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Us and Roger, Parga

July 2009 Mainland Greece

Well we've made it through July and some very hot days. Its been 40 degrees at times. We've also managed to visit quite a few places and meet some more lovely people and purchased a small piece of original art as a momento, along the way. Although as I type this we're back in our usual anchorage in Corfu - has time reversed itself?

July has been our training ground for August we think. It has been quite hot at times. We have spent days just lying around in the sweltering heat waiting for a breeze and/or the evening to come so that we can have some respite. Not that we should complain about the weather (we know there has been plenty of rain in Scotland).

Just before we left Corfu Town we had breakfast with a lovely retired American couple, John and Ann, Yacht Sloop John B. We'd met John a few days previously while he waited for Ann to fly in from USA. We stopped off at a lovely fishing village, Petriti for a couple of days which is on the south of the island before we headed across to the mainland. As always we managed to meet someone else. This time it was a couple Dave and Kim who were chartering a yacht for a week. Unfortunately they hadn't got the best yacht charter and we had a good laugh over a few drinks regarding everything that was wrong. We usually suffer from yacht envy due to everyone we meet having bigger and fancier yachts - this was not the case with Kim and Dave. Not that it was stopping them having a good time.

Whilst in Petriti we harassed a bunch of UK yachties into doing a book swap as we'd nearly run out and I managed to get another dozen books to keep us going. We'd read a David Gemmell fantasy and really enjoyed it and thankfully this swap yielded more from the same author as well as some other fantasy novels. We'd never really tried this kind of book before but really enjoyed it.

We sailed into Mourtos on 3rd July and anchored up in a lovely bay which is between the mainland and Sivota Island. It was a great anchorage, with clear water and lots of shelter. Here we were to meet Roger, Yacht Irena. He is a round-the-worlder. The first night we invited Roger over for drinks and it didn't finish until 4.30am. This was a sign of things to come. We proceeded to the spend the rest of the week with Roger. He provided the wine and we provided the food. We had a meal out together at a grill taverna. We helped him with his laptop and increased his DVD collection and also introduced him to the delights of Gyros which he had not tried before. In between drinking wine and solving world peace (this normally happens around 1.30am) we also had a film night, where we all got comfy on the sofa and watched Pulp Fiction.

In between all the socialising Karl managed to paint 1/3 of our unpainted cockpit cream to match the rest of the boat. Unfortunately we didn't have enough paint to finish the job. At least we have cushions that cover most of the unpainted areas.

After about a week in Mourtos we headed off to Parga while Roger left to go to the island Paxos. We agreed to meet up again in a couple of days time. Roger obviously wasn't sick of our company yet. Parga is a lovely resort. Although its full of tourist its also built on a hill and full of steep winding streets that provide great shade in the midday sun. Thankfully in Parga we could get free wifi from the boat, which compensated for the speed boats harassing the anchored yachts all day long. Karl was called to the rescue to help an Italian flotilla, one of whose yachts had a mainsail problem - he's my hero. We got a bottle of wine for our trouble which went down a treat - I get to share the rewards too! Roger sailed in after a couple of days and we had one day out exploring the local Venetian fort and we also went to back to a free night of Greek music. Thankfully this wasn't a tacky tourist night out but was full of locals who all got up to dance. We had another film night this time watching Good Will Hunting.

After about a week it was time to leave Parga and explore the island of Paxos. We had been here before on a previous holiday and loved it. So firstly we went to a beautiful anchorage, Lakka and discovered the best Tyropita (cheese pie) so far and also the best spinach pie. We are thinking of starting a service that rates gyros, tyropita etc... so that people visiting this area know where to go for the best. This would mean a sacrifice on our part, as we will have to eat lots of said foods but its a sacrifice we're willing to make.

We only stayed in Lakka for 36 hours before heading to the main town on Paxos, called Gaios. We managed to get stern-to on the quayside here which meant that we could just step on and off the boat. After a good explore around the streets of Gaios we met Fiona Gillies, a Scots lass who runs her own art gallery selling her own art and also jewellery. We wanted to buy a piece of her art but didn't know if we could justify the expense with us being on a tight budget. But fate intervened. The next day a British boat came in and lost its propellor whilst trying to come alongside. There was Karl - my hero - to help. They managed to get a replacement prop within hours and Karl donned his scuba gear and fixed it for them. Not only were we (yes we) rewarded with beer but also £50. He did have a '20000 Leagues' encounter when an octopus chased him (with a head the size of a rugby ball) but thankfully he escaped. So off we went the next day to see Fiona and buy a picture from her. We stayed gabbing for a few hours, she even got us a coffee. We met one of her lifelong friends, Bob, who is working in the gallery with her. Fiona paints coastal scenes and sunsets amongst other things, so Karl gave her some photos he taken along the way too. We invited them to come aboard Madison next time they were passing which thankfully they did. Fiona came for coffee one morning and Bob came along another evening in between shifts and had some wine with us and we just played tunes and gabbed. We're very good at gabbing it would seem. Anyway on the last day Fiona even popped along with some fresh eggs and cucumber from her house. They were so lovely that we'll definitely be back in Gaios visiting again.

Anyway it was time to move again and this time to the Greek town of Preveza which is back on the mainland. We'd arranged to meet Roger here too. Yet again we managed to get alongside the quay. The first night started off well as we were berthed right outside a free concert that was being held. Great. We could just sit in the cockpit and enjoy the music which finished about midnight. However what we didn't know is that the innocent looking bar next to us turned into a nightclub that played the worst dance music at full blast until 4.30am. So no sleep was had that night and we moved further along the quay the next night where there were cafes that opened all night but no night clubs. Preveza is a good town to be in as it had everything due to it being a working town rather than a tourist resort. Karl had promised to help Roger get his laptop on the internet and Preveza had a computer shop where he could buy what he needed. We also had a resident turtle that visted us a few times. Mind, given the colour of the water I'm not sure why he stayed there. There are much better places in the Ionian for turtles to be. Whilst here we also found a Lidl so we could stock up cheaply. We managed get Roger a little bit drunk, to the point where he needed help getting back on the boat....oops! We ended up staying in Preveza for about a week again and then it was time to move back to Corfu as our pal Jimmy was flying in on 3rd August. On the way we also tried out our new very expensive bimini. These normally cost around 500 euros but we got ours for 6 euros in Mourtos.

We stopped in at a lovely anchorage we not visited before called, Two Rock Bay, aswell as spending a night in Parga, Mourtos and Petriti. In Mourtos we cut each others hair without it being a complete disaster. Karl did a better job though. In Petriti we had an evening on a Anglo-French yacht, with Linda, Gill and their daughter Camille, which was a good laugh. However there was a flotilla of Kiwi females in at the quayside who were partying until 2.30am in the beachside taverna so we didn't get to sleep too early.

So here we are, 2nd August and back in Corfu on our usual anchorage. I feel like I'm a local now. We're hoping to meet up with Jimmy in the next couple of days. Thankfully we turned up at the right time again and we got a free concert from the fort next to us as the local orchestra was playing. We seem to have encountered a few of these on our travels and its an added bonus.























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