Thursday, 1 July 2010

Ghosts' bells in deserted village.

Wednesday 2nd. June

The village is deserted but we were woken by the ringing of dozens of bells. Had the villagers returned? Were ghosts sounding a warning? Had we consumed far too much Ouzo the night before? No, none of these. Goats, perhaps a hundred of them, had wandered down to the foreshore for a drink and just like Alpine cows they each had a bell round their neck. Did they really drink salt water? Oh yes, as the picture shows.

Anyway, before leaving ‘Earthquake Village’ we went ashore. It was quite spooky. The houses are still standing, albeit with no windows and few doors. The quake didn’t demolish the houses but did destroy the village’s water supply and that is what makes it untenable.

One of the saddest sights we saw on the entire trip was the beach at Port Leone. There was almost as much plastic debris as sand and pebbles.

We walked up to the church and passed a small graveyard on the way. The church was locked up but is clearly tended. The ‘pub’, a part-time taverna, is all but derelict but maybe it’s not sufficiently into the season to justify it opening. Jo peeked into a window of one of the houses and was met by a rat staring back. This precipitated a swift retreat. For some reason she didn’t want to stay.

We lifted the anchor, said a brief farewell to Leighton and Cathy and set course for Kioni on Ithaca, a distance of around 12 miles. There was a bit of wind so we sailed but the wind died and so the donkey kicked in.

We arrived in Kioni just after one o’clock. It’s small and was already quite busy. One of the ‘joys’ of Mediterranean cruising is mooring bows or stern to. We spotted a gap and headed for it stern to. Someone shouted something – we have no idea what he was trying to tell us, but assumed it was not “All’s OK, in you come”. We aborted that attempt and opted for another spot. Just as we got close to the quay mother duck, the girl looking after one of the flotilla, said the water by the quay was shallow. We had four metres on the depth sounder and we suspect she was trying to save the space for one of her ducklings but we decided not to risk the keel of the boat on any hidden rocks. We motored off and decided to go bows to. We got within 6 feet of the jetty when the kedge anchor fetched up. It was an omen, we gave Kioni a miss and went on to Frikes, about 2 miles to the north. It is fair to say that crew relations were under some strain at this point.

We moored up in Frikes alongside a jetty without a problem, one of the few places here where it is practice to moor alongside. There was a Lagoon 380 on the quay, it looked enormous and rather out of place. The Lagoon is one we have been considering but we are now having second thoughts because of their suitability out here. After the agro on Kioni we opted to eat ashore in one of the many tavernas. We also took the opportunity to stock up in the supermarket which also has showers. Not something you get at Waitrose I have to say.

Apart from the disco, which eventually packed-up at 3.30am, we had a quiet night.

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The Crew

The Crew
On board at Lymington