Thursday, 31 May 2012

The sun, flora and Fauna...

Welcome to the vipers nest!
 Geoffrey set off for home on Sunday after what I'm sure was a fantastic three weeks with us.  Sandra managed to get them all organised in the airport at Preveza, as is her way, making sure that Manchester airport was expecting someone in need of wheelchair assistance whilst ensuring that the staff at Preveza knew who Geoff was and flight he had to board!  Bet they were pleased to see the back of her!  To be fair for anyone who needs assistance through the airport and in flight I can highly recommend the Thomas Cook staff.  Geoffrey was more than pleased with the attention he received both on the flight and at both ends.
One of our friendly Geckos

The Garden in bloom.
Since Geoff has gone the sun has decided to shine again and we are now basking in the sunshine which we should have been have for at least a couple of months now.  This has brought all the reptiles out in the garden.  We have several type of snake here on the island but nothing any more venomous than the adder (viper).

We have a couple (that I have seen, although there are probably dozens!) of them living around the house and I think they get a very bad press as they are much more frightened of us than we are of them.  The golden rule is if you are walking in the grass make a noise so they hear you and then they will just clear off.

There are loads of geckos and lizards about which again you need to creep up on to get the pictures. We also had a huge toad camped on our steps two nights in a row although it was too dark to get a good picture of that.  All part of life's rich tapestry you know.

To top all that the Garden is now looking in excellent shape so it'll be good for the three months of neglect it'll get while we are back in the UK.
It was nice to hear from Jean and Allen this morning about the safe arrival of their fourth Grandchild, Henry, Congratulations to them and to Sean & Kelly hope you don't get too many sleepless nights.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The unseasonal weather continues....

Vines for Land of Lefkas wine.
 The weather on Lefkas has continued with it's unseasonal ways this week and although not particularly cold it has been wet and windy at times.  This does have the benefit of making sure that the wild flowers are putting on a display second to none this year.  It looks like it may be a bumper harvest of the Olives judging by the amount of blossom on what seems like every tree.

Wet weather = Loads of wild flowers.
We have still managed to get out and about over the last week and have had some journeys along roads which Sandra and I have never been on before I use the word "roads" in the loosest possible sense of the word as a couple of them were little more than tracks and certainly not accessible without a car with good ground clearance.  That said, you wouldn't get to see the true beauty of this island without getting at least a little off the beaten track.

Storm clouds
Today we have been up to the highest church on the island, the church of the profit Ilias, from which on a clear day you can see almost all of the island, unfortunately as can be seen from this picture Sandra and her dad were backed by some vicious looking clouds. Having said that the view from there over Lefkas town and beyond was still spectacular.

View to Lefkas town from the church of the profit Ilias.
For those who have never been up there it is well worth the trip, on the final assent up to the church you pass some huge quarries which I didn't know existed, they are very reminiscent of a lunar landscape quite a sight in their own right.  There really must be thousands of people who visit this beautiful island without ever witnessing it's real grandeur.  If only the tourist rented a car for a few days and saw the place I'm sure they would come back time and time again.  Tourist information bit done!

Geoff inside the highest Church on the Island.
 On the way back home we decided to call in at the award winning Katoghi restaurant at Vafkeri for a coffee and of course to see Alison and Peter to congratulate them on their Daily Telegraph fifth best in the world award, well done you two.
Geoff, Sandra, Alison and I outside the award winning Katoghi.

Well Geoffrey's stay with us is almost at an end now and he'll be heading home on Sunday from Preveza airport.  The weather hasn't been great for him but in some ways it's better like this as he doesn't have to go too mad with the sunscreen.  I'm sure that he's getting ready for his own space by now and also to relate all his stories to everyone at home!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Bit of a changeable week...

Vasiliki from a new angle.
 Well Geoff is about half way through his stay with us now and for most of this time the weather has been fantastic, although I think maybe a little hot for him.  The last three or four days though have been pretty changeable but it looks like it may just be a short hiatus and things will improve from tomorrow onwards.
Lands end Lefkada style, the southern point of the island.

Our dilapidated Lighthouse.

We decided the other day to go down a road (stone track really) which we can see from our house and that leads towards the islands southerly extreme.  The road is really only suitable for four wheel drive vehicles but offers some fantastic views which you don't get from elsewhere.
It eventually joins onto the lighthouse road from which, I am reliably informed you can frequently see dolphins.  They were not present when we were there!  The lighthouse although still working is in serious need of maintenance, the concrete is degraded and re-bar showing all over the place but I suppose the Greeks have more urgent needs for funds at the moment.  This really is a fantastic island and offers something for everyone if only more people would come here to appreciate it.

Beautiful colours of early summer.

Here is a good article to whet your appetite:
My bargain outboard.

And Passerelle (Gangplank)

We went to the boat jumble sale at Vliho Yacht Club yesterday where I got a couple of "bargains", a Passerelle (Gangplank) for the new boat and an outboard motor for the tender.  Both need a little TLC but for €35 you can't complain.

Sandra managed to get a picture this morning of a rainbow, she actually took two, one of the right end and one of the left.  The left side which was brighter ended up being video, so the right is reproduced here!
Rainbow this morning.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Oldie has landed...

Just a quick blog this week as things have been somewhat hectic with the arrival of Geoffrey on Sunday.  His flight went fine from Manchester to Preveza on his own for the first time and large as life he turned up the arrivals hall of Preveza airport with a beaming smile on his face.

Sandra and her dad with mandatory picnic.
We have already been around quite a few people on the Island.  We also had a ride onto the mainland to visit our Greek friends at Assos, they were delighted to see Sandra's dad and it was handshakes and kisses all around.  You should have seen Geoff's face when it came to kissing blokes!
We had a ride around a couple of valleys we hadn't seen for some year while we were on the mainland and had a super evening meal on Preveza town quay to finish off with.

I mentioned last week our strange neighbours who were looking for a new place to live on the island, well two lots of good news this week, they have left Tree and Mikes apartment, next door to us,  yesterday and they have found a new place to live in Apolpena, so they are going to be neighbours of Tony and Liz :-)  Good luck to them. 

Anyway hopefully there will be more to say next week with a few more pictures perhaps.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Things are moving apace...

Vines all neatly in a row.
 This week has seen a great deal of socialising in one way and another.  We had Friday evening at the Spanish evening courtesy of Vliho Yacht Club.  As usual it was a great night, with Deb and Jez and the food was very good also.  The yacht club put a good deal of effort into the layout of the dining areas and staff costumes and once again they didn't disappoint.

Saturday evening we went  down to the Plane Tree restaurant with Liz, Tony, Janet and David and again had a really good evening with fine food and much talking, well that comes naturally to Sandra.  Janet and David showed some interest in some of the stuff we had for sale so we arranged to meet again for lunch on Monday.  Thanks for all the Yachty advice you guys.

The view from the top of the island down to Meganissi
We have managed to sell or have reserved all our house furniture which I said last week was for sale.  The exception to this is the cooker and a quality Hi-Fi (both available still at €50 each if you are in the market!).

We have had very strange neighbours living in Tree & Mikes lower apartment this week, he was introduced as "my Italian Stallion!".  They are currently looking for a house to rent on the island and have a dog which is the size of a small pony and bigger than some.  Not our cup of tea but I wish them well.

Peter, Alison and Sandra after a lovely lunch at the Katoghi
Last night we went to Lefkas town and had a great meal in Burrano's, I loved it.  Top company again with Linda, Kev, Deb & Jez.  Fortunately, Spurs had the result they wanted Kev!

We've had a really good ride over the top of the island today on roads which cannot be used by a small car a 4x4 is a must but have been rewarded by some stunning scenery and views which we have not been privileged to see before, Lefkas is a true jewel in the Ionian sea.

Stopped off at Vafkeri to see Peter and Alison on the way back and had some lunch at the Katoghi, I do love those prawns Alison.

We have got everything ready now for the arrival of Sandra's dad on Sunday, he sounded very excited on the phone and we can't wait to see him again.