Arki to Lipsi to Leros

Fri 4 Jun 2010 18:03

37:07.776N 26:51.447E
Wednesday 2nd June
On Wednesday morning 26th May we walked over to the main port on the tiny island of Arki where there were 4 lovely little Tavernas and a tiny shop, we then climbed the hill to the church and could see the whole of the island.  Left Arki early afternoon and did the short sail to the other tiny island of Lipsi where we moored to a buoy in a beautiful little bay.  This island prides itself on it's neatness and the houses are all beautifully painted with little blue and white churches and flowers.  It is certainly the best kept of the islands we have visited.  We cycled over to the main port which sinks under the weght of day trippers in the Summer months but thankfully was it's peaceful self for us.  Left Lipsi early Thursday afternoon with an optimistic wind blowing us in the right direction but it did'nt last and we arrived at the wonderful natural harbour of Laaki on the island of Leros early evening.  Decided to anchor in the bay before the Town and took the dinghy to have a look at it.  Laaki is a rather strange place as it was a showpiece town designed by Mussolini in the Art Deco style.  Unfortunately, it has not been well preserved and a lot of the buildings are derelict and crumbling which gives it a rather depressing feeling.  Leros has a rather sad history linked with leprosy and mental institutions (it's hospital housed most of the Greek mainland's mental patients).  As a consequence very few Greek people choose to holiday there and it is more like Italy than Greece.
Friday morning we sailed over to the newly built Leros Marina to get a quote for lifting Gaviota out of the water and anti-fouling her bottom, the quote was good and as the Marina was not busy they agreed to do it immediately so suddenly she was swinging in a hoist and we were climbing a ladder from dry land to get on board.
The next four days were spent on dry land.  The work commenced and in between we cycled most of the island and discovered the other side of the island with it's resorts of Alinda, Agia Marina and Vromolitho which were lovely with nice beaches and crystal clear water. 
Monday 31st saw Syd's birthday which we celebrated at a lovely Taverna on the beach at Vromolitho which was run by the Makris family.  We left rather later than intended and cycled back to Laki in the dark having sampled a bit too much of the local vino!
Gaviota was put back into the water Tuesday evening with all the work completed and we spent the night at the Marina, setting off for Kalymnos Wednesday, 2nd June.