15/08/2012, Lakka, Paxos
It's impossible to describe quite how lovely Lakka on Paxos is without going into clichés: A turquoise bay enclosed in chalky cliff faces tumbling with greenery and dotted with several small beaches. The development ashore has had limited impact, the small harbour village retaining its charm.
That's not to say that the area hasn't embraced tourism. The tripper boats arrive regularly and the two small supermarkets are, of course, overpriced. To stay on land here requires more effort than most Greek islands (there's no airport) so perhaps it attracts a more discerning holiday maker. The bars and restaurants seem to know their clientele and serve quality food and good house wines.
All this also makes it popular with the yachting crowd, too. We've managed to get a spot tied to the rocks of the west shore, sheltered from the prevailing wind and hopefully out of the way of the usual anchoring frenzy. Some swell does make its way in but, so far, nothing prolonged or too uncomfortable. It even seems cooler here but that could just be coincidence.
Best of all, the nights are blissfully quiet. We may even have caught up on all the lost sleep, although the gentle rocking is very soporific. Yes, there are quite a few tourist town councils who could learn a lot from Lakka. The sooner the better.
Predictably, the new harbour in Sivota, with excellent shelter has been taken over by non-moving boats. The best protected part of the old harbour is filled with small local vessels including a rental boat business commandeering a long stretch of deep water quay. That leaves the section of more open quay for visiting yachts and at this time of year there simply isn't enough room to go around.
That doesn't stop those eager to come in from making the attempt. With complete disregard for the size of boat compared to the size of space, thinking nothing of climbing over empty boats and loosening lines, pushing on stanchions or simply barging in careless of potential damage that might be caused, in they try to come. Volatile tempers flare, voices raise and hostilities look like they could easily become violent. Eventually, the port police were summoned for one incident but didn't seem to really want to get involved. Neither did we. Time to move on.
06.45 Rain! I feel like dancing! I won't, though. I'm still in my nightie and the waiter opposite doesn't deserve that, poor thing. And there's thunder.
07.20 Looks like it's all over. Sighs. Oh well, there's still cloud. That's quite a novelty, too.
Christine said in her blog that she had a tune running through her brain all the time. This is the one that for some reason has stuck in mine.
"The heat is stifling
Burning me up from the inside
The sweat is coming through each and every pore"
I think that probably says it all.
The following lyrics don't apply, by the way! Well, only sometimes.
So go on - name that tune. No looking it up!
Wouldn't It Be Good
09/08/2012, Corfu Town
Aren't you a bit close? This was our view from the cockpit when we got up this morning after another disturbed night in San Stefanos. We're back in Corfu town where the road noise and airport fade into insignificance.
09/08/2012, San Stefanos
As pretty and sheltered as San Stefanos is (and it really should be an idyllic location) I don't think we'll be in a huge hurry to come back. The ferries have slowed down since we were last here (economics not common courtesy) so the swell that nearly submerged the dinghy in our brief five minutes stay last year is much less of a problem. The restaurants are reputably good if more expensive and not particularly imaginative.
The holding seems to be good IF, and it's a big IF, boats can be bothered to put out enough chain and dig themselves in. Therein lies the problem. It's not a particularly big bay and everybody, but everybody, wants to come here.
All day the little rental boats and ribs pour in, most of them not bothering to slow down. Then, in the afternoon and evening, seemingly every sailing boat in the Ionian comes in. There were three flotillas in here last night, in a space that I would have thought would struggle to cope with one. Naturally they were all swinging into each other but nobody was particularly bothered including the lead crews. To be fair, it wasn't just the flotillas.
Today, the afternoon wind played havoc. One Belgian catamaran moved about 100m past us heading for the rocks and then told us it was because our anchor wasn't holding! We must have one of those special boats that move forwards when we drag. Well, there you go.