Sat 4 Jun 2011 10:00
Position: 37:44.66N 23:25.59E
Dear Family & Friends,
After the Corinth Canal we were into the Aegean Sea. We headed down to a small place on the east side of the Peloponese called Korfos. It was a small harbour with fishing boats and a couple of tavernas with 'facilities'. In high summer its very busy but midweek early season we found plenty of choice in spaces. We went stern to onto the taverna wall - Georges - he came and gave us the lazy line as we edged backwards - wary of odd boulders and rubble. The depth was about 2.5 metres. We were really close to the taverna - the photo of the back of Gilly B is taken from a table in the restaurant which because we tied up there you are expected to eat in. We got water and electrics and a nice meal in the evening for about 24 Euros. Naivasha was still with us so we enjoyed our meal together and then left the next morning to go a bit further down the coast to Palaia Epidhavros. We looked into the harbour from the imposing beacons at the entrance and saw a flotilla causing mayhem on the walls so we went right and anchored in the bay. It was cooler and we were able to swim! Our first dip of the year.. See picture - it took Graham a bit of time to get wet as he thought it might still be cold but the instruments say the water temp was 25 degrees C.
The next morning we went ashore in the dinghy and with Ron & Hazel we got a taxi to Epidhavros or Epidurus. Both spellings seem to be correct! The photos show the theatre and then the ruins close by. The theatre is amazing - you can hear someone speak softly from the stage at the bottom from the top seats. The theatre is still used for plays in late July/August. (Bring your own cushion!)
The ruins are of a healing sanctuary credited with being the seat of holistic medicine. (Asclepius was son of Apollo -the cult of Asclepius was the name given to the sanctuaries) The little museum showed some medical instruments and the excavations have revealed tablets detailing 'miracle' cures. Patients were put on special diets, given exercises and medication and rest. They gave money and gifts to the gods in return. This was started in 6th c. BC.. so we didn't invent health farms!! Nothing is new specially round here - ancient Greece was pretty modern really.
After our outing to Epidaurus we spent a quiet evening on the boat and Graham BBQ'd some pork I'd marinated in oranges. The next day was Friday and we went a short distance over to an island called Aigina. The main harbour has the same name (Aigina) but its like Cowes on the Isle of White - all the Athenians with boats come hurtling over here on a weekend and the place is a zoo. Compounded by a few mad hydrofoil ferries and some other older type ferries. When we arrived with Naivasha close behind we spied a couple of spaces on the wall and there were other boats arriving and leaving. We dropped the anchor and reversed back but were beaten to it by a boatful of Greeks intent on putting their boat in the same space. There was a bit of toing and froing and eventually we found a space on the opposite wall. I had the anchor up and down like a yo yo trying to get parked - it was a bit like a Tesco's carpark with only 3 spaces and loads of cars going up and down trying to abandon their cars somewhere, anywhere!
On shore there is an impressive fish market and boats with fresh fruit and vegetables and lots of small streets with interesting hardware/fishing stores. This island is also famous for its pistachio trees which were imported here years ago as a useful crop. Nearly every shop has big bags of pistachios for sale at about 6 Euros a bag.
Well thats the journey so far - we go to Athens on Sunday and the Bubbs join us on Monday for a week of sailing, sun and ruins!
Love to everyone gathering for ALAN's BIG BIRTHDAY!! We wish we could join you all but someone's got to stay with the boat!
Thinking of you