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,
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
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
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.