S/V Goldcrest
David & Lindsay Inwood
Mon 26 Jul 2010 17:00

Our first stop en route south from Kalamata and we were able to tie up to a quiet quay in one corner of the bay after a boisterous if rolly sail.  We wanted to anchor off the village, but it was just too rough & windy.  This is the finger of the Peloponnese that is called the Mani and the fierce people who lived here were the Maniots (from the Greek word mania).  Apparently they were never really subdued by any of the nations that occupied Greece through the centuries, but lived in tribal groups.  They built austere stone houses with tall, defensible towers as they feuded amongst themselves; their way of life reminded us a bit of the highland clans of Scotland.  The coastline is magnificent but forbidding, with barren brown mountainsides peppered with tower houses on ridges or bluffs or grouped together in villages.  The uniformity and clustering of the stone buildings reminded us a little of Cotswold villages, even to the extent that most of them have now been renovated as holiday homes! 


As we were sitting on our boat in the early evening here we saw a small party of locals, including a priest, come down to the water’s edge for some brief ceremony.  A few of them were dressed in what we suppose was the regional costume which added to the occasion, as did the firing of an ancient pistol.