Exploring Milos

black gay dating atlanta June 17, 2015

frau im gefУЄngnis kennenlernen Another day of light air and we plan to make the most of it and head south from Adamantas. We suspect we will be at anchor tonight. Mid morning we spot a sizeable cave near Triades and decide it is the perfect place for a swim. Tom and Marcelo are quickly in the water. Always the ‘foot dragger’ when it comes to swimming, I follow behind. I lose sight of them but am convinced of my destination. As I get close to the shore, the current strengthens. For some reason I tend to swim to the right. Is one leg stronger than the other? A political leaning manifesting itself in a physical form? So strange! This complicates my arrival and I am more tired than expected. I tread water for a while looking for my compatriots. The boat is looking very far away. I decide I need to go to shore and recuperate before the swim back. This is not easy. I finally get close enough to stand on a rock when I hear Tom calling from the nearby cave. Still tired, I swim to the cave and take a brief look. Tom has already headed back to the boat. Luckily, Marcelo appears. Snorkeling back I follow Marcelo…who swims straight. What a good idea! I will be working on doing just that in the future.

One more spectacular view along the Milos Coast
One more spectacular view along the Milos Coast

http://www.mylifept.com/?refriwerator=bin%C3%A4r-optionen-dab&9cb=8b binär optionen dab We round the southern tip of the island and stop at spectacular Kleftiko.

Kleftiko on Milos, Greece
Kleftiko on Milos, Greece
Boat moored in cave in Kleftiko on Milos, Greece
Boat moored in cave in Kleftiko on Milos, Greece
Kleftiko, Milos, Greece
Kleftiko, Milos, Greece
Huge cave in Kleftico, Milos, Greece
Huge cave in Kleftico, Milos, Greece

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you can try this out Huge arches, caves big enough to drive a dingy through, all made out of white lava! The water is pristine and inviting. Amazing!   Anchoring here is not easy. We continue to drag. Here for lunch and a swim and another thousand photos and then we haul anchor and return to Adamantas. “Definace” and “Mrs. Seven. are still at the dock when we return. When we are not sailing we are looking at boats!

site June 18, 2015

when your ex boyfriend is dating someone new Lazy day. Rain expected. Our big event is, of course, food related.

club para solteros en tijuana Tonight we plan to eat in Adamantas at O Hamos Restaurant tel. 22870-21672 The restaurant is along the harbor but much too far a walk. We take a taxi. Surprising atmosphere….hokey! Small inexpensive playpark to the left, wooden fence with large pan lids nailed to it, and a variety of tables both on level ground and on the veranda that are decorated with an assortment of vinyl tablecloths. No glassware, more crockery. Such contrasts. Our waiter could be a sommelier with his knowledge of wines. Our food, especially the stuffed zucchini, is very good. My pork was moist. I wouldn’t rank it as a gourmet evening, probably because of my food choices, but it was good. The service was excellent.

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find out here now Renting a car today to tour the east coast of Milos. Marcelo is staying behind to do some work on the boat. We head towards the airport near Hivadolmi, passing salt marshes and a processing plant for ore, I assume. Tom and I head to Paliochori and stop for lunch at Sirocco. Nice beach…sand but gray. Guide books tell me that there are more beaches on Milos than any of the other islands. Food is fine but the waiter was a disaster…served us the wrong salad, let our meals sit for quite a while before serving us, forgetting Tom’s orange juice, serving someone who came much later the orange juice that the kitchen made for Tom.   We head more south after lunch to Kyriaki and Fyriplaka and then back to the boat to rest up for…you got it…dinner!

Tom, Marcelo and I drive north to Pollonia, a lovely beachfront village. Our plan is to eat at Enalion Restaurant (tel. 22870-41.415) a family owned tavern.

Rita, our waitress at Enolian, and Marcelo
Rita, our waitress at Enolian, and Marcelo

The word has gotten out. The tables are all reserved but, because we come so early, they seat our party of three. We order the pitarakia (small fried cheese pies), clams, and seafood pasta. Fabulous! They serve fine wines, have well-trained staff, and have a warm and friendly demeanor. Our waitress was very pleasant and professional.

The drive through to Pollonia is quite wonderful. We pass Papafragas, site of one of our best cave swims, but it is difficult to see from the road. As we drive back to Adamantis, the downhill slope provides magnificent views of the bay and beyond. Great evening!

Dramatic Milos

June 15, 2015 Sailing to Milos

Very light southerly wind. Perfect for going to Milos. Other sailors have touted its beauty but the prevailing northerly wind and meltemis make it a tough trip and difficult to enjoy the sights on its northern shore. Lucky us! Crete will have to wait. Milos is famous for a lot of things. The 4th Century BC Venus de Milo came from this Milos. (The story is that it lost its arms in transport to Paris.) They are also the biggest producer and processor of bentonite and perlite in the EU, both ores used in tons of things. You probably eat, drink, and breathe, most of its by-products. Most mining occurs in the northern half of the island.   The coastal landscape is dramatically different from the Greek islands I have seen. The water carves out the soft underbelly of rock surrounding the coast producing many beautiful caves and grottos. Wind and sea sculpt the rocky volcano made tundra into fairy like outcroppings. There is a palette of bright whites, soft pinks and reds and browns in large swatches.

Pakilar on the northern coast of Milos
Pakilar on the northern coast of Milos

 

Rocky outcropping on the northern coast of Milos
Rocky outcropping on the northern coast of Milos
Poliagos, Northern Coast of Milos
Poliagos, Northern Coast of Milos

Closer, closer to Poliagos on Milos, we see a mystical grouping. Amazing! Are we in the world of the “Lord of the Rings”? Spikey promontories replicate themselves improving and perfecting themselves on each new northerly adventure. Three thousand pictures later, we tear ourselves away to continue around the northern side of the island.

Pakilar near rocky outcropping off a Milos
Pakilar near rocky outcropping off Milos

Near Triades on the west coast, we anchor for the night. Swims and then dinner aboard make for a perfect day.

Sunset in a Milos Bay on Anchor
Sunset in a Milos Bay on Anchor

June 16, 2015.

Dramatic coastal landscapes continue but summer has arrived and I occasionally need to hide in the cave-like ‘down below’ of our boat for respite from the sun. We have wifi …so I am grateful. Miss my children …two in London, one in Boston, and one in California. Good time for emails and writing this blog. Like a gopher, I poke my head up to check out the newest vista. We are dropping the anchor to go for a swim at Papafragas near Filikopi. It’s a bit difficult to locate from the water but we finally find it. We swim through a cave entrance that magically leads to the small but perfect little hideaway beach.

Rita Swimming in a cave on the northern shore of Milos
Rita Swimming in a cave on the northern shore of Milos
Pakilar anchored near caves off of Milos
Pakilar anchored near caves off of Milos

Beautiful! Openings in the cave wall lead to another pool and then out to the sea. Quite wonderful…and I am swimming in a cave. I surprise myself.

We head for the harbor in Adamantas and plan to tie up at the dock. We pass the town of Klima with its colorful ‘syrmata’ (traditional fishermen’s houses with a basement chiseled our of the soft rock that they use for storing their boats in the winter.) We decide not to stop since it is too shallow an anchorage. Best to go on a day with a car. We do rent a car when we arrive Adamantas and use it to go to Plaka, the location of the Chora. We have done our research and pick Archondoula Restaurant tel: 22870-21.672 for dinner.

Archontoula Restaurant in Plaka in the Chora on Milos
Archondoula Restaurant in Plaka in the Chora on Milos

(There is a restaurant that advertises that their chocolate pie recipe is patented. I make a mental note. Maybe next time.) No cars in the Chora. We luck out with a spot in one of the closest parking lots. Archondoula is traditional Greek food but some of the best we have eaten. It is family run. Mom is our waitress. Twelve-year old son is assistant wait staff and Dad brings the dishes from the kitchen. Who is the chef? Dad? Grandma?…maybe not since the food has a new age feel…traditional but inventive. The stuffed mushrooms are out of this world. Throw a dart at the menu. You can’t go wrong. Every dish they bring out looks great and tastes even better. We came early and left around 9:30. Every table is filled…others did their research too. We stop at the Church of the Panagia Korfiatissa, just a short walk from the restaurant. We enjoy a spectacular evening view of the islands silhouetted in the last light of the day.

Rita and Tom walking the streets of the Chora in the Plaka, Milos, Greece
Rita and Tom walking the streets of the Chora in the Plaka, Milos, Greece

Folegandros, Greece

June 13, 2015

Wild ride to Folegandros on the southern edge of the Cyclades. Pakilar reaches 8 to 9 knots on a beam reach with a northerly 25 knot wind. Tom is using a Go Pro to video our sailing. The clarity is excellent but you don’t get the real feel of the drama and ferocity of the day. Docking at Karavostasis Harbor is challenging but we are prepared. At least three more boats squeeze into the space on the quay after us. Always good to get anywhere around 3pm to find dock space.

Folegandros, Greece
Folegandros, Greece

The Ferries come here at three times a day and one of the biggest pulls in front of us. Precision docking. This is not the Ferry Boat Captain’s ‘first time to the rodeo’. Within 10 minutes they have docked, unloaded and picked up at least 30 passengers.

HIgh speed Catamaran arrives in Folegandros, Greece
HIgh speed Catamaran arrives in Folegandros, Greece

Tom, Marcelo and I rent a car and then are off to the main town on top of the hill. (Karavostasis has a town but most of the activity is up on the hill.) Bus service to the town runs about every two hours but we have missed it. At the entrance to the main town, there is a beautiful overlook and we enjoy the sunset there.

Rita and Tom at overlook at the beginning of the kastro in Folegandros, Greece
Rita and Tom at overlook at the beginning of the kastro in Folegandros, Greece
Tom and Marcelo at the overlook in Folegandros, Greece
Tom and Marcelo at the overlook in Folegandros, Greece

Starved, we have dinner at Pounta, a Lonely Planet top choice. Tom and Marcelo have eaten here before. It is a lovely multi level garden. We sit out of the wind on this breezy night and eat horta (spinach) Saganaki Cheese, Baked Eggplant and a pork dish for me. Delicious. Worthy of a top choice. The owner remembers Tom who has purchased his wife’s pottery.

Tom, Marcelo and I eating at Pounti Restaurant in Folegandros, Greece
Tom, Marcelo and I eating at Pounti Restaurant in Folegandros, Greece

There is a ‘kastro’, (Medieval Town) from the 13th Century. The new section of the town is an extension of the kastro. It is open series of town squares filled with shops and restaurants. There are no cars. It is the perfect place for someone less mobile or with strollers. It is ‘Greece made easy’ no quirky steps or corners. I have enjoyed it here.

June 14, 2015

Staying one more night in Folegandros. Tom and Marcelo head off to a local hotel with a tennis court. Tough playing tennis in this big wind. It is the usual routine with lunch on the boat, nap, and then sitting on the deck watching the charterers try to dock in a big wind. Wind is much lighter today but still fun to see. French boat

Arrives with husband and wife screaming at each other while husband steers stern to for the dock and she handles the anchor. (Definitely would be Tom and I without Marcelo.) Large group of German charterers come in and slide in next to us on the dock. We saw them in Amorgos. They run out of chain before they can tie up and have to go out and reset the anchor that, of course, fouls in the process. Finally in, the captain’s wife, whom we were later told, came to along to help him with such a large charter group, moves a fender to a wrong spot. Her husband screams at her so loud that everyone turns around to look. I am surprised that she didn’t cry…but suspect it happens often. Ah yes, the joys of sailing. We should have made popcorn…lots of drama, comedy but, luckily, no tragedy. Hollywood endings for all!

Dinner tonight in the Chora at Restaurant Chic   Tel. 22860-41515 utadim57@hotmail.com. Beautiful spot and excellent food! We saw a wedding party and guests dining here last night. It served as a good recommendation. The old kastro boarders this large piazza, home to Chic and one other restaurant. They advertise that all their dishes are homemade and that they grow their own vegetables and raise their own lambs and goats. The menu tells you which items are gluten free, vegetarian, etc. Bread is beer batter bread. We enjoyed each of our dishes from Tom’s lamb, my pork, Marcelo’s Mousakka, cheese ball starters (3 different kinds of cheese rolled in egg batter and spices) and grilled vegetables. Delicious!

Exploring Amorgos, Greece

June 9, 2015   Amorgos

We wake to a beautiful sunny day in Katapoli Bay on Amorgos.   Tom and Marcelo have been to this island before I arrived on the boat and really enjoyed it.   Our first stop is the car rental agency. This is a big island, approximately 30 miles long, very hilly, even mountainous. To see it, we will need a car. We rent a Hyundai I 10 at Hermes Rent A Car Tel: 2285072065 www.hermesrental.gr

The mother of our car rental agent offers us some of her homemade Raki (Raki with honey and cinnamon, a traditional local drink called Amorgion Rakomelo Psimeni) as we wait. We take a small glass to be polite.   It feels strange to be offered liquor from the person who is renting you a car.

Great importance is placed on hospitality, both in Greece and Turkey. You eat a meal in a restaurant, they always offer you extra dishes on the house…appetizers, desserts, a glass of Raki. You buy something in the store, they add a little gift not as an inducement to buy but as a thank you. Shopkeepers are open long hours but are consistently pleasant. They greet you when you come in and thank you for coming when you leave, even if you haven’t bought anything.

Marcelo is planning to spend his morning looking for the new water pump. After our chores at the grocery store, Tom and I decide to explore the north end of the island, including Aigiali Bay and Lagada. We drive over mountainous terrain with fabulous views around each hairpin turn. I find myself leaning towards Tom as he steers each curve, especially when my side of the car is cliff side. We had considered stopping in Aigiali Bay on the way to Amorgos. Now that we see how exposed it is, it won’t be a choice in the future. We head to the small town of Lagada, where we notice a coffee shop serving homemade pastries. We stop for a coffee and a sinful treat.

Rita and Tom stopping for a fabulous treat in Lagada on Amorgos
Rita and Tom stopping for a fabulous treat in Lagada on Amorgos
Tom in a pastry cafe in the Town of Lagada in Amorgos,Greece.
Tom in a pastry cafe in the Town of Lagada in Amorgos,Greece.

We noticed a sign saying “Art Studio” in Lagada and decide to check it out. We ask a young man where the “Art Studio” is located. He says, “My father isn’t here but I can show you.” Tom asks, “Is he the artist?” The young man looks at us quizzically. “No, this is the art studio”, he says, and points to a building with small quest accommodations for rent. We all laugh. We have a pleasant conversation about from where we are visiting and we meet his dog named ‘Rita’…a very good dog.

We head back to the boat to pick up Marcelo for lunch at the Chora, The Chora is the religious center of the island and is located on a rocky promontory in the middle of the island. White stucco buildings hug the edge of this labyrinth of small streets. The surrounding landscape sports terraced hillsides and some industrialized uses rendering it just a bit sparse .The Chora itself is quite nice with a host of small cubbyhole-style shops and restaurants pocketed along the streets.

I am drawn to one of the small shops with a tasteful collection of clothing and a wonderful collection of wool for sale. Kolokithaki Handmade, Chora Amorgos, +30 22850 72083 www.facebook.com/kolakythaki   I meet Penelope (Nelly) mother of the shop’s owner, Georgia Kolokythaki,who arrives shortly. Mom is watching the store for her. Tom, a much better shopper than I, encourages me to try on some of the items I like. Georgia notes how unusual it is to have a man with a discerning eye for clothing. The discussion turns to art. Georgia tells us about her artistic sister Mairie and shares some of her paintings on the laptop. Tom finds a couple very good paintings showing that Mairie has real talent. Nelly suggests that we meet Mairie. She tries to reach her without success. We mention that we are headed to Kath Odon +30 697 828 3575 (means ‘pass through’ in Greek), a restaurant nearby. Yes, I got the blouses!

Kath Odon Restaurant in the Chora on the island of Amorgos
Kath Odon Restaurant in the Chora on the island of Amorgos
Restaurant Kath Odon in the Chora on Amorgos, Greece
Restaurant Kath Odon in the Chora on Amorgos, Greece

Lunch at Kath Odon is absolutely delicious. Food in Greece is usually not gourmet. It is more ‘sitting in your grandmother’s kitchen’ comfort food. Tom and Marcelo have eaten at Kath Odon before and loved it. Now, so do I. Fabulous chicken dish for Tom, Octopus special for Marcelo and I had an oven cooked beef casserole dish that still causes me to salivate when I think of it. It is a terraced outdoor space that is quite charming, as is our waiter whose name I forgot…suspect it is Nicholas, a very good guess in Greece.

Marcelo and I head up to the church on the promontory past the little town square. Tom has been there before and says the church is quite empty. Apparently, you can get the key for the church at one of the kiosks to let yourself in. We go for the view and skip getting the key. On our return, we meet Georgia, her sister Mairie the artist, and a friend Elena, a German born journalist who spent a number in South Africa, has written several books and now writes poetry. The next hour is filled with exciting conversations about art, writing, places and people. Difficult to leave, so we invite all three of these wonderful women to the boat in the evening.

Left to right…Mairie, Elena, and Georgia…wonderful women on the island of Amorgos
Left to right…Mairie, Elena, and Georgia…wonderful women on the island of Amorgos

They come and the conversation is as interesting as ever. They came for drinks but stay for dinner…Marcelo’s wonderful avocado salad. Over the third bottle of wine, we talk philosophy. Great night with new friends.

June 10, 2015 Exploring Amorgos and Adventures with the Ferry

I wake this morning to the sound of our engine starting. What’s this? We are at the dock and waiting in Amorgos for parts. There should be no engine starting this morning! The “Small Cyclades” Ferry has rolled their anchor over ours and dislodged it. Luckily we are able to reset it again easily. It did cause a little chaos for a while.

Our friend Georgia Kolokythaki recommended a visit to Agia Anna near the Chora before we head farther north. Spectacular! There are two beautiful beaches here. A long walkway down the cliff to the left leads to a small church and a beautiful rocky beach just a short distance away. No church to the left but a beautiful beach foots another walkway down the cliff. We must come back and swim here.

Agia Anna on the island of Amorgos, Greece
Agia Anna on the island of Amorgos, Greece

We continue northward Kamari where we stop for lunch at Anemolithi Restaurant. Shocking that a restaurant can be so far off the beaten track and still have customers. At first we thought it was closed. The interior of the restaurant has a Gaudi-style motif…colorful tiles line some walls and the two fanciful columns either side of a small set of steps. We sit outside on the large patio overlooking the sea. We are the first customers of the day but at least 8 more people come for lunch at this very, very out of the way place. We eat a fabulous local sausage and a black break from a local bakery that is cooked in a wood fired oven. Our waiter is welcoming and makes good food recommendations.

Georgia, Mairie and Elena are coming to watch a movie with us tonight. We hope to see “Salt of the Earth”, about a Brazilian photographer made famous by taking the picture of the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan. The movie is in three languages…French, Portuguese and English. Unfortunately we cannot get the captions in English and decide to watch a movie about Pablo Picasso. (English and French are ok but Marcelo would have to perform an ongoing translation from the Portuguese. Great fun and good discussions with Georgia and Mairie. Elena is home working on her poem in Greek(!!) for the big Festival during the last week of June. Georgia shows us the local ice cream store where we can find softserve ice cream and the home of a friend who is a good masseuse. Tom and I book appointments with Theodosia Stathi 6944448611 theodosiastathi@gmail.com for tomorrow.

June 11, 2015

It is becoming a routine waking up to the Ferry leaving. Chaos on deck! The Ferry has pulled up our anchor again. Marcelo can see it hanging from one of their lines. He is yelling and waving to one of the crewman on deck. The crewman smiles and waves back. Fortunately, the anchor falls off the Ferry’s line and into the water. Tom starts the engine and we head out to reset the anchor with a much shorter scope and return stern to on the dock at the very last spot nearest the highspeed catamaran.  It is a better angle and no boats on one side of us. We think this will solve the problem but we will wait and see.

Salad for lunch today and then we head to Agia Anna for a swim. Beautiful walk down to cliff to the little church and the sea. Sea stones cover the beach.

Agia Anna Bay in Amorgos, Greece.
Agia Anna Bay in Amorgos, Greece.
Sea Stone Beach at Agia Anna, Amorgos, Greece
Sea Stone Beach at Agia Anna, Amorgos, Greece
Agia Anna, Amorgos, Greece.
Agia Anna, Amorgos, Greece.

A hiking group is at the beach. We saw them in town earlier. Many members were smoking cigarettes before they head out for their ‘healthy’ walk. Seem like a nice group. Marcelo and Tom both go for long swims. I sunbathe on the beach. Upon their return, we leave Agia. We want to see the southern end of the island…Navagio Bay with the shipwreck, the church in Panagia, and the beach at Cape Pavlos. Lovely and remote one and all. We stop at a small taverna on the way back for an early dinner. It is more like a home than a restaurant with just a few tables and an older woman and her young daughter waiting tables. An old man tried to flag us down to come here on our way to the end of the island. We did a U turn to stop, got a good recommendation from a German tourist but then decided to see the end of the island first. It almost looked as if the tourist had given us a bad recommendation and we were off. They were surprised and pleased to see us on our return. Delicious home cooked stuffed peppers, fried allischi (or some other kind of tiny fish), meatballs in lemon sauce and a Greek salad. Everything was very good. During our two-hour dinner (everything made as we ordered it) we only saw two cars pass and we were on the main road. Very pastoral. We paid a modest bill and then tried to give the old woman a tip but she was hesitant to take it. Finally, I said it was for Irene, her daughter. She called her daughter who thanked us in English. The mother gave me a kiss on both cheeks…she was thrilled for her little girl. Good memory.

Racing back to be on time for a massage with Theodosia. She lives in the first house at the end of the quay in Katapola (as you face the dock, go to the far right along the water and it is the first house. She lives upstairs. The house looks very run down but Theodosia’s apartment is immaculate. It is an eastern / Asian style massage (you will hear a Thai singing bowl) that is amazingly good. I am a deep tissue person and it surprises me that this gentle but healing touch is so relaxing for both mind and body. Theodosia is a dancer who has studied the healing arts. She has a gift for massage. 6944448611 theodosiastathi@gmail.com

Georgia, Mairie and Elena have invited us to Jasmine, a bar-café in town. I decide I need an evening to just relax and to continue enjoying my newfound mental calmness. Tom and Marcelo said it was a great evening. Everyone was happy.

June 12, 2015  Last Full Day in Amorgos

Marcelo is staying on the boat to install the water pump that came by courier last night from Athens. It is a long and laborious process to get a part delivered with lots of middlemen. Tom and I are heading to the Monastery near Agia Anna this morning but first we are off to Jasmine’s for breakfast. As you enter the center of the Chora, proceed three streets down, take a right had turn down a set of steps and Jasmine is at the bottom. Lovely, cozy place with two balconies and an interior that looks like someone’s library / living room (someone with a large bar). We eat our very large omelet, orange juice, bread, tomato, olives, yoghurt and honey breakfast looking out over the middle of the Chora. Tom recognizes a young woman named Lillianna, a friend of Georgia and Mairie, who is sitting alone at another table.   We all start to talk and she comes over to sit with us. She is Lithuanian (?) but lives in Germany and works for Sandoz in Munchen. Steve, a violinist from Milan, another member of the group whom Tom and Marcelo met last night, joins us at breakfast. Steve is from Poughkeepsie, NY, but moved to Milan many years ago. Both Lillianna and Steve return to Amorgos often when work allows. We all have a great discussion about the politics and future of Greece and Italy. Really like them both and we all plan to see each other again tonight at a small music festival in the main square.

The Monastery… what an amazing site! If higher up means closer to God then God MUST live here.

Monastery on Amorgos, Greece
Monastery on Amorgos, Greece
With the trip for the view.  Amorgos Monastery
With the trip for the view. Amorgos Monastery

 

Rita on the steps leading to the Monastery in Amorgos
Rita on the steps leading to the Monastery in Amorgos

Tom has elected to skip the climb up to the church since he has been here before. Head down and determined, I climb up hundreds of steps to this white stucco beauty clinging to the side of the cliff. All I can hear is my labored breath. All I can feel is my pounding heart.   Luckily, this makes me pause occasionally to reap a reward, both physically and visually. The bluest sea surrounds a host of Gothic spire-style cliffs. Great place for a church! I FINALLY reach the church door, look in, and see more steps. Dear God! I climb up to level one, a monastery’s attendants stops me and says, “No Pantaloni, No Pants.” I need to have a long skirt on to see the church. I say, “Why didn’t they tell me at the bottom? Pants are more modest.” I realize that my argument is futile but I am pissed! More than forty years ago a nun guarding the Sistine Chapel refused to let me enter because my purposely-modest outfit of a sleeved knee-length dress (mantea covering my head) was a “Mini-skirta” to her. Meanwhile, tourists wearing shorts and T-shirts coming off of sightseeing busses were going right in. Wow! I am still angry after 40 years! Let it go, Rita. Let it go.

Luckily, the monastery ‘guard’ pointed to some lightweight fabrics hanging on hooks…down on the first level of the church. I lumber down, put on the gauze cloth trip hazard to make me ‘Modest’ and climb up again. The monastery has a grouping of small rooms with an icon from the 800s AD. No pictures allowed. There is a tiny balcony and more icons. The light is low but I peer as closely as I can. Now our hosts guide us into a small dining area where they offer a soft powdered-sugar coated candy similar to Turkish delight, a glass of water, and some Rakamelo. If they are trying to buy back my affections with candy and liquor…it might work! A very kind gentleman tourist translates the history of the monastery as relayed to him from the attendant so that a Polish couple and I can benefit. As I begin the long trip down, one of the three priests who lives here, walking stick in hand and puffing hard with effort, is turning the corner. Empathetic, I give him right of way.

One of three priests living at the Monastery in Amorgos makes his way up, up, up!
One of three priests living at the Monastery in Amorgos makes his way up, up, up!

The monastery is worth the walk for the views alone. Open until 1 pm (13:00 hours) and again from 5 to 7pm (17:00 to 19:00 hours). I suspect this will be my last trip up unless I become a ‘born again’ health enthusiast post joint replacement.

Back to the boat for a rest and no need for lunch after our mega eating adventure. Marcelo has replaced the water pump. We are in good shape again. A knock on the hull and new acquaintances Denise and Peter from the boat “Black Pearl” have stopped by. Peter is German and Denise is American. Married just five years now, they have a house in Seattle and Spokane. We have a small world conversation, their having met Tom’s cousin in Jamestown when he was selling his boat and they were looking for a boat. Just the two of them on their 47 ft. Swan, Peter, age 74 and Denise in her early fifties share their adventures. Today they tell us that the coast guard brought in a French boat with a dead woman aboard. The story is that she had a heart attack and fell…she was apparently covered in blood. Good plot for a murder mystery. A diver was dispatch to check the hull and keel of this boat…the plot thickens! We invite Peter and Denise back to the boat for drinks and then a trip to the Chora for the music event in the town square.

Wonderful evening with a cool breeze. The whole town turns out. We visit with Georgia, Mairie and Elena, as well as Lillianna and Steve.   Ah Greek music! To be honest, I am not a fan. In American Band Stand terms, I give it a 5 because it has a beat that is hard to dance to. Still, it lends to the atmosphere of the evening and the principal singer is quite famous in Greece. Melina Kana. Matoula Zamani also added her talents to a fun evening. I promise to educate myself and increase my ability to appreciate.   We end the evening with a dinner at Kath Odon with Peter, Denise, Tom and I with …cameo appearances from Steve and Lilliana and Mairie and Marcelo.   Food is excellent and the company is even better.  I will miss Amorgos and these lovely people.

 

 

 

 

 

Regrouping and a Serendipitous Visit to Amorgos

June 5, 2015

Pulling up anchor and heading back to Leros. Winds from the north again, so we sail. It is only a two-hour trip. The wind starts to gust upon our arrival and increases as we head down the bay. Marcelo prepares the boat for docking. “Stern to” docking can be stressful in a big wind. There is very little room to maneuver as you are pushed down by the wind. Normally it isn’t a big worry but today Marcelo is shorthanded…he only has me. Good news is we move into the lee once we turn the corner into the marina. Tying up goes smoothly.

It is the usual shore routine…laundry, car rental, remaking beds, and washing the boat. The showers are good at the Leros Marina, so I partake. Since we have the car, I suggest that we head to Pantelli for dinner. When we drove through one day last week, I was struck by how charming it was. We eat at “Psaropoula” (Apostolis Taverna) Panteli, Lero tel:  +30 22470 25200 www.psaropoula.net. Great view and excellent food.  Our waiter treats us as honored guests.  You get the feeling that you are an old friend whom they were hoping would stop by.   All restauranteurs should bottle this attitude and use it…of course, most of the restaurants we visit in Greece already do.  Our waiter starts us off with a glass of Raki from the house.  We eat the local cheese and lava. Marcelo has fresh fish and I enjoy a lamb dish…all very good.

June 6, 2015

Cleaning the boat today. I must have accidentally pushed an ‘On’ button on the microwave and it tried to cook the rubber handle on a fry pan that we had stored inside. Totally gassed out of the boat for a while. It probably took a year off our lives…very caustic. Off to the ABC market and the fruit market. I often think of getting one of the rolling grocery carts to carry our purchases but it is just one more thing to store on the boat. There is a donkey tied outside the fruit market. Someone is tired of caring their groceries too.

Donkey on the Streets of Leros
Donkey on the Streets of Leros

Laundry closes at 1:30 here so we want to pick up so that we can head out when Tom arrives.   Our laundry owner has been doing this job for 42 years. We look at the photos of his sons and his nephews and nieces and his triplet great niece and nephews. Very nice man. Glad we spent the time to get to know him a little better.

Tried going to Vromolithos for dinner to ‘To Pigado’…but couldn’t find it. Reviews say a wonderful French chief cooks there. We drive on to Agia Marina (pronounced “Ay Ya” and stop at a small restaurant down a sidestreet…dodging laundry on our way. I had a delicious local pork and Marcelo had the mackerel. Potatoes were soggy and the fried zucchini left a lot to be desired. The best part of the evening was getting to know our waiter, Nicholas. He was a marinaro and traveled the world. Now he works at his brother’s restaurant and says he works harder than ever. Nicholas shared stories of spending time at Revere Beach near Boston and Rio and Sao Paolo after hearing our places of origin..

June 7, 2015  Lipsi

Tom arrives on the 7:40 Olympic Air flight from Athens to Leros. Marcelo and I, resisting the cheese pies at the airport kiosk, watch as Tom deplanes. There are two flights a day from Athens to Leros.

Beautiful sunny day today with northerly winds. We are ready to leave, so we head out on the short trip towards Lipsi once more.   Upon our arrival we pick up a mooring in Katsadia Bay just a bit close to a sailboat between us and the shore. We watch the boat swing, anticipate the predicted change in the wind for the afternoon and decide we will be fine.

Time for swim in the clear clean waters here. I make myself a promise to finally go. Tom and Marcelo are already in the water and off to explore. I squeeze into my short wetsuit and head for the stern to find goggles and flippers. Finding only the latter, I refuse to accept it as an excuse not to get in the water. I sit on the sugar scoop and wait a bit long before making that final lean forward and into the water. Old fears! Perhaps I will sink to the bottom or drift off in the waves and out to open ocean. That moment of commitment, the lean forward with no going back… I wish I could capture it in a photo to remind myself to do it more often.   Of course, if you are reading this posthumously, I am wearing gold earrings to pay for my burial just like the sailors of old.

I swim towards the beach and watch the children play in the water before making the return trip to the boat. I see Tom on deck. I don’t think he knows I am in the water. As I get closer, I wave. He smiles broadly and waves back. As I climb up on the stern he tells me that he thought some beautiful blonde was swimming up to say hello…then he saw it was me. Shows you the importance of aging eyes and a wetsuit that acts like a Spanx. I may start wearing it all the time.

Harbor in Lipsi, Greece
Harbor in Lipsi, Greece
Lipsi Anchorage
Lipsi Anchorage

Marcelo makes his fabulous avocado salad for lunch and then we all retire for an afternoon nap. Twenty or thirty minutes later with everyone fast asleep there is a boom on our stern. We race up on deck to see the bow of the boat in front of us kissing our stern. No damage luckily. Marcelo dives to check the moorings. Their line has wrapped around their mooring and shortened it up enough to swing into us. The problem is corrected. The other boat owners are a mellow Englishman, Ralph, now a resident of Australia and his girlfriend Katie from Colorado. We invite them for drinks. They have been together almost seven years, spending just a few months on the boat each year with a few visits in between. Ralph used to build boats and Katie is a hairdresser. (I suddenly become a bit self-conscious of my sun bleached hair and that crown of gray.) Very nice people! We share places to sail. They each were married before…Ralph, a widower, and Katie a divorcee. They both have sons in their twenties. We invite them to join us at Dilaila, a gourmet restaurant on the shore.  Ralph, an only child, is making a dutiful and kind Skype call home to his mother.

Dilaila is wonderful. (Dilaila Katsadia Restaurant Bar and Beach) ‪Katsadia Bay, Lipsi ‪85001, Greece +30 697 288 5476 It is their second night of being open and they don’t have some of the fish dishes listed but everything else is delicious.

Tom and Rita at Dalaila Restaurant in Lipsi
Tom and Rita at Dalaila Restaurant in Lipsi
View of Dalaila Restaurant in Lipsi
View of Dalaila Restaurant in Lipsi
Wall Panel at Dalaila Restaurant in Lipsi
Wall Panel at Dalaila Restaurant in Lipsi

We eat a tuna tartar, the Dilaila salad, shrimps with garlic, and roast pork. Unique and definitely fine dining in a taverna setting. Our waiter Takis Paniotis was excellent. He explained that no one in Greece is really named ‘Takis’ at birth. It is a diminutive or nickname meaning ‘little one’ or junior.

June 8, 2015   Change of Plans

It is a surprisingly gray day as leave Lipsi with a hope of reaching Astypalaia.  It feels like Maine on any summer day with the haze and cold and no wind. We are powering for a couple of hours when an alarm sounds. Marcelo discovers that the water pump for the engine is leaking. He does a temporary repair. Like Maine, the wind picks up as the morning progresses. It is coming from the west / southwest. We sail and give the engine and water pump a break. A predicted 11 knot wind turns into 25 knots. The sailing is exciting and I hang with the boys for a couple hours until the cold starts to seep into my bones and a few bow waves make the going wet. They are having fun, so I head below to warm up and enjoy a good book.

Plans change with the new wind. We are charting a course for Aigiali Bay on the northern coast of Amorgos.  As we get closer, we realize that this northern bay will not provide the protection from the wind that we need. We head south to Katapola Harbor near the town.   We prepare for tying up at the dock but as we get closer we see there is no room. Two ferries come into this harbor daily and the only room left is for them. We anchor near the opposite shore to the town. We start to tuck in for the night and have dinner on the boat. After dinner, Tom pokes his head up on deck and notices that a boat has left and made space for us at the dock. We ready the boat to go to the dock for a second time tonight. No corpo morto here. We use our anchor in its place. Nice to be tied up at the dock tonight after 8 hours (approx.. 55 nautical miles) of sailing in strong winds. Tomorrow will be a day filled with trying to find another new part.

To Leros, Levitha and Lipsi …Lovely!

May 30, 2015

The wind is strong, 25 to 30 knots, with occasional gusts up to the mid 30s. It is a downwind sail with only the jib flying. Pakilar reaches a speed of 11.6 knots. The sea bubbles and churns like a pot of boiling water. We sail true and fast. We remember to enjoy the moment.

No cars available in Leros at our favorite rental place “Leros Rent A Car” in Lakki. Owner:   Koumoulis Ioannis; Tel: 22470 22330, Mob: 6937214882; Email: lerosrentacar@gmail.com. They lend us one for the evening. Very nice. Unfortunately half way to the restaurant the car’s rear wheel knocks violently. We end up returning the car and tacking a taxi to Mylas Restaurant once again. Always good.

Pakilar on the dock in Leros Marina
Pakilar on the dock in Leros Marina

May 31, 2015

Today is Tom and my 40th Wedding Anniversary. Tom bought me some clothes he liked in Patmos and a very beautiful clutch purse designed and made by Katarina Murati. I got him a card…a funny card, so maybe we are even?

It is a day filled with errands and packing and printing boarding passes.  I find photos of Tom’s Mom with the kids at Christmas and her other visits and send them off to them. Good memories.

Tom, Marcelo and I decide to try a new restaurant in Leros called “Lyxnari Restaurant and Café” Phone: 2247023143 – 6976389420. It is traditional Greek cuisine but very good traditional Greek food. We enjoyed grilled squid and some other vegetable appetizers. Tom and I ordered the chicken special that the owner described as “chicken ribs” roasted in the oven with potatoes. Chickens have ribs??? We tried it. Delicious. It is a chicken chopped into many small pieces and roasted. The ‘secret is in the sauce’!

Back to the boat for Tom’s early start to the airport in the morning.

June 1, 2015 Leros to Levitha

Tom is off to Maine via Athens and London. Marcelo and I leave Leros for Levitha, a small rocky island about 8 miles away that has some moorings and a family run taverna just a 10 minute walk from the harbor. Departing the dock goes smoothly…checking the lines for the corpo morto to make sure they haven’t shifted under our rudder again during the night.

We sail! Marcelo sets the main and jib and I get to stay at the helm for a couple of hours…and on course! I haven’t had a chance to be at the helm when we sail for many years. Six, seven, eight knots. Great fun.

Rita at Pakilar's helm from Leros to Levitha
Rita at Pakilar’s helm from Leros to Levitha

It is midday when we arrive at Levitha. Good time to be here. There are a few moorings still available. Marcelo says it is difficult to anchor here, so we are lucky. Marcelo sets up the boat for our first run at picking up the mooring. My job is to put the boat in reverse when told. I am up for it! Marcelo picks up the mooring on the first try. During the afternoon, at least five more boats come to find the moorings full. They leave for another place. Late afternoon, we have a French boat with Italians on board who anchor next to us. Marcelo puts out the fenders in case the wind changes. Local fisherman get the boat to move closer to the shore and string shore lines and mark them with their dinghy.

Marcelo and I head up the rocky path to the taverna for dinner. Most of the other boats also come to the taverna for dinner…probably 40 or 50 people. It is a private home with a large outdoor garden area. There is a green gate but no sign marks the house. I thought we were following a group who was going home when we first saw the gate open. Our host Manolas, speaks English well. I met him earlier in the day when I heard him knocking on the hull to collect the 7 euro fee for the mooring (Allows you to stay for up to 2 days). No fish tonight, so Marcelo eats some fava and cheese and a salad. The food is very good. I have the meatballs, moist and delicious.

Levitha, Greece.  On the rocky trail to the Taverna
Levitha, Greece. On the rocky trail to the Taverna
Manilas' Restaurant on Levitha
Manilas’ Restaurant on Levitha
Rita at Taverna on Levitha
Rita at Taverna on Levitha

Full moon tonight on the way back to the boat. Spectacular! Still need our flashlights not to trip over the rocky path to the shore. (I bring two flashlights-three with my phone. I am famous for bringing flashlights. My children will appreciate this note if they EVER read the blog!) We paddle to and from the shore tonight, no need for the engine.  Tired from an early morning. Reading an excellent book about Rumi that Marcelo recommended called “The Forty Rules of Love” by Elif Shafak. The forty rules are a guide to living your life with love.   Dual stories- a woman struggling with life changes in the 21st century balanced with a historical fiction of Rumi’s life.

Full Moon on Levitha
Full Moon on Levitha

June 2, 2015

We decide to stay in Levitha for a second day.   I finish some work and Marcelo goes for a swim. Guilty about my lack of exercise I start in on my squats and using litre bottles of water as weights. Too light, I make up for weight with repetitions.

We head back to Manolas’ restaurant for dinner and take advantage of a phone signal to let Tom know where we are. The fisherman arrived with their catch today. Shared mezas and fish make up our dinner. The moon is still big, bright, yellow and hangs low in the sky.as we finish our crème caramel.

After dinner, we bid goodnight to Manolas and his helpers and slowly poke our way back down the rocky path to the shore. We hear sheep bells clunking to the right and left of us.   An ever-increasing wind strums the halyards of the boats moored in the harbor. We climb in the dinghy and start to paddle. The short distance back to the boat becomes a challenge. We have no engine and the wind is gusting. Our fierce paddling only moves our dinghy sideways and not forward. I have the urge to laugh…so much effort and so little progress…but resist. Will we be sleeping on the shore tonight? Marcelo wisely decides to head to the opposite bank and get the water’s reverse push near the rocks. We paddle to a spot beyond our boat’s anchorage and then straight across the middle of this small bay as we get pushed down towards our boat. Made it! There is always something innervating and satisfying about a brush with nature’s forces…especially once you are safely back aboard.

June 3, 2015

Heading to Lipsi today on a beam reach. Considered other destinations but need to be back for Tom’s earlier than expected return on Sunday. We sail downwind at a steady 7 to 8 knots.

Mid bay there is a swimmer, no wetsuit or fins, heading out to open ocean. He pokes a head up when he hears us to make sure that we see him. Luckily, Marcelo does. The swimmer must have impressive confidence in his swimming or a death wish. Anchoring is painless with Marcelo’s thorough preparation and our “Fabulous Ultra” anchor.   We are in a southeastern bay away from the town center and close to a restaurant that Tom and Marcelo love, Dilaila Cafe and Restaurant.   It is a low key evening with dinner on the boat. Sleepless, I sit on deck and watch the moon.

June 4, 2015

Keep pulling out my wetsuit but the wind and waves may be too much for this novice swimmer…only learning to swim a few years ago. Reading, writing and catching up on emails fill the day. Heading in to the restaurant tonight. We are definitely using the engine! I am excited about the gourmet offerings at a restaurant new to me. Fresh blue paint on the restaurant’s veranda, some tables are already out but the restaurant is closed. Bummer! One of the workers recommends Calypso’s Taverna, a 25 minute walk over the hill to Lipsi Bay and the town. He offers to call a taxi but we elect to walk. Portions are steeply uphill but manageable. The views are wonderful and well worth my huffing and puffing. A portion of the downhill road is paved as we get closer to town. Several locals greet us with a “Kalispera” (Good evening!) I pick up my pace as I notice one of these friendly islanders, an elderly lady with two severely pigeon-toed feet, walking much faster than I.

View from hill of Pakilar in Lipsi.
View from hill of Pakilar in Lipsi.

First stop is the island’s bakery that advertises being open 24 hours a day! Not possible, we think, but we are not coming back at midnight to check. We pick up a couple of spinach and cheese pastries and two powdered sugar-ladened almond meat stuffed cookies for tomorrow’s lunch. Yum! Calpso’s Taverna is our next stop. We are the early birds. We sit waterside and watch the children play on the embankment and several boats pull in. Stuffed zucchini flowers and stuffed sardines serve as our mezas. (Note to Nancy: Marcelo likes sardines! But I am supposed to keep it a secret from you.) Our sweet and hardworking waitress, Corinna, recommends the eggplant to Marcelo and I have the chicken souvlaki. Very good. We walk back to boat in the dark with our flashlights in hand.  Lovely evening!