Car tour of Levkas Island – 9th October, 2011.
Frank and Jim had organised a car the day before in order to tour the island. Levkas is an island only because the canal separates it from the mainland. The present canal was built by the Greek government during the early 1900 century although earlier canals were dug by the Corinthians around the 7th century BC and by Augustus during the Roman occupation. An old canal can be seen running through the salt marsh to the east of the present canal. The line of ruined stone on the west is the remains of an old Turkish/Venetian bridge.
We headed off around the lagoon to show Sue and Jim the walk we had done the day before. From here we headed up along the mountain coast road and the views were amazing. We could see Antipaxos, Paxos up to Corfu and down the coast of mainland Greece to Preveza and out into the Gulf of Amvrakikos around the bay to the canal bridge and the salt pans both sides of the Levkas canal and the beaches around the lagoon.
We stopped several times to look at the views. The beaches down the west coast are flocked to in the summer months by the number of hotels and taveranas along the coast but the way the sea pounds into the beach would make it very dangerous for young children. The very pale blue colour water makes it a sight to remember.
We headed up into the mountains stopping for coffee at a small village with views. The tavern owners wife was English and she explained what it is like to be living there in the winter months and how coach trips stop there in the summer months at their tavern one side of the road and their open air area with table and chairs on the other side of the road which are full six months of the year.
We drove up into the mountains and visited the highest church in Levkas for the view over the island and out to Meganissi, Skorpois and to the numerous ones looking to the mainland. While we sat and ate our lunch we watched a small cloud form and gather in other clouds and within minutes a great black cloud had formed with wind and rain. It was amazing to watch being so high up and how around the coast line and out to sea it was still in sunshine,
We drove on and visited another mountain where all the satellite tracking dishes were before we headed off for the port of Vassiliki which we thought was going to be a huge town as the Corfu ferry sometimes comes in here. Wrong, a small harbour with a few tavernas around the quay and a very small empty quay with only one British boat there. We had drinks and walked around the sleepy town and were off again via the coast road to Nidri to hand the apartment keys back and visit the Nidri waterfall. By this timed it was getting quite wet but we managed to find the gorge and climb to the top for the full waterfall. We were met by a Bulgarian family on their way down. It was quite impressive and it must be amazing when there have been huge amounts of rain as the gorge is extremely wide. The only worrying fact was that rocks started falling from high above just near us so we quickly left before any further falls hit us. Although it was pouring by now we went up to Demitris’s restaurant overlooking Tranquil Bay for dinner and the view which lasted about 30 minutes.
To be on the safe side we moved into the marina the next morning as more wind was forecast and it is better to be safe than sorry.
Jim and Frank took the windy gear down and walked off to find the Garmin agent shop in Levkas where the chap did some tests. He said give it a try so back up the mast Jim went but two days later it is not working so well. Expect it will be replaced for next season!