, and found a flat patch of grass at the edge of the trees to set up our tents. Halfway through set-up, we noticed a couple women walking through the groves, picking the walnuts. Kallie and I decided to go talk to them and ask if it was okay to stay here. “Okay… No problem.” They dismissed the idea of there ever being any problem with a wave of their hands. Then one of the women held out her apron full of walnuts and made an eating gesture. Did we want some? Kallie and I both smiled and nodded, taking a couple and thanking her. No, take more! She insisted. Kallie complied. No, fill your pockets! The woman began to stuff walnuts into Kallie’s open hands, ignoring her protests. Do you have a sack? They followed us back to our site, us embarrassed but not wanting to deny their offer of kindness, we found a sack and so did Peter and Lindsey. The woman started to fill it, when the other woman said something to her and gestured… Leave the bucket. They left the bucket, and a full plastic bag of walnuts for us, with a smile and a wave over their shoulders, us standing helpless and stupid and blessed up to our ankles in walnuts.


As we were digging in to our salad course around the fire, waiting for mashed potatoes and hotdogs, some kids showed up on bikes. We recognized one of them, who had talked to Kal earlier while we were bathing at the public hose by the weigh station. They were early teens, and wanted to know where we were from, and try out some of their English. We made basic intros, and they realized we were eating, so they bid us “yassus!” and rode away. Fifteen minutes later they were back again, and laid down a 1.5 liter of Fanta. Again, they smiled and rode away–but not before we got a picture together with them.

Strange here in Greece, but we feel more welcome than usual, wild camping. As though we are sharing some divine favor or something… in the shadow of Olympus.


« Previous Post: Being welcomed and being turned away

Next Post: Travelers we’ve met on the road »


  1. Michael Edmondson said on November 16, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Wow Andrew, what cool stuff. I am so encouraged by your stories, and that things are going well for all of you. Many blessings to you, and I hope to see you soon. On a personal note, I received my WTS diploma today! I went out to eat at Subs-N-More, and then got a cookie at Lemonjellos. Thank you for your posts. Your brother, Mike

    • ajspidahl said on November 17, 2012 at 7:39 am

      Great Mike! Congrats! And the celebration is completely Holland-appropriate and reminiscent of the places and experiences of seminary here… SubsNMore and LJ’s. Thanks for the encouragement, and I send some right back at you.

  2. adam said on November 26, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Hey Andrew, I love your posts man; though, I will admit that I just recently finally took the time to check them out. I’m glad you all are well, and from what I’ve read thus far, it sounds like the trip has been a meaningful so far. I’m excited to hear stories when you return to West MI! Take care.

Leave a Comment...