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Published: June 12th 2008
Continuing our southerly route along the Peloponnese coast and through the Saronic Islands, we have been travelling considerably slower than our first 2 weeks. We have visited reasonable sized towns and found a few lovely bays, but not many.
Old Epidavros is a safe harbour and nice town. While there we took the bus inland to the ancient archaeological site and the “theatre” which is very well preserved. Around the site 2000 year old buildings are being renovated to their former glory with EC money. Unfortunately, in many cases they are 90% renovation and only 10% original.
Kate’s birthday was a great day. Lots of present opening in Angistri in the morning (travel flower vase a real hit) then sailed to very cute Vathi for an extravagant lunch (giant prawns in tomato and feta sauce) and a quiet evening in the beautiful harbour.
We are having to get used to the influx of large motor craft every weekend when the rich Athenians escape the city. The number of million-plus pound boats is staggering. They take up a lot of room and don’t mind boxing in a little sailboat when they anchor. In the most popular harbours, weekend or
not, there always seems to be too many yachts. This generates what we consider the uncouth mooring practice of tying to your bow. In high summer they stack boats 3 deep like this, bow to stern, but we simply offer any prowling yacht a stern NO to any idea of tying to Freedom.
Today I am going to finally try to fix the leak in our stern water tank. I have brought bits and pieces from UK to do the job and we could do with the use of the tank. Water around here is scarce, often not available except from a public tap 200 yards away from the quay. When it is provided you have a “water man” to sell you the water with the use of his hose. Unfortunately, the water man has his own timetable and may not be around when you are. And this isn’t on the arid islands, this is on mainland Greece as well, where café owners hose down the street to keep the dust down. In one harbour he wanted 12 euros for us to fill our one tank - wine is cheaper!
We have been backwards and forwards to one
bay a few times, which we have christened Donkey Bay. It is safe and has clear ware for swimming. On the shore daily rituals occur in a time honoured fashion. In the early evening a heard of mixed goats and sheep come down to the shore with a shepherd and his 2 dogs. Another much older man always seems to appear plus sometimes a couple of horses and often a couple of donkeys. The goats eat and drink from troughs and then all potter back up the hill and over the ridge, bells jangling. The other morning we watched while the 2 guys loaded the donkeys with hay bales, 2 on each, and the shepherd walked the donkeys up and out of sight. He then returned with empty donkeys to reload the old guy sitting waiting. This went on all morning. I guess the goats will be fed somewhere else from now on.
We stayed in the town of Hydra on the island of Hydra for one night but that was stressful. The town is lovely if a little bit too renovated and too touristed. Boats moor opposite each other on 2 parallel quays using their own anchors. Well,
with people incapable of driving a boat backwards in a straight line, and the 2 sets of anchors from the 2 quays all landing around the same place, it was a zoo of crossed anchors and tangled chains. We watched boat crews struggle to get in and out and it took all our courage to leave Freedom and go into town.
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