After leaving Sardinia last year we sailed to Sicily which was awesome, briefly visited a couple of islands in Western Greece, then sailed North up the Adriatic sea and spent some time in Montenegro and Croatia before leaving the boat in Preveza, Western Greece, and returning to Oz last October for another summer of work. Now we are back on board and taking our time to explore Greece.
We were very keen to visit our son Matt and his girlfriend Lykke who live in Copenhagen so we flew to Copenhagen via London and Amsterdam before heading to the boat. You know that you are a dud when you are offerred hash cookies and joints in a cafe in Amsterdam and ask if is ok if we just have a coffee!!! We launched Hullabaloo on June 6th and will be on board until mid October.
Since launching we have spent our time cruising the Ionian islands in Western Greece, around the South of Greece which is part of the Peneloponese and into the Aegean sea visiting some of the Cyclade islands such as Milos, Naxos and of course Santorini. We have now sailed further East and are in the island of Astapalaia which is part of the group called the Dodecanese. Right now we are tied up on a fishing boat pier waiting for a 3 day howling wind to subside. We are surrounded by fishing nets and old Greek fisherman. The word Malaka seems to be the most common Greek word spoken amongst the fishing boats and seems to be a term of endearment which is interesting because they called Craig that when he tried to tie up in one of their spots.
We are loving Greece so far. A real mixture of different islands and mainland coves and villages providing a range of experiences and lifesyles. From secluded anchorages with nothing but crystal clear water and goats roaming about to small hamlets with just local people and major tourist resorts buzzing with peak season activity. And of course it is full of historical places of interest which range from organised tourist sites such as Olympia to ancient medieval castles and village ruins sitting on hilltops overlooking small coves that you can anchor in. Some of these you can just wander around on your own without seeing another soul. Quite extraordianary really considering that this is peak season.
Talking of goats, Craig ordered the local speciality, roast goat, at an out of the way taverna in the middle of nowhere. When the goat turned up it looked like a small goats head and tasted vile so it had to be returned uneaten. The word malaka was heard on the way back to the kitchen which seemed odd.
Another key part of enjoying Greece is the laid back and friendly people who are always welcoming and appreciative of your business in their local tavernas which are quite often excellent and inexpensive. Most of the villages have town quays which are the centre of activity and visiting yachts are welcome to tie up to the quay usually with no cost involved which is unheard of in other areas we have been cruising in.
So quite a diverse and enjoyable season so far with the Greek Dodecanese islands still to be explored before heading further East to Turkey.
If you are interested we have included some pics which are part of this journal.
By the way, it is 30 degrees here most days at the moment. Anyway time for another swim.
Cheers for now,
Craig and Julie