Nisos Rinia – May 26, 2016

zocor canada Early morning and Tom is off to get a shave at a local barber just two streets away. I make last trips to the grocery store and the pharmacy and then we raise anchor and are off!

viramune cost Heading to Nisos Rinia on a northerly wind to its South Bay. We pass Delos and its Ancient Ruins. You can only anchor for 7 hours on a visit here…time enough to take a dinghy in, view the ruins and then return to haul anchor. We follow a tourist boat that seems to be dropping off visitors. (Serviceable shoes recommended for this visit.) We anchor in the South Bay of Rinia near the isthmus connecting the two halves of the island. Reportedly, only two farms and sheep are on this island. Only three boats in the anchorage at the end of the day, the rest must be day-trippers from Mykonos. Quiet night aboard.

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Syros (Ermoupolis)– A Highlight of the Cyclades May 22 – 25, 2016

fluoxetine prescription From the sea, Syros looks unremarkable. As we come into Ermoupoli harbor late morning, we notice the shipbuilding works, the ferry terminal and a large port with shops and tavernas crowding the shoreline. A man on the dock signals us to take a spot on the empty quay. He is wearing a lime green shirt and has matching colored shoes! ‘As we get closer, Tom comments “Look, even his watch band matches his outfit!” I wonder ‘Can this be a good sign? No one is here and now Valentino is meeting us at the dock!’ We are awaiting a daughter’s arrival in nearby Mikonos on Saturday…a big reason for our choice to come here. Our old Lonely Planet was more encouraging about Syros but it did use the words “administrative center” which usually is code for “boring and ugly”.

asacol cost at walmart As Gomer Pyle would say “Surprise! Surprise!” Not only is our Harbor Master, Thanasis, (Thanasis Ludaros T: 6932 644072) one of the best ever but a late evening stroll reveals Ermoupolis to be a beautiful neo-classic city with wide shopping boulevards, an opera house and a large central square. A Greek Orthodox and a Catholic church are spotlighted on two of its three hills. The marble buildings are everywhere, tastefully done and impressive. Bougainvillea- draped passageways sport dozens of charming tavernas and coffee houses. All of this awaits a visitor who walks the two or three blocks from the harbor to the center. Lovely, lovely, lovely!

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clonidine price It is a morning for regrouping…with laundry, grocery shopping, and a car rental (Gaviotis Travel – car rental, across from the ferry terminal. Tel: 22810 86644). Services are all conveniently located in the harbor area, including a number of specialty food shops. (Topon Geuseis is a well-stocked specialty foods store on the port that had some of our favorites and hard to find items. Tel: 22810 80100 Email: topongeuseis@yahoo.gr)

neurobion forte tablet price in india [Note: Thanasis looks splendid this morning in his gray pants, yellow shirt and shoes and matching yellow watch band! He is ever present, working hard, and consistently pleasant.]

albenza cost in canada Early afternoon, Tom and I go for a walk to revel in this city’s beauty. Tom notices some artfully crafted shirts in a store window. Amazingly enough, I am not a shopper. Tom, however, loves to shop. He insists that we go into the shop and I insist that I “don’t need anything”.  We enter and meet the artist/owner, Chrisanthi Zarari. (Chrisanthi Zarari, 6, Melinas Mercouri Str. 84100 Syros, Greece. Tel: +30 22810 890866; chrisanthizarari@gmail.com ) The shirts are lovely and unique and, even I, can’t resist getting one. So does Tom. Chrisanthi has the artist’s eye and has made almost everything in the shop…shirts, jewelry, pottery, and lamps. Her family was originally Turkish. We chat about heritage and history. Each summer, Chrisanthi and a number of local artists participate in an “open house / artists’ walk”. Tom and I hope to return to Syros for the next one. Chrisanthi kindly outlines some ‘must-see’ places for our car trip tomorrow around the island, including her favorite restaurants. She is deservedly proud.

confido price in india Tom and I (the slackers) head back to the boat for a nap and Marcelo goes for a two-hour swim. We all head to dinner at a randomly picked outside taverna, our first choice was a woman’s cooperative with reportedly good dishes but it is not open tonight. What we pick is nice but not notable.

hydrochlorothiazide buy online [Note: When the ferries come in (Generally 3 times a day) there is a surge. Marcelo snubbs our lines to help but it can be quite a ride. A big single wave from a surge woke us during the middle of the night. Next morning, Marcelo and I decide we are going to start up a “Velcro pajama” concession on the quay to keep boaters from falling out of their bunks.]

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advair diskus retail price Today Tom and I begin our drive to the north towards Ano Syros, Kambos and Saint Michalis. We take a small detour past the high end apartment buildings in Vaporia and head down a road that dead ends at a Greek Orthodox church. The church is open. Outside, an elderly man is taking a cigarette break from his vacuuming.

Church at the end of the point on Syros
Church at the end of the point on Syros
Icon in Church on dead end road along Syros' coast
Icon in Church on dead end road along Syros’ coast

co-amoxiclav natravox price philippines We backtrack from the church to an inland road and make a circuitous passage up to Ano Syros and beyond. The towns are simple but the view is very nice.

We proceed past a scattered collection of cement houses when suddenly we notice a black and white cow standing on a rooftop. He seems to be leisurely enjoying the view. We stop to take a half dozen pictures and I text one to our kids. “Dad and I successfully talked this cow out of jumping off the roof!” Kids rapidly respond with their own text.   A daughter calls, knowing we are ‘reachable’ on this mountain top. Tom tells her, “I think the cow was protesting the lack of a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop on the island.”

Tonight our French boat neighbors are coming aboard for drinks. Jean Eve and Josette are from Brittany. They arrived in Ermoupolis minutes after us. They pull alongside in a very empty harbor. Jean Eve tells us that he really doesn’t like charterers—often novices to sailing. He saw us and decided that at least on one side he would be safer. I noticed how well they work together as a team in docking the boat. There is a need for perfection though. They anchor 5 times to get it just right. In spite of all their hard work, when they leave a couple of days later a “charterer” has put his anchor right on top of theirs!

Josette and Jean Eve are charming people! We enjoy a fabulous evening talking about sailing experiences around the world. They are currently sharing expenses on a boat they previously owned. What a great idea! It takes a special relationship to make that work. Lucky owner to have two such conscientious people as “renters”. They plan to make a trip to the Spanish Canaries.

[Special Note: Josette has actually read my blog. When we met she said, “Don’t you have a blog?” Wow, I have a readership…maybe just a few like my children and Josette…but it still feels great.!]

May 25, 2016

Today, Tom and I drive the western circuit of the island from Messaria and onto Finikas Bay, up to Gallisas and onto Kini Bay. We are always checking out alternative anchorages for different weather and enjoying the view as we do. Andros still wins the scenic vista award but the drive is pleasurable.

It turns into a low-key day with emails and blog writing with a little shopping mixed in.   Tom and I head over to Josette and Jean Eve’s boat for drinks. Great fun! We invite them to come with us to Kini for dinner.

[Note: Thanasis wears a classic black shirt and shorts with a red accent on his shirt and watchband. We are sure that he has Italian blood. He is his usual capable and charming self. ]

Our friend Chrisanthi has made a recommendation for a restaurant in Kini. Jean Eve is worried about the charter next to them…who put his anchor chain over theirs and then comes to the dock and tells Jean Eve that he is a ‘bad neighbor’ because he tried to keep from crossing his anchor. (Tomorrow, when Jean Eve and Josette leave, they will spend twenty minutes trying to remove their anchor from under the charterers’ with a long hook.)

Tom, Marcelo and I head to Kini for dinner. We eat at Allou Yiallou Restaurant (Tel: 22810 71196). It is a charming restaurant on the sea on Kini Bay. The service is excellent and the food was good…not outstanding but good. Still, I think they are relatively new. They don’t have cards for the restaurant. I would give them a second try.

May 26, 2016

Last day in Syros for a while. Tomorrow, we intend to find a quiet bay for anchoring for a change of pace. Car returned, we decide to enjoy the city. Tom and I tour the opera house. It is fashioned after and is a mini version of the famous La Scala in Milan. Quite beautiful and quite an amazing place for this small island. There are no performances tonight but the manager invites us to look inside the opera house and to see an exhibit on the third floor. It is a retrospective of former performances…I think but am not sure, since it is in Greek

Tonight we eat at Kouzina Restaurant (5 Androu St. Hermoupolis, Syros Tel: 22810 89150, 6972460346). Excellent! Anostos is an owner along with his wife and his friend, the chef. From beginning to end the food was unique and delicious. We ordered a spinach pie…a vertical puff pastry that was wonderful. Wine recommendations were perfect and our varied entries were also great. We finished with a shared chocolate pie dessert called “Nirvana”. It was! We ate it and sipped a shot of a draft stout that also had chocolate in it. Perfect finish. We waddled home!

Tinos – Isternia and Pyrgos and Panormas May 21, 2016

This morning Tom and I make a visit to the Cultural Foundation of Tinos. It is walking distance from the town quay. The second floor is dedicated to sculptures, housing the work of the famous Tinian sculptor Yannoulis Chalepas. Believed to suffer from a bi-polar disorder, this artist spent 14 years in a mental institution. His mother thought that his art was contributing to his illness and destroyed most of it. The sculptures we see are mostly from late life (after his mother’s death) and in plaster. The first floor contains photographs and paintings by local artists of varying ability and from all ages. (There was an impressive piece by a12 year old artist.)

Our guide Athena made this a great visit. Stationed on the second floor, Athena perked up and came over when she heard Tom and I discussing the a painting in the foyer of this sculpture exhibit. Athena proceeded to lead us through each piece in the gallery, pointing out aspects that we shouldn’t miss and sharing the history of both the artist and the period. It was wonderful! Athena MADE the visit memorable!

Rita and Athena at the Cultural Foundation of Tinos in Tinos Town
Rita and Athena at the Cultural Foundation of Tinos in Tinos Town

The discussion led to ‘must sees’ in Tinos and the surrounding villages. Throughout the summer, there are festivals in every village. I made a note to come back for the artichoke (delicious wild artichokes here) and the jazz festival …odd combination, I know, but I love both. The plan is to rent a car and start our tour of the various sites and villages tomorrow. The wind is bi-polar too… blowing from the south one day and the north the next. It creates a bit of a surge at the town quay. Marcelo keeps the dock lines slack to allow for the ebb and flow.We vegetate today…catching up on emails, paying bills, and other work.

Danger, danger! There is a Haagen Daz ice cream store directly across from our dock. Oh my, there is a frozen yoghurt shop just around the corner. Maybe I will have one of both and then start my crawl up to the hill to the church to ask for forgiveness!

Dinner tonight at an Athena recommendation, the Anchor Restaurant (“Arkypa” in Greek; tel: 22830 23016). It is a short walk on the northwest side of the quay near the children’s playground. This is a local favorite, very low-key, that deserves a rave review. It is homemade Greek food at a level above the rest.

May 21, 2016

Rental car options are plentiful on the quay. We pick Vidalis (tel: +30 22830 23400), which has three branches within a one-half mile of each other. Our initial destination is Pyrgos, the oldest and largest village and a center for sculpture. We make some stops along the way.

Athena and her husband own a taverna called “O Ntinos”. Tom and I decide to see exactly where it is, in hopes of making a visit tonight to reciprocate her kind and excellent advice. The restaurant is on the west side of the island, half way between Kardiani and Isternia. We see the sign on the ocean-side of the main roadway and begin our descent…down, down …and down…a long narrow road. It looks nice. Driving will be trickier at night but we plan to come.

Next stop is Isternia. We find a spot to park on the edge of this ‘vertical’ village. Tom and I climb to the church, which is closed. We try to find the main street but never quite make it…wherever it is. We take photos of lovely doorways and small alleyways. It will be a good memory when we no longer can make the climb.

Rita at the end of a lovely street in Isternia on the island of Tinos
Rita at the end of a lovely street in Isternia on the island of Tinos
Church in Isternia
Church in Isternia
Beautiful doors in Isternia
Beautiful doors in Isternia

The island of Tinos is famous for its Dovecotes (Dove houses]. They are reportedly a Venetian architectural feature. There are many dovecotes scattered across the island. Quite interesting to see and often beautiful! The locals have established a fund to rebuild many of the older structures.

Dovecote (House for Doves), a Venetian Influence, along the road on the island of Tinos
Dovecote (House for Doves), a Venetian Influence, along the road on the island of Tinos

In Pyrgos, we stop to see the Museum of Marble Crafts. Great visit. This ultra-modern building is an amazing small museum on the Tinos marble mining industry. A visit here should be mandatory if you visit the island. Articulate and artful displays and high quality documentary-style videos explain and entertain. A local school group came for a visit while we were there. The guide was animated and engaging. The children seemed riveted. We later found the group outside as the guide supervised individual ‘hands on’ hammer and chisel opportunities!   EU funded, this museum was money well spent.

Teacher/Guide and Tinos Marble Crafts Museum and his captivated young audience
Teacher/Guide and Tinos Marble Crafts Museum and his captivated young audience

Next stop was the seaside town of Panormas. It is a quiet fishing village. We go to check out the anchorage for protection from southerlies. No other sailboats are in the harbor. We have lunch at Paletta Restaurant (“Naheta” tel: 22830 31930). The restaurant is mid-harbor and has an artist pallet style sign…of course. This is a recommendation from the owner of the Haagen Daz ice cream store in Tinos Town (WE have gotten to know him quite well!!!) Tom says Paletta’s spaghetti carbonara is one of the best he has had. My meatballs are moist and very flavorful. We finish our circumnavigation of the island by making a long loop on the ‘new’ road on the northern side of the island. Only a quick rolling stop in Volax and a mental note to put it on our list for another day.

We are eating our way across Greece. Tonight is a ‘thank you’ but it turns out to be a wonderful dining experience. Athena, our guide from the Cultural Museum, and her husband Adonis Vamvakis own “O Ntinos” (Ormos, Yianaki, 84200, GreeceTel. 22830 31673). It is a well maintained road but curvy and it is night…old eyes. A nice small parking lot next to and just above the restaurant makes turning around and ‘parking’ convenient. There is a tie up in front of the restaurants for small boats and dinghies.

As we enter the restaurant, Athena is at one of the tables near the kitchen. “You came!” she says excitedly.Like so many Greek restaurants, O Ntinos is family-owned and operated.We meet her husband and son. Athena asks us about our day and what we saw, and then guides of through a menu of 30 things that sound delicious. We choose a spicy cheese, horta, (vegetables) and some fabulous wild artichokes. Entrees include a “May” fish (Amberjack), a stuffed squid, and the winner of a dish…baby octopus in carrot puree. Wow!

We get to know more about the family. It is a family celebration tonight. It is the namesake feast day for their oldest son, now studying in Athens. That son could not be here tonight but a number of family and friends show up for festivities. Adonis was a truck driver before becoming a chef. So glad he decided on a career change. He has a gift. Our meals are unique and delicious. Lovely evening!

Tinos – Sculptor’s Paradise  May 19–21, 2016

It is a no wind glass-like sea. We power the four-hour trip to Tinos. Andros stretches its body full length. Tom, Marcelo and I marvel at its size and that the electrical wires that seem to span even the most unpopulated areas. It is a lazy day and we talk about past trips, mutual friends and films that we enjoy.

As we approach Tinos and the harbor, we defer to the high-speed ferry that flits into and out of the harbor in the space of 5 minutes. An orange-vested attendant mans the town quay. Stern lines-thrown, the attendant seems to be having a volatile argument with a man seated on a park bench on the quay. Unsolicited advice given? Old adversaries?? The argument continues as we throw our stern lines.

A long metal pipe extending the length of the dock is our tie off. Our man ashore pulls on a dock line, trying to ‘horse’ the boat towards the dock. We know how to say, “Tie a Knot”, in Turkish. It would be a useful phrase to know in Greek. Luckily, ‘no wind’ works in our favor and we tie up well enough for Marcelo to do some “snubbing” to keep the lines from rubbing and our dockage more secure. In the middle of this process, I see our dock attendant take the lines from Marcelo and attempt his own version of retying. Marcelo, in an attempt to live a philosophy “to love everyone and everything”, politely took the lines back and began the process again. [Note to Marcelo: I saw that look of disbelief and irritation when the dock attendant first took the lines from your hands. Keep working on that spiritual enlightenment thing.]

Boat tucked in, Tom and I head ashore for wifi and a coffee. Then, we peruse the shops in search of Tom’s desired egg poacher. After clucking like a chicken, Tom draws two circles…one inside the other…and hands it to the shopkeeper, and 80+-year-old lady dressed in the Greek widow’s black. She is perplexed and polite, but at least she doesn’t laugh. Tom heads off for a haircut and leaves me to “work” with this lady, “She must have it.” I finally found a picture of an egg poacher on the internet and this kind woman confirmed that she did not have it. I am sure we were a good story to tell family when she got home.

Tinos is the Lourdes of Greece. I head up the hill from the harbor for a visit to the Church of the Panagia Evangelistria. This is the site of the famous Megalochari icon known for its healing powers. A rubber strip about the size of a church aisle runner lines the entire side of the roadway, about six blocks, making a pathway up the hill from the harbor to the Church. Pilgrims are known to crawl the entire path to the church on their hands and knees, holding a 4 ft. long candle.

Rubber path  to Church of the Annunciation - Pilgrims crawl up the path to the church with a long candle.
Rubber path to Church of the Annunciation – Pilgrims crawl up the path to the church with a long candle.
Pilgrims' rubber path to crawl to Church of the Annunciation at the top of the hill.
Pilgrims’ rubber path to crawl to Church of the Annunciation at the top of the hill.

The Church is dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. There is a big celebration on the August 15th holy day. The icon, a painting of the Virgin and the Angel asking her to be the mother of Christ, sits in a marble shrine to the left as you enter the main door. (I came in a side door and missed it on this first visit.) It is about 6pm when I enter and two monks are chanting, performing some kind of rite…vespers? Very moving and soul southing, as chants should be. The Church is worth a visit. Don’t miss the five very small museums on the lower level of the church. They are not well marked. At first entry, I thought I was trespassing…but did it anyway!

Back to the boat. We head to fine dining at Metaxy Mas (meaning “between us”) in Tinos Town (Plateia Palladas tel: 22830 25945). Located in a charming open air but under cover environment, this and a collection of restaurants and bakeries sit near a small square. My seafood pasta was average, as was Tom’s meat dish. Marcelo loved his sardines. The service was excellent.

Amazingly Beautiful Andros – May 16 – 18, 2016

What a great surprise and delight. Andros is beautiful. We choose the port of Batsi, a resort town. Good protection from a northern meltemi predicted for the next two days. Rent a car here. It is well worth it. We used Greeksun Holidays (Batsi, Andros, Tel: +30 22820 41198   greeksun@travelling .gr [they spell it with two “l” s] near the quay. Marianna Apergi was very helpful. Good experience but it is always good to call ahead.

Andros, the second largest island in the Cyclades (Naxos is #1), is a combination of the Amalfi and the south of France. Winding hillside roads work their way up the mountainside past some of the most unique and lovely stonewalls I have ever seen …and that is saying something. Stacked rock walls and a large slate inserts alternate to create a gorgeous finished product. They are a work of art. Andros is the greenest island in the Cyclades, due to its numerous springs. There is a waterfall here that deserves a visit but required a 15-minute walk from the roadway near… that was not in the cards this trip. We have lunch at Parea Restaurant (Tel: 0030 22820 23721) in Chora. The food and service were very good…home cooked Greek food.

We work our way down to Korthi to make the grand tour of the southern half of the island. Gorgeous views here. The main road back to Batsi follows the coast in a road rally fashion. Great day. We eat at Stamatis Taverna in Batsi near the quay. Top choice in an old Lonely Planet. Nice owners but disappointing food and a house red wine that looked like a watered down Rose’.

May 18, 2016

Tom and I drive to Gavrio, the harbor north of Batsi to check out conditions for future trips. Marcelo stays behind to go for a run. The town is more utilitarian but still nice. Batsi wins on the charm meter. The ferry terminal is in Gavrio. We like to avoid the chaos that comes with the ferry when we can. We only see two sailboats in the harbor. Conditions seem more exposed to northerly meltemis. The French sailboat’s owner tells us that they only have 2.2 meters of depth. We need 3 meters and prefer 3.5. Batsi was a wise choice.

Tom does some shoe shopping and we poke in and out of kitchenware shops looking for an egg poacher. Suddenly, we see someone who looks just like Marcelo. It is Marcelo! He ran the five kilometers to Gavrio. We all have coffee and a pastry together and then Marcelo runs back to Batsi. (He is the only one who didn’t gain weight from a visit to Gavrio.)

Tom and I head to Andros Town (Chora) to see their Museum of Contemporary Art. Basil and Elise Giandros, part of a big shipping family, donated the monies for the MOCA here in Andros Town (Chora) (www.moca-andros.gr). The Museum is one of the finest small art museum that we have had the good fortune to visit. Open only from 10am to 2pm during this season and closed on Tuesdays, we made a special return trip today (Wednesday) to see it. This is a museum of international significance. Each year they have a world famous artist exhibition. In June, there will be a Man Raye Exhibit. Man Raye is a wonderful photographer and artist who died in the 1970s. The works of Braque, Miro, Sophia Vari, Isamu Noguchi, and Henry Moore have been on exhibit in past years. Quite amazing!

zestril tablet price in pakistan NOTE: If you go to the lamivudine buy online Museum of Contemporary Art, remember that it has calcium carbonate powder buy TWO Buildings, one across the street from the other. As you face the water, the building to the right has the paintings and photography. The building to the left has some wonderful not-to-be missed sculptures.

Back to the boat for a reflexology for Tom to help with his arthritis. Katerina Kakavelaki, a physiotherapist, (Adros, Town. Old town opposite the post office. Tel: 22820 51776 Mob: 6937 207426. Email: therogate@gmail.com) came to the boat. She worked miracles and the swelling is down.

Tonight we hop back in the car to give Marcelo a long cross-island tour from Batsi to Andros Town (Chora). It is a lovely, but long, drive through the smaller villages on the northwest side of the island. Dinner tonight at Mannelli in Batsi with tapas style dining.

Off to Tinos tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

Seeing the Cyclades – Leros to Mykonos May 14 -15, 2016

Woohoo! Children are coming to visit us on the boat. Daughter Serene, husband Colin and baby Elizabeth have bought their tickets for the end of May. They will be day sailing with us. It will be Sweet E’s first time on a boat. For an extra bonus, daughters Leila and Nadia will be joining us.

After some research, Tom and I have a short list of ‘must sees’ for the Cyclades. It includes Tinos, Syros, Paros, Naxos, Delos and Sifnos.   We added Mykonos at our daughter Serene’s request. Getting and being there will be easier with a baby. We will head to Mykonos today to do some scouting to make it a great trip.

We take advantage of the southerlies to move north. Southerlies? Actually, there is no wind on this early morning 5am start. (I hear about this later…repeatedly…as I stay curled up in my bunk below. The engine renders me comatose until 10 am.) Mid-day we decide to fly our gennaker. It is an asymmetrical. The name ‘Gennaker’ is a combination of the words ‘Genoa’ and ‘Spinnaker’: It is a light fabric sail and no two sides of the sail are the same length. Very effective for sailing in a light wind. It is a lot of work to set up the gennaker. I happily agree to be Marcelo’s crew while Tom is at the helm. It is important to prevent twists in this light sail and to keep it out of the water. After twenty minutes of preparations, we haul up the sail and it unfolds with a “whoomp!” The water churns with our increase in boat speed. No “bone in our teeth” but we are moving.

Tom at the helm of Pakilar
Tom at the helm of Pakilar

The gennaker is white with two huge initials “T &T”. Pakilar’s previous owner’s name was “Tonnino”. Tonnino’s girlfriend’s first name also started with a “T”. I suspect that putting her initial on this sail merited him some hot sex. I say as much to the guys. No Comment.” After their break up, I bet Tonnino only dated girls with a first name that began with the letter “T”. Very practical!

An hour later, the wind totally dies. Marcelo and I reverse the process and take down the Gennaker. It is bagged and put away. Twenty minutes later, a big wind comes up. Seventeen then eighteen then twenty knots! Surprise, surprise! I am grateful that we are not trying to bag the gennaker in a wind like this.

As 6pm looms, we approach Mykonos and its “New Port Marina”. We didn’t think that we needed a reservation since it is early in the season. It looks fairly full. Bummer! We call on Channel 12 on the radio …no response and no one on the quay. Marcelo checks the number in the cruising guide and calls them on the phone. naltrexone price ( Nikos, Harbor Master at the New Port Marina in Mykonos. Telephone:  694 694 2091 ).  Luckily, he answers and tell us to pull alongside the quay just inside the marina. It is a process but we are prepared, shifting all of our many fenders to the port side in a stiff wind.

Docking is almost always a smooth process for us. We all know our jobs. But sometimes…this Indian has two many chiefs. Conflicting instructions…no instructions…last minute changes in a big wind. I remember my personal mantra “Don’t fall off” and “Fend the boat off when you can.” All is well. No lectures from my spouse. (Who should be eternally grateful that I love to sail!!!! Did I add enough exclamation marks?)

Heading to dinner, we climb to the roadway just opposite. We check for a cab at the market and the owner says, “Why would you spend 10 euros for a cab? The bus stop is 10 meters away.” So we wait for the bus…and wait and wait. A half hour late we ask for cab number from the grocer. “Ah, there is the bus now coming from town. Wait three minutes and it will be coming back down.” So, we wait and wait and wait. Luckily, my sharp eyed husband spots a cab after a nearby drop off. Just 6 euros later we are in Mykonos’ old town and headed to La Casa (8 Matogianni 8 tel. 22890-24994). It is recommendation in an old “Lonely Planet” Guide. We made a reservation but business must be light. The owner says he doesn’t need our name.

Conflicting directions and a half hour later, we are at “La Casa” but we are not sure if it is the right La Casa. We ask, “Is there another La Casa?” we ask the man at the door.

Wooden Horse Scult\pture on the Streets of Mykonos
Wooden Horse Scult\pture on the Streets of Mykonos

“Party of three. You called a half hour ago? “ he responds. Jani, our greeter, is the owner. He is Albanian. His brother cooks Middle Eastern, Italian and Greek cuisine. It is delicious! We have tabouleh, sausages and a veal Milanese. Excellent! Jani, a resident of Mykonos for 18 years, turns out to be a resource for our on land needs.

Mykonos has changed since our last visit.  Now, it is a mini-Santorini with upscale shops that wander on for miles.

May 15, 2016

The boys are up at the marina office to check on dock reservations for the end of the month when our kids arrive. Apparently, we only need to text Nikos, the dock master, a few days before. It’s difficult to get a feel for the resources at this marina. Showers are a mile away from our dockage. There is a ferry from the marina to town, a happy alternative to the bus, but it looks like it is only for use by cruise ship passengers. There are some nice protected anchorages north of here but, for the upcoming visit, we need dock space.

Planning to head to farther north today with the continuing southerlies. Tom and I head to our ham and eggs breakfast above the grocery store across the street…a one-stop place with breakfast, rental cars, showers and laundry. We slingshot off the quay and then head north towards Andros.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kos to Leros May 12 – 13, 2016

Light winds begin our late morning motoring of the almost 5 hour passage from Kos to Leros. Past Kalymnos, the wind picks up to 15 knots from the south and we are on a pleasant reach for the next couple of hours. The current rips through the channel on our approach to Lakki. The sky is darkening with the threat of rain. We drop sails.

“We are getting a royal welcome,” says Marcelo. Multi-talented Baba is on the dock with staff to catch our lines and hand us the mooring lines. From Senegal originally, Baba speaks French, English, and Greek and is a master of Tai Kwon Do. Knowledgeable, helpful and pleasant …we are in good hands.

Sail covers on and the passerella down, we head to the showers in the marina. They are clean, convenient and have good water pressure. This is our second year at Leros, Marina. Harris is the manager.

We hit old favorites for dinner. Mylos Fish Restaurant & Mylos Terrace, Cocktail Bar, Agia Marina, Leros 5400, info @mylosexperience.gr + 3069734550773 +302247024894

It is fine dining in a taverna setting. The prices are extremely reasonable for the quality.   We enjoyed a Pinna, a type of shellfish; a tuna Carpaccio, various vegetable dishes and a wonderful Santorini wine.

Fabulous "Pina" dish cooked in the shell at Mylos Restaurant in Leros
Fabulous “Pina” dish cooked in the shell at Mylos Restaurant in Leros

Ask Yorgos, your waiter, for suggestions. Takis, the owner, greets us at the door. He works with his two sons, Yorgos, the waiter and sommelier, and his son, Mario, the chef. Mario creates wonderfully unique meals.

Friend and Waiter Yorgos at  Mylos Fish Restaurant on Leros
Friend and Waiter Yorgos at Mylos Fish Restaurant on Leros

May 13, 2016

Weather gray and rainy. Blustery winds come from the north. We will wait until tomorrow and predicted southerlies to head north towards Mykonos, Tinos, and Andros.

This is the second year for a gourmet food store in downtown Lakki near the Port called “Geuseis Ellados”. (t. 22470 24283 or 22470 24283 email: geuseisellados@gmail.com www.e-valsamo.gr). It has an amazing assortment of specialty foods. The owner Stelios, is very kind and helpful, His English is a bit rocky and the labels are in Greek, generally. Still, most products are easily discernible. It is a fun distraction on this bad weather day. Among other things, I buy some Hot Thai Oil and smoked almonds that are so flavorful that they are addictive.

Calls to children, visits on Skype with an 18-month old granddaughter are a pleasant way to hunker down with the bad weather.

 

Swansong – London to Kos, Greece – May 10 – 11, 2016

After 17 years, Tom and I have made the difficult choice to sell our boat Pakilar at the end of the 2016 season. We are middle-aged but only if we live to 130+ years. Knees that don’t bend, hips that ache, and vision that blurs will cause us to join the ranks of many of our same-age sailing friends. We will spend these last few months exploring more of the Greek isles. We will be traveling to new places…a last chance. The record of this trip may be a swansong but, hopefully,  more of a love song than a requiem.

British Air makes it an easy trip with their direct flight from London / Heathrow to Kos, Greece. Two of our four children live and work in London. Trips to the boat are a pleasant excuse to visit. The 07:35 am flight arrives at 013.30 Kos time. Our captain Marcelo meets Tom and I at the airport.

Four half empty bags fill the trunk of the rental. We will be bringing things home. Still, last year’s encounter with Syrian refugees and gifting of used clothing, appropriately and happily, reduces the amount we must bring back. As we make the 25-minute drive from the airport to Kos Marina, the refugees are shockingly absent. The hundreds of tents around town and in the hills are missing. Marcelo tells us that Greek and Turkish patrols and the recent pact with Turkey have reduced the number of migrants risking the dangerous trip across the Aegean. On his recent trip to Athens he saw an “overwhelming number of refugees …waiting”.

Marcelo singlehandedly brought the boat from our homeport of Leros to the Kos Marina with a little help docking from the marina. Tom and I trundle aboard. The boat looks great! Home again! I am looking forward to tucking into my bunk later.

Bags stowed, we head off to Oremedon in Kia (Tel: 22420 69983) for lunch, just a twenty-minute drive up in the hills surrounding Kos. Adjusting to jet lag, this lunchtime stop to an old favorite seems like a good idea. Lovely view, friendly waiter and excellent food…what could be better? I get the roast pork for an entrée and we share a variety of vegetarian appetizers. I think it is time for a nap.

May 11, 2016

The morning brings stops at both “Wind” and “Cosmote” to top-off our pay as you go phones and data cards for our internet pocket wifi. Cosmote generally provides the best wifi and phone coverage but it can vary and it is useful to have options. There are several large grocery stores on Kos but A&B is our favorite…well-stocked, excellent fruits and vegetables and lots of choice but you need a car to get there.

Need an extra day to recover, so we stay in Kos. Tonight for dinner we go to “Evsokia” for the restaurant’s self-described ‘Mummy’s Cooking’. (Bouboulinas13 tel. +30 22420 28525) It’s a favorite of ours. It is just a short drive or a long walk from the marina. Elias (pronounced “ih lea”) knows us from our frequent past visits. His mother “mummy” does the cooking. It is delicious. We never look at the menu. Long-haired convivial Elias just tells us what Mama has freshly made. I am torn between the mousaka and the pasticcio …multilayer but elegantly light lasagna. We get one of each for the table. Delicious! Now we are bunk ready.