Saturday, 25 October 2008

Fiscardo to Ormos Polis

7th September

Fiscardo is a nice place to wake up to. Let's face it, compared with the 7.05 Thameslink from Flitwick, most places, bar the Bangkok Hilton must be better! But it was lovely to take a stroll around Fiscardo with hardly anyone around, watching the place wake up. Deliveries were being made to fruit shops, restaurants and everyone was just calmly going about their simple lives. It was great. We walked to the end of the harbour and had breakfast at The Yacht Inn where we had something appropriately named Fiscardo Omlette (feta, tomatoes, oregano, olives) plus a fresh orange juice. It was relaxing to watch fellow sailors preparing their lines and motoring gently out of the harbour. Back at the boat, a loud Sailing Holidays rep was giving a lesson on sailing to some even louder Canadians....yes really they hadn't ever sailed before and were about to be let loose on a yacht.We found that bizarre. As soon as our neighbours (who were tied to us) left, we left too. There was absolutely no wind at all as we motored out of Fiscardo. The Ithaka Channel was very quiet and still so there wasn't much point in putting up the sails as we meandered across to Ormos Polis.
Ahh Ormos Polis. What a find....well ok we didn't actually 'find' it. We were recommended to go there by Chris at Sail Ionian so thought as we were sailing past it we might as well pop in to see what it was all about.
Polis Bay as us Brits call it, is just a mile or so down from Fiscardo, across the Ithaka channel. It's reasonably well hidden on the approach from the North until you get quite close. The bay itself looked beautiful and we were the only boat going in there so we would have the whole place to ourself. What a result! We dropped anchor in the north east of the bay and Marco took a line ashore. It didn't take us long to decide that this looked like a perfect place to spend the entire night. So our original plan to simply lunch here and then head to Ay Eufimia went right out of the window! It was good to know that we were going to be here for a while and it gave us a chance to relax and take in the atmosphere of this place.
We went for a swim. The water was 5m deep and full of little fish were soon collecting under the yacht. The fish were a bluey grey colour with a white spot near the tail. I'd like to say that, as scuba divers we should know what they were but we had no idea! We had lunch on the boat before deciding to it the outboard and motor around. We investigated some coves nearby one of which is meant to be Homer's meeting place. But there was nothing interesting to see so we made our way to the shore where we heaved Junior onto the pebbles and walked to the bay where there was a small café selling nothing much except crisps and refridgerated drinks. We had a Mythos and watched the locals going about their business, then it was back to Winspit for more swimming and sunbathing. We'd by now been joined by a large catamaran. Why oh why, when there's a large EMPTY bay do people choose to moor up right next to the only other boat in that bay???? They were within swimming distance in an empty bay, obscuring our view out which was a bit of a pain, especially as the tranquil view was now of a boat full of naked Austrians!! Hmmm..interesting. Their 'tranquil' view was rapidly obscured by yet another yacht arrival. Six people arrived on a yacht, most of them diving into the water and swimming to shore, leaving one person to row their dinghy for the journey home. Together, they all made their way up to the village of Stavros up the hill.
Stavros was a recommended 'must see, must eat there' place by Sail Ionian and we'd been given the name of a restaurant which we'd now forgotten. Marco texted Chris to ask it's name. A few hours later he replied with a name and number and Marco tried to call. There was no answer and without thinking, he put the phone in his swimshorts pocket.......five minutes later he dived into the sea - uh oh! Now we had no phone and no name and number of the restaurant...damn!

Going...............................................................................gone (along with the phone )
So we got ready and jumped in the dinghy. Marco insisted on motoring all the way to the café jetty whereas I thought the beach would have done just as well but we made it ok. We tied up and walked all the way up the hill to Stavros. The views across the bay back towards the yacht were spectacular and I loved the walk. Marco wasn't so keen and kept enquiring as to why we couldn't have just used a pasta sauce and cooked on Winspit! Really, the walk was not that bad and the village of Stavros more than made up for it. There were a lot more tavernas than we expected so finding the one we wanted was quite a task, considering we didn't have the name or number! Around the square, at a normal looking taverna, were the people from our neighbouring boat. We carried on looking as this place didn't look too inviting. Eventually we found a beautiful looking place with a private garden. We decided to eat there and of course, it turned out to be the very place that Sail Ionian had recommended to us. The food was divine. Lots of mezze, fresh fish with garlic mash, lamb in paper and lots of fresh salad. The owner was a very friendly German lady and the place was called Polyphemus. If you go to Ithaka go to this restaurant!
We returned to Winspit back down the hill and the moon lit up the bay and the boat. We started the dinghy and got half way back to the boat when the outboard conked out! Oh help....slightly tipsy couple in the middle of the bay in a small dinghy, no oars. Hmmm...paddle with hands?? Marco yanked on the outboard a few times and thankfully, it started and worked for long enough for us to pootle back to the boat. Back on board we celebrated our safe return with a can of coke then I slept on deck, waking up at 5am freezing cold. Back to sleep in the warmth of the cabin.

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