26th June to 5th July
I did say at the end of my last entry that we were intending to just enjoy the sun and company during our seaside time in Greece. That we have done in abundance.
Sue had picked out a suitable site south of Igoumenitsa near the small town of Parga. Licknos is the name of the bay and of the campsite and it has been delightful – see the pictures. It really does it tick all the boxes for a relaxing an enjoyable time: wonderful location in a beautiful bay, protected and very clear blue water, sandy beach, several eateries, good shop, a nice happy campsite with cheerful and helpful staff and to cap it all we are ensconced on the front row overlooking the beach. Will and Vi arrived via Corfu, ferry and Loveridge taxi and have an apartment up the slope from us. I know that they have enjoyed themselves as they have extended their booking twice and I can see that they have well and truly relaxed.
In brief we have lazed around for many days, swimming, walking, drinking and eating. Even pedalos and canoes have been used. I enquired about water skiing but fortunately I hurt my back washing the car! The tree covered slopes around us are , in the main, olive groves. They are unlike olive groves that I have come across before, some of the trees are 60 feet plus. Having been to the olive oil museum (!) I now know that they were planted in Venetian times – under pain of fines or greater punishment. They are vigorous and can withstand severe pruning. What I know is that in the heat of the day they are wonderful to walk under.
We have had a couple of ‘days out’ both of which were fun and interesting. The 1st to the local Pindos mountains north of Ioannina and to the Vikos Gorge. Again stunning scenery as one would expect from one of the world’s deepest gorges. Will and I went along one rapidly narrowing rock face path that led to a cave that had, over the ages, been used as a place of sanctuary; eventually we jointly decided that we ought not to keep the girls waiting any longer and so turned about.
I cannot remember if I have already said anything about my flower photos, if I have I apologise. Sad though it is, and I certainly would have been concerned in my younger years, I have started photographing flowers. This has been brought on by the stunning variety that we have seen, especially during the earlier part of the trip. I have built up quite a little library, of course I don’t know their names but they look good. I will probably put them up on the web site on my return or on Flicker. Anyway, all that is by the way. In the Pindos Mountains are some very remote villages that have been very isolated for most of their existence. In some they still speak a dialect related to Latin. In the 19th C during Ottoman times local wealthy potentates took to financing stone bridges to improve communication between these very isolated communities. I now have quite a few pictures of these bridges; what with these, the Millau, Rialto, Sighs, I am considering moving away from flowers to bridges.
Our other day out was a bit of an unexpected adventure. We visited the Acheron springs some 30k away. Those who had read up on the trip before hand had not done their homework very well. We knew we had to wear swimmers for the walk as it was necessary to cross from one side the other on the way up the gorge to the Spring. We even cottoned on to the fact that at one point it may be necessary to swim a short distance. Suffice to say the above points were true but did not by any means convey the whole truth. Sue and I struggled up stream for over an exhausting hour, over boulders, between rocks,, pushing through at waist level against a fast moving flow and then, several times, really struggling swimming against the flow for a considerable distance – I had to push Sue at one point. Will and Vi did half way – well done to Vi who has not been part of Loveridge stupidity over the years. Eventually Sue and I decided enough was enough, we were tired and a nasty slip was becoming more likely. In any event we had left the others with no access to the car and probably no money for a drink… We turned round and for the most part drifted down with the water. At one point Sue did go over and lost her flip flops in the process (not the best footwear as it tuned out!) I did not know whether to save Sue or the flip flops – in the event I did neither and the flip and the flop eventually became becalmed and allowed an up righted Sue to collect them. A great day.
North Western Greece has been an eye-opener to us. Beautiful coastline with great beaches and coves and magnificent mountains and lakes. In fact we are off back to the Pindos Mountains now to do a bit of walking near the Vikos Gorge, on our way to Macedonia.