Published: October 2nd 2010September 28th 2010
Monday 27th September 2010
All were up early and the boat was off the docks before 7.30am. As there was no wind to speak of, it having dropped through the night and swung through 180 degrees to be on our nose, we motored all of the morning. We hadn't had any breakfast before leaving, so Rags designated himself as cook producing tea & coffee all round and then scrambling 20 eggs plus the remaining tomatoes, onions and capsicum served in cereal plates. A tasty start to the day, enjoyed on an almost flat sea.
By late morning we arrived at Paros. This port is the centre for many ferries operating in the area and wasn't set out nearly as nicely as Naxos. The cafes were sparingly stretched along the foreshore, some distance from the boats, with vehicles streaming past separating the two. Naxos was such a picturesque setting and we are all glad we didn't come here a day earlier as originally planned. Added to that, the docking area was very exposed as all inside moorings had been taken, the boat rocking violently each time a ferry or other large service vessel arrived nearby. This continued all night, luckily
the wind dropping and swinging off-shore making it a little easier to sleep.
Exploring and shopping was the order of the day, including finding the hotel we had booked for tomorrow night and working out how to get to Leros, our next destination. Late in the afternoon we all returned to the boat to pack and to have the boat clean, ready for the hand-over tomorrow morning.
A tired crew set off for our final evening meal together, going to a garden restaurant that some-one had found and fancied. We broke our rule of only going to establishments which had plenty of people in them and accordingly had one of the more average meals of the trip. Even the free glasses of local rake didn't keep us there long enough to enjoy the complimentary fruit platter they provided, we instead finding another cafe for desserts. Rags had the most decadent sweet he's had so far this trip, a large waffle-like pancake filled with a rich chocolate sauce and a large scoop of icecream. Much exercise is on the cards for the next fortnight at Leros if he is to come home with his usual weight loss!
Tuesday 28th September 2010
The end of yacht cruise. Kev & Jan fly out early this afternoon, the rest of us staying in hotels until tomorrow, either having a few more days in Athens or returning home. We catch a ferry at 11pm tomorrow, arriving in Kos at 4am. We intend playing it by ear, if the accommodation 'touts' are there and allow us to stay for Thursday night at no extra cost we will stay, otherwise we will wait until 11am for the trip to Leros.
The boat was spotless when the charter company rep finally came at 10am, he being more interested in ensuring the toilets still worked (they did) so that he could charter it out straight away, than in the kink we put in the boom when we had our first gybe and the block broke. A diver was sent down to inspect the keel (this done every time as a libel claim was made a few years ago when a keel fell off & 4 people drowned), the all clear given and we got our bond back without any problems. Diesel cost 175 euro, this split 4 ways for 11days being very reasonable
considering all the motoring done.
We dropped our gear at the Apollon Hotel and set off for a final explore before meeting the others for our final lunch. This was tinged with a little sadness, 8 people who hadn't known all of the others much before, together in close quarters for 11 days, and we came out of it without any arguments, with a lot of laughs, and with a promise that we get in touch more when we return. We certainly hope that we can develop the relationships in the future and perhaps do another excursion of a different type together.
The afternoon was spent showering and then having a much needed rest before we met up with Ian & Jen for our final walk through town. The shops were just reopening at 5pm after the afternoon siesta but tiredness overcame the urge to continue, we retiring to our rooms and having just a few nibbles we still have for dinner.
Wednesday 29th September 2010
After a restless night brought on by the hardness of the pillows, and probably because the bed wasn't rocking on the swell, we had breakfast and went out for a
This church is a landmark right near the waterfront.
Agios Nikolaos is a small and charming church with a blue dome located on the port of Parikia on Paros Greece.
drive around the island with Ian & Jen.
We recognised a few of the towns we had visited in 2002 but for the most it was new territory. We followed the coast for most of the time, stopping first at Naoussa. The lovely village of Naoussa is built amphitheatrically around a tiny picturesque port where little colourful fishing boats called caiques are moored and where remains of a Venetian castle can still be seen, creating a particular and enchanting atmosphere.
Lunch was at a beachside cafe, Markakis Taverna at Drios Port Rags had an octopus salad consisting of lots of raw onion, a bit of capsicum and even less tomato. There are very few people around at this time of the year so we were the only diners. The octopus was very tender however. Judy had the best dish, eggplant stuffed with lamb mince with a large serve of chips. Rags did assist her to finish it. Jen & Ian only picked at their salads, Ian hardly touching his as he is still not well.
We stopped at the township of Lefkes, with a population of only 500, is an historic village in the middle of the
Unfortunately, some of the worst food we'd had this trip!
island. It was set on a verdant hill, with narrow, whitewashed alleyways and marble cobbles. It is surrounded by olive trees and pine trees and offers a breathtaking view of Naxos Island. It also had many by now, ubiquitous souvenir and craft shops. After seeing the mandatory church, the Church of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) which is the village’s main church, a beautiful Byzantine church made of fine white marble at the bottom of the hill we set off back to the upper carpark. Jen & Rags one way, Judy & Ian the other. Jen & Rags had seen much more of the town by the time they met the waiting two.
The consensus was that we'd done enough sightseeing, sleep being of a higher priority. As we had already booked out we made ourselves comfortable in the lounge whilst the other two went to their rooms to freshen up and have a nap. Rags managed to doze off whilst reading, Judy spending a fruitful couple of hours going through the many photos taken. Ian & Jen appeared and kindly let us have their room so that we could have a shower and get into some clean clothes.
Time to pack up!
Always a sad time!
Two refreshed people rejoined the others in the lounge and we took a final walk into the centre of town where we had gyros for our dinner. On returning to the hotel we watched TV in the room, Judy taking the opportunity to upload uni assignments and answer any queries.
We intended walking the 4-500m to the boat but Ian insisted taking Judy and the bags to the port. Jen & Rags followed, a large ferry we assumed was ours already there and unloading. After farewells (at a distance as both were not well and coughing regularly) we walked to the gate just as the boat left! Luckily it wasn't ours going early, ours arriving about 30mins later.
The ferry departed just on 11pm, we finding some seats to try to get some sleep in during the 5 hours it will take to get to Leros. This wasn't too successful, a woman spending a couple of hours talking loudly on her mobile phone disturbing us at first, the very cold airconditioning keeping us awake until our arrival at 4am.
There are more photos below