Thursday, 27 November 2014

Bad back time again....

Parga on a cloudy day.
The old town of Parga
Unfortunately, my back problems have returned with a vengeance this last couple of weeks.  It started I think when I shifted some tables after the pontoon party but has got progressively worse since to such an extent this last week that I have been forced to take anti inflammatory and pain killing drugs.  They didn't seem to be doing any good as we had run out codeine based pills which seem to be the most affective.  Codeine is illegal in Greece as it's an opiate based medication.  As luck would have it our neighbours, Fergus and Nev had some Tramadol which they gave me and this seems to be taking the major edge off it.
As we will be going back to the UK in a couple of weeks I think I will try and last out until then before getting the quacks involved.

The Achrion river delta.
 It is rather worrying though as it brings our future plans for travelling into question.  As things are we could not sail anywhere as I would be incapable of pulling ropes especially when we embark and disembark let alone when we are out at sea.  It would be irresponsible to take the risk.  As this problem seems to have started returning at more an more regular intervals we shall have to think long and hard before making any real decisions.
Gorgeous hidden Sandy beaches

The river outfall to the sea.
Yesterday with the weather being somewhat overcast, we decided to go out for the day and re-visit Parga and then travel back across the Achrion river delta and the coastal route right back to Preveza.  Although we have lived in this area for ages now we had never actually been across the delta which is reputed to be the biggest rice growing area in Greece and on top of that there are beautiful sandy beaches all along this coast which are hardly ever used.  On the downside I guess with it being surrounded by paddy fields and marsh land it'll be mossy city in the better weather.  Having said that there are many apartments and hotels in the large village situated at the rivers outfall.

Today has been raining most of the day so it's been a sit back and watch the telly day, great work if you can get it.

Happy Birthday this week to Grandchildren Libby and Joe yesterday and Finley on Sunday, hope you all had and have a great time.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Where is the time going...

Just having a Giros at Daltons to make Pete jealous.
It is hard to believe that it's already well into the back end of November, apart from the odd thunder storm and occasional rainy day the weather here is still fantastic.  It could very easily be confused with a typical summers day back in the UK with blue skies, a gentle breeze and temperatures in the low twenties.  And the clincher is that as soon as evening comes you need to put something on to just to keep the chill at bay.
It's now only eighteen more days before we leave Lefkas for our Yuletide break back in the UK, we are having a few days in Athens prior to catching the flight back to Manchester and then onto home on the twelfth December.  Sandra is certainly looking forward to catching up with people at home and of course seeing all the children and grand children.

At Kato Rahoula again with Linda and Ray.
In the meantime, on Saturday Linda and her went on the free bus to IKEA at Ioannina for a spot of retail therapy.  She didn't, thank Christ, spend a fortune even though she was off the leash for a while.  She did however come back with some Ikea cooked ham from their food hall, smashing.  Of course she also had to pick up some bit and bobs while she was there!
Last night we went once again to Kato Rahoula (Bottom of the Hill) for a meal with Ray and Linda and as usual the food was excellent.  If anyone needs somewhere to go for Christmas lunch their menu is on the "Friends of Lefkas Marina" facebook page.  It looks excellent and I know where we would be if not in the UK.

We had only been at the restaurant for a short time when a car arrived with Les, Vi, Tony and Jane.  We knew that Tony and Jane where still here although due to go back but had no Idea that Les and Vi where back on the Island albeit for a short stay.  I have to say that when it came time for ordering drinks Les refused anything but water......  for about twenty milliseconds!  but it's the thought that counts, what do you say Les?  At least we got a chance to wish them all seasonal greetings before the departed for the UK. A great time was had with great company to boot and I've already copied that TV programme for you Ray.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Pontoon party and all that...

Special rice at Raj Panorama, Palairos
 It's been the week for eating Indian food this week as we have been across to Palairos twice, Friday and Tuesday, just to take advantage of Salim's excellent food before he heads off to Bangladesh later this month.  In fact I think the Panorama is closing this weekend if anyone want to make a dash for it they had better go now whilst they have the chance.

The Lefkas Sea Shanty singers.
Saturday was the Pontoon party which is organised every year usually by Debbie ad one or two willing volunteers.  It's a way of all the winter live aboards being able to get to know each other and for those who are unfamiliar with the area to meet people who can show them the ropes.  No one likes having to reinvent the wheel.

This year we seem to have many more British people than we have in the last couple of years but also with a good selection of other foreign nationals as well from all over Europe, Austrailia and America.

People becoming "well oiled".
We were treated to a singing fest from both the Lefkas Ladies choir and the Sea Shanty singers which made a pleasant change from the norm, by late afternoon some forty five litres of wine, donated by the marina and some of the popular tavernas, had been consumed and all had a great afternoon.  Thanks Deb for another great do!

Since we brought the electric over on board things which were not possible to produce with gas oven as it wouldn't reach high enough temperatures.  Now things like Yorkshire puddings and beef wellingtons are a mere trifle, or at least they are to Sandra - I burn water!

Beef Wellington, Sandra style.
Outside Castle Pantokratoras on the seaward approach to Prev.
 Jeremy and Debbie told us the other day about an old fort or castle which they had discovered near the seaward entrance to the Preveza channel.  From land you turn towards the sea from the roundabout before the northern tunnel entrance and just follow the road for a couple of kilometres.  A little fast whizz around the net this afternoon has shown it to actually be an old prison but it is a quite interesting if a somewhat under exploited old building.  Just outside there is one of those EU boards saying that something like 3.5 million euros has been spent on the area and very little of this has ended up making the castle into a tourist exhibition which could perhaps have raised money for the beleaguered local economy.  None the less, that seems to be the way of the world in these parts it just seems to be such a shame they are missing a trick!

Inside the old Prison.
The weather has turned a little on the wet side and it's been raining most of the day today but never mind at least we know that tomorrow it will be dry and the water won't be hung around for a week after it stops.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Sunsail take over the world...

Blocking off my view of the town
and as far as the eye can see.
 Sunsail and their sister company Moorings,  have been moving their yachts and catamarans onto our former pontoon (H pontoon) all this week and look like they have about completed it now.   I think there were going to be somewhere in the order of a hundred boats in total but we've not bothered counting them.  I have to admit they have done everything with the precision of a military manoeuvre and as I write this I can't see hardly any red sails left so it's not just been about relocating they are starting to get them ready for leaving for the winter.  Although in the wind today it looks like some could be moored a little tighter as they are swinging quite a distance.

The only real downside for us is instead of the open view we used to have over the town in winter is now obscured, nay, obliterated!  On the upside though we are very sheltered where we currently are (G Pontoon) and much nearer the main gate for getting out and about, as the small pedestrian gate we use in the summer has now been locked for the next five or six months for security reasons.

It's raining and the canvas looks great.
I had a look at the weather forecast earlier this week and it looked quite wet and windy by the end.  With this in mind we decided to get on and weather proof the winter cockpit awning.  Although it wasn't leaking or anything it's always a good idea to protect the canvas against the ravages of weather and UV light.  In the UK we bought a large can of Fabsil for this purpose and rather than leave it in the can thought it would be of more use on the canvas.
Kato Rahoula, good food, great company.
You can get this type of canvas treatment out here in Greece but it's very expensive and I would rather use Fabsil which we have used for many years on caravan awnings and tents with no problems what-so-ever, and it's much cheaper in the UK.

Ray and Sandra smile for the camera but not mine!
We had arranged to eat out with Ray and Linda last night at Nidri at Kato Rahoula (roughly, Bottom of the Hill).  We must say we are most impressed with this place and have been several times now and it's always good.  Ray and Linda were not the only people we met there though as Paul and Sue where already sat at their table when we arrived and then several more people we knew also turned up.  It's nice to see that somewhere not quite on the beaten track can still attract a customer base in these hard times and on a wet and windy night in November also.

The presentation here is top class it's the chip tower that does it.
 Presentation is not something that you really associate with Greeks and food but this place really does make an effort to make it's food look as good as it tastes which is a refreshing change.  I hope they get many more new customers as they deserve to succeed.