Arki - Lipsi
17 August 2019
Nerida Matthews | 29 degrees, wind currently 15 knots (expected to reach 25 plus knots later today)
13- 15 August
We spent a couple of days in a bay on the south end of Arki island in what is a very popular area – with good reason. Clean, clear water and several adjacent sheltered bays to choose from. There was a constant procession of boats of all shapes and sizes coming and going.
Each afternoon there was a call of “Capitan, Capitan” across the water from a local fishing boat. The elderly fisherman must have decided that selling home made produce was a better option than full time fishing – he was offering mama’s home-made goods like cakes, jars of sweet tomato or marmalade (fig jam?). We negotiated a couple of things which was fun with our lack of Greek and his lack of English although were fairly sure he was throwing in some Italian for good measure. (see image above)We nearly did not get to purchase his home-made cakes, as a large motor boat went buy at speed, sending in a huge wake. The little fishing boat tipped from side to side and the plastic container holding the cakes went overboard. There was much swearing in Greek but luckily the container floated and was retrieved, with the cakes none the worse for their swim. The cakes were lemon flavoured and made a very delicious dessert. The sweet tomato, was peeled and seeded Roma tomatoes, which were preserved in a sugar syrup. They are meant to be consumed as a sweet but they go very nicely with cheese or in a salad with rocket and walnuts. He was quite a character and greeted us the second day like long lost friends.
Once again on our trip from Arki to Lipsi islands we had dolphins nearby, this time they were “surfing” along in the large wake of a big boat that had gone past us.
As the forecast is for a couple of days of strong winds, we have gone into the harbour on Lipsi island. The harbour master here is quite a character, best to stay on the right side of him as he is very quick to let out a long rant (in Greek of course) to anyone who does not understand his “instructions”. Also don’t come into the harbour too late in the day, although he is here until quite late it seems he is able to totally ignore some boats coming in leaving them to wonder where they are supposed to go. We do not dare assist anyone else while he is present for fear of going against his wishes.
Lipsi town is a little village with a maze of narrow streets that sprawl up the hillside and as always numerous restaurants around the edge of the harbour. One is never short of options of where to find a good meal. Many of the restaurants have fresh local grilled octopus, which can be seen hanging outside in the sun. The octopus would have first been beaten against a rock or concrete to tenderised it, it is then hung in the sun for a day to dry it before grilling over a bed of hot charcoal (see gallery). Octopus might be on the menu for tonight! (Although one of us thinks it would be better for bait….)