Khalkis to Karavos
Mon 22 Aug 2011 12:15
Position: 38:23.5N 24:02.8E
Hello from Karavos.
We are staying here while a meltemi blows itself out. We decided that as we had the forecast of the meltemi we would get through the bridge while it was calm. We went south between the island of Evia and the mainland as before and had a lunch stop and swim at Limni. We couldn't stay there because it was full so after lunch we continued down to a bay just north of Khalkis. (see pic of nice calm sunset). The next day we went round to Khalkis town and rafted up on the wall in front of all the tavernas and hotels and in sight of the bridge. This is the bridge which slides back under the road and only opens at night and not at the weekend. You may remember the discription of our passage through it on the way up. This time it was easier and we were prepared for the antics of the port control and had the right money at the right time and sat and awaited the opening chatting to the people we were rafted up with. (Israelies on the inside and a german couple we'd met before on the outside). Because it was just past springs (full moon tides) we were let through the bridge at 11 pm. This time also there were only a few of us and it was very orderly!
On the other side we went into the yacht harbour as before and in the pitch dark reversed stern to on a pontoon with lazy-line! Not bad for two old-uns!! Next day we went back shopping in Khalkis town - it was really very hot but Graham needed a haircut and found an excellent barber/hairdresser and had his hair washed, then cut, then washed again! then blow dried plus lots of pampering from two ladies. It cost him 20 Euros!! Pic no.3 is of a caique with the lights on it - sometimes called a light boat or a gi gi boat!? They float the lights out at night and catch squid - its fairly labour intensive and there were about 8 people on this boat.
We set off again the next day and headed for Karavos as the meltemi was coming and we needed a safe haven. The meltemi is the hot, dry, north easterly wind that blows at Force 6/7 or even 8 in the summer here. When we first arrived in Karavos we had to anchor in the harbour as there was already a yacht on the wall but they left so we quickly took their place! This bay is perfectly sheltered and is the one where the concrete towers on the other side spoil the view but we don't really mind and the wall we are on is the pretty side. (See Pic no.4)
Another boat came in later and for one night it was stern to beside us - the skipper was english but his crew were american. But he brought out his bed cover to air and it was a lovely blue quilt. When I commented on it he said it was made for the previous owners and had the boat name hidden in it (Scube). It has light houses and flags and knots all appliqued on to it. (CCC and 'Sew Together' please note!!).
It made me quite home sick!!
The last pic is Graham's favourite. We keep seeing old rotor-vators used as transport so Graham fancies having one to use round Woodbridge! (This one was quite smart).
Now the meltemi has started in earnest and its quite wearing. Also there are eucalyptus trees nearby and the boat is covered in bark and tree bits and the dust is amazing too. The wind will last a good five or six days so we are staying here but at least we have water, a beach, shops and a nearby town with Liddle and Carre Four. Almost civilised. And today we walked into Aliverion again (we were there on Sat and enjoyed the large fruit and veg market) and this time I got a hair cut. Just a wash/trim/blow-dry and no pampering.....15 Euros!!! Also, Graham got our tatty flag (red ensign that is now more pink!) re -sewn/hemmed by a little old lady with an even older treadle machine. She spoke no english and wouldn't take any money for it (but we left her 5 Euros)
We seem to be the only English 'tourists' here - lots of Greek holiday makers and families who all come here in the evenings and occasionally chat to us. With the wind howling (but the sky is blue and sun hot) I will sign off and hope you are all well and enjoying calm weather?