37:08.72N 22:58.62E Leonidhion
37:08.72N 22:58.62E Leonidhion
Friday, 7th September, 2012.
Although the wind dropped and we were secured to the town quay at Kiparrissi we did not have a very pleasure night. Ariel rolled back and forth and our neighbours were a little noisy as they decided to move their motor yacht at 1.30 a.m. instructing the staff with loud voices. But needless to say we woke up to this wonderful view this morning of the little sleepy village.
After breakfast at 7 o’clock we were soon on our way as we could see the wind coming across the water into the bay and we did not want to get pinned on the harbour wall. Our Swiss neighbours whom we have met up with at several places were also not far behind us when Jim pointed out the wind on the water. Another clue was all the fishermen had either moved their little boats to moorings or had pulled them up on the beach.
Up went the main sail but we had to motor the 13.54 miles into Leonidhion as the wind was coming from the north and straight into the bow. The harbour is very difficult to see from the sea but a clue is a mill converted to a house on the beach and the white church behind the harbour itself. The harbour is also hidden behind the continuation of the beach and just the last part of the harbour wall is visible. The small hamlet under the towering cliffs is a mostly unspoilt spot. The town is approximately 4 miles north towards the mountains. The local growing area is very popular for olives, figs, citrus fruits and all sorts of market gardening.
The elders of the town use a dialect known as Tsakonika which is considered to be a link between ancient (Doric) and modern (Demotic) Greek.
I have had two swims, one the other side of the wall and one inside the harbour. Both were excellent. In the inside harbour if you are not quick enough to get swimming the little tiny fish come and give you a nip. It gives quite a shock to the system. A mountain spring comes under the road onto the beach and out into the harbour. I went to meet Jim on the beach as he had swam across the harbour and I found a large hedgehog drinking from the mountain water in broad day light. I left him to it but I think other people spotted him and he was gone when I returned. There is quite an animal population on the beach as there are about ten ducks and one goose that swim in the harbour or sleep on the beach.
We stayed two nights until Sunday morning but moved positions on the quay after the first night. The wall which was built at the end of the quay four or five years ago has been smashed to pieces in the February storm and badly needs repairing as the water pounds straight into the gap. The bay is huge but with the beach area being in the harbour the water bounces into the beach and then bounces across the harbour and causes rolling to the boats on the quay.
We also were interested to see the wedding which was being set up on the quay. They don’t worry rain will interfere with their plans. 25 round tables were set up, chairs dressed with covers, musicians and instruments practiced in the early afternoon, fridges for the drinks appeared and the china, cutlery and favours were all on the tables awaiting the bride and groom’s appearance. We heard that the little church overlooking the harbour was the wedding church. It is so small relatives pop in and out during the service as it gets too hot inside which is why we could see people sitting on the wall of the church during the service.
We went for dinner with our Swiss friends and sat on the veranda overlooking a balloon dressed fishing boat. We had only just sat down when the bride and groom appeared but had to wait for 15 to 20 minutes which we could not understand. As soon as it was dark they boarded the fishing boat and motored around the harbour and out about 10 metres into the bay but it was a little rough and on their return to the harbour fireworks were set off on the wall and they alighted the boat in front of all of their guests who were now all seated in their nominated seats. We enjoyed the Greek music and dancing which the bride and groom appeared to have to dance every dance and after an hour it changed to pop and everyone danced. We passed the tables on the way back to Ariel and there were in Greek style plates and plates of untouched food. It was a lovely happy wedding party which the German bridegroom and his new Greek wife will remember for a long time.