At the beginning of November, the boat was lifted out of the water and
left on the hard, at Preveza, on mainland
The agreed price, for leaving the boat in the marina until mid April was changed, the day before it was due to be lifted out of the water. Although we had a contract in place, there was nothing we could do but to pay the additional costs. There was nowhere else available, within reasonable traveling distance, for us to go. We had booked hotels and flights for just a couple of days hence so to delay departure was also going to incur additional costs.
From the marina, a taxi took us to Prevasa town, where we stayed overnight in a hotel, rising early to meet up again with the same taxi, which took us to the local bus station to catch the first bus to leave for Athens that day.
Although it was a national bus, it had been necessary for us to book our seats in advance. This ensured that we would be able to travel at the time which best suited us. The inside of the bus was amazing, decorated with a mass of personal trinkets and ornaments which belonged to the regular bus driver.
It took about 5 and a half hours to reach
On arrival at the bus station in
Another early morning and another taxi ride. The taxi took us to the
airport, for our flight to the
Each year since we moved to
The oranges on our trees were magnificent this year. There were so many
that we were able to have freshly squeezed juice, made from our own oranges, for
all but the last two weeks that we were in
We were home for a month before it was time to be on the move again. We
spent Christmas in
We took sufficient clothing with us when we left
“The best laid plans…,.” were thwarted. Having not previously checked out
the feasibility of using our friend’s home as a wardrobe, we had to take all the
clothes with us to
The night flight to Gatwick was fine. Collecting the hire car was a nightmare. We have been using the same car rental company for several years, using them each time we visit the UK, en-route to another destination as well as while we are there visiting family and friends.
We always pre-book a car and it is always ready when we arrive and the paperwork takes no more than about 10 minutes or so. Not this time. The attendant was so hostile. The paperwork had not been prepared, nor had the car which was very dirty and underneath a layer of ice. There was no de-icer, or even a scraper available and we were told to deal with the problem ourselves. DVLC was phoned, at our expense, to check that the driving-license that Dick proffered, was legal. We were given a great deal of misinformation and the whole procedure took well over an hour to perform, at 6.30 in the morning!
Unbelievably, the letter of complaint was not only ignored, so were the 3 follow-up complaints. Not to mention the many calls which were not returned. The final result was that the car rental company justified the behaviour of its employee and we will never use them again.
Perhaps the problem was that three car rental companies were amalgamating and there was no longer a reliable executive to handle problems. I would have thought that at this time of financial hardship, a loyal customer was the biggest asset a company could have. Perhaps I am just being naïve.
While in the
We became quite adept at scraping the ice off the car windscreen in
January. If the frozen sea on the south coast is anything to go by, it was
possibly one of the coldest winters in many years. It seemed so to us, our blood
having thinned from spending so much time in temperatures in the 40’s, while
sailing in the
Back home in
We spent a long weekend in
The Bridge sessions took place in the evenings or mid-afternoon so it gave us plenty of time for sightseeing and we visited many places of interest, utilizing the open-top tourist bus and the river boats.
We attended a three day seminar in
Just two weeks prior to departing from
Fire-crackers were constantly set off. Sometimes a whole street was blocked by a framework on which fireworks were attached which resulted in a huge roll of noise as each one exploded. At on the final day of the Fallas, there was a mighty firework display held in the town square. The pyrotechnic was applauded as he arrived to start the fun and we were rewarded by a lengthy display of very loud, cleverly choreographed explosions. Having experienced this display several years ago, we ensured that we were not too close because last time, the noise was deafening and actually caused pain to my ear-drums.
We renewed all of the requisite vaccinations although nowadays, several, such as typhoid and that of cholera, can be taken orally. It is most certainly a less invasive method, preferred by us.
Gales in February caused a lot of damage throughout
One of the ladies, who attends the same art class as myself, lives on a hill, just outside Benidorm. She told us that the hill was evacuated as fire broke out, subsequent to electricity pylons being blown over by the very strong wind. The planes, that would have normally been used to assist in dousing the flames, were unable to take-off, due to the strength of the wind.
I have to say that I was glad to be on-shore rather than at sea during that tempest.
Below:- Koby @ 2 and a half. Dick cooking Paella at home in Spain. Result of my 4th drawing lesson.