Kapsali to Kalamata via Karavostasi (in Limeni bay on Mani peninsular) & Diros caves
37:01.445N 22:06.349E Sat 9th Sep 2017
We stayed five nights in Kapsali on Kythira and could have stayed much longer, we enjoyed it so much. The only down side was the inexplicably jerky movement we experienced on the town quay which wore through two of our mooring ropes and even managed to work the covers off two of our fenders! Luckily David found them again on the bottom underneath the boat and snorkelled down to retrieve them. We did hire a car for a day and discovered some of the island’s other gems. Amongst these was the delightful village of Mylopotamos (river of mills) where we walked down a beautiful green valley with rock pools and the ruins of the many mills that used to operate there. We saw another atmospheric old Venetian kastro nearby with views down a gorge to the sea and then toured the Cave of St Sophia with its dramatic black limestone formations and well preserved 13th century frescoes near the entrance.
Castro of Kato Chora:
St Sophia’s cave:
We had lunch at the other end of the island overlooking the Peloponnese with Cape Malea picked out very clearly in the sunlight and then drove on to the stunning Byzantine ruins of Paliochora which sit on a bluff between two gorges. The idea was the town would be hidden from the sea there, but the notorious raider Barbarossa spotted the buildings from seawards and destroyed the town of 800 people in 1537.
Paliochora with Cap Malea in the background:
On route back we stopped at the pretty fishing port of Avlemonas, now an upmarket holiday spot with two lovely coves, gorgeous azure water and lots of inviting swimming platforms and landscaped gardens.
Eventually we tore ourselves away on Friday September 8th and motored for most of the day to Ormos Limeni on the Mani peninsular of the Peloponnese. We did have a fast sail for just over an hour towards the end of the 55 mile passage; otherwise it was a frustrating day once again. In Limeni we anchored for the night and cooled off in the 26°C water before going to sleep very early. Sitting in the hot sunshine hour after hour is so exhausting!
Yesterday we left the anchorage before 7.30am in order to visit the famous Diros caves which you access from the cove just to the south. We were almost first in line for tickets and after a frustrating wait around, did have a wonderful half hour punt through magical cavern after magical cavern. The boats take you 1200m into the system and then you walk for another 300m to the exit. The formations here and the still waters are incredible but the highlights were the gossamer thin stalactites everywhere which looked like something from a fairy tale. We were back on board and headed for Kalamata Marina and a rendezvous with a visiting friend by 10.30 after another quick dip.
Once more the winds teased us with a brief blow which allowed us to sail for 20 minutes, but which picked up again just as we were entering the marina and gave us a challenging side wind for berthing. Luckily the marineros here are on the ball and all was well. We then spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning a very dirty and salty Goldcrest inside and out so she is more presentable again to welcome our visitor.
We’re planning to spend the next week or so revisiting some of our favourite anchorages on the western Peloponnese, so won’t post again for a while.