Saturday, 25 October 2008

Paleros to Nikiana - changing plans and wasps for lunch

Friday 12th September

We liked Paleros so much in the dark that we decided to see if we could break the habit of a lifetime and get a coffee somewhere other than the galley of the boat. So we made an early start and walked about watching the town wake up. I wanted to walk up to the church at the top of the town. Marco wasn't keen so i started out on my own but it didn't seem too steep so i went back and got him. I'm glad I did because there was a lovely village atmosphere at the top of the hill and we found an excellent bakery by the church and bought cream pies, eating them on a bench nearby. We then meandered back down to the bottom and had a coffee at Dionysos. A few couples were already inside and we noticed they were all reading from charts. Fellow sailors - how nice. We were three quarters of the way through our coffee and the cafe was nearly full with 'fellow sailors', when we heard a familiar voice. Yes it was the pole-dancing chap from Port Athene who swaggered into the restaurant with his wife and another couple saying VERY loudly "We're 'ere - you can start now". Again everyone collapsed into peals of laughter. It was painful. We left before the rep arrived and, back on the boat we read for a while before leaving. We decided on Vassilikos for our last night as we've not been there yet and it sounded good in the pilot guide.

We motored out and looked in on a large hotel down the coast that is home to Sunsail. Looked quite nice. Off towards Skorpios there was again no wind. Very frustrating....we tried to find some wind but there really was nothing so we ended up motoring all the way. Past Skorpios, Marco had identified Dessimou Bay as a good lunch stop. Recommended by the Di and Neil at Sail Ionian we had high hopes for the place. And it looked idyllic. There were just two other boats anchored and the taverna looked lovely. We rowed in and ordered a couple of Mythos and lunch. Our starter was a gorgeous tuna salad and Marco had the chicken souvlaki while i had the longed-for-all-holiday aubergine slippers for mains. However, before we were half way through the salad we knew we had a big problem. WASPS! The table next door had loads around them and as they finished eating the wasps headed our way. By the time our mains arrived, there was nobody else eating and it was as though we'd invaded a nest (we might well have done for all i know)......we must have had 50 or more wasps buzzing around. There was really no way we could eat anything...not only was it more than a little irritating having to bat the wasps away, there was a real danger that one of us could accidentally swallow one which wouldn't have been much fun at all! The restaurant waitress didn't seem to bat an eyelid and Marco was getting seriously cheesed off, stalking up to pay and leave while i was disappearing in a sea of wasps. Fortunately, an old guy came from the kitchen with a roll of foil and packed everything up for us into a carrier bag. Great stuff. We dashed off, leaving the wasps to scratch their heads and wonder what they were going to do for entertainment for the rest of the afternoon. Back on board Winspit, we unpacked our impromptu takeaway which was still hot and it turned out to be very good.

After a relaxing, post-lunch swim, we made our way down the Meganissi channel for the first time. There were some beautiful caves and scenery so i'm glad that we did it. However, once past the south tip of Meganissi, the wind whipped up and, although we were able to sail perfectly in any other direction, we had a very rough sea and the wind was right on the nose. We weren't really going anywhere fast and eventually Marco admitted defeat and we decided to leave Vassiliki to the experts and headed back into the channel where it quickly calmed down. I leapt off the boat for a cooling swim in one of the coves and Marco did M.O.B to come back and collect me.

We decided on Nikiana for the night and had to motor there as there was zero wind in the channel. When we arrived it seemed perfect. We had a lovely spot right at the end of the jetty and moored up stern-to. We got out and wandered around stopping for the all-important Mythos. There were lots of supermarkets on the high street and Marco managed to bring us back to the harbour via several Greek back gardens and the grounds of a hotel. Back on board we were enjoying another Mythos when......horrors.......a yacht was mooring right next to us. it was a boat full of very loud, drunk Germans. We helped them in and I stood on the quay waiting to take their line but the chap on the boat hurled it at me, hitting me in the face and laughed. Nice!

Marco was all for upping anchor and leaving but they then helped a yacht full of Italiens who moored next to them and we were more or less stuck there. They all got the drinks out again and offered us a campari and orange. Marco declined so I took one so as not to appear too unfriendly. M eventually took one as they were the sort of people who just went on and on until you accepted. They were harmless really but just too loud and annoying. We started to get ready and to really cheer Marco up, the water ran out while i was in the shower, so he had to wash in my leftovers on the bathroom floor!!!! There was no water in Nikiana so we'll need to use bottled water until we get back to Vlikho tomorrow. We went out and avoided the Germans who were already loudly settled in one of the restaurants around the bay....we ended up in a nice little place right in the corner by the sea. We had a lovely meal, which was only spoiled by the "white wine"which looked like wee and tasted little better (I would imagine anyway, obviously I don't know for sure). Back on board the yacht, we finished the bottle of Baileys and went to bed at 11.....we could hear the Germans in the taverna right across the other side of the harbour.

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