This would be our third visit to Lefkas and second to Ithaca to sail Luggers in the sun. As has been our norm, a Friday flight to London starts our holiday with a day in London and this year we soaked up the sun and music at Camberwell Fair held in Burgess Park followed by sampling of the food, beer and wine of Brixton with Neil's brother. We were met at Preveza airport by Matt and Hayley and the journey to Vliho was spent getting to know each other and catching up on news of Dragon Drascombe. The trip to Vliho is always of interest, seeing the beaches, the castle and the bridge over the canal - always something of interest. A quick drop off at the bakery to say hello to Aris and then round by the Bay to Gialos and a warm welcome from Costas and Aristea, then a late lunch with Hayley, Matt and Phil and of course cold beers in cold glasses - couldn't be better.
This year we did the walk to the Church at the point, interesting to see the Bay from the land and a wedding in the tiny church - so tiny that guests wandered back and forward having a look in at the door during the ceremony. A swift return for us for our evening meal and dreams of a good wind. We stayed at Gialos for a couple of days and enjoyed good, light and on one occasion quite strong, gusty winds - the force of which proved quite a discussion point at the evening meal. Our days settled into the usual pattern of breakfast on the terrace watching the boats and the fish flashing as they fed on the seagrass, before heading off for rolls and out of the Bay, sails up and we had some very good sailing. Lunches of bread, feta and tomatoes and a swim - always something of interest beneath the waves with sea urchins, fish of all sorts, tubes and the rock formations which at times look like the ribs of boats. And always a late return to Gialos for an evening meal in good company and tales of a day well spent. After Gialos, our next port of call was Frikes on Ithaca. We reduced our luggage to what was needed, headed out of Vliho Bay, turned right and headed down between Meganisi and Lefkas to 'where the big boys play' or so it seems in the Meganisi Channel. Phil and Matt bade us 'au revoir'. With our luggage onboard there would be no sailing, but the winds and waves were kind and we had a good motor reaching the cut in Arkoudi in time for lunch and a swim.
We then only had the quick hop to Frikes and lovely to see the two windmills appearing and recognise familiar bays and sights. And there were changes: the floating jetty had gone, Gerry had returned to Athens and the sisters at Symposium had gone. However, we made friends with the lovely folk at Tzatzamini and welcomed the new bakery. The welcome from Peter was just as warm and the food and welcome at 'Odysseus' just as good and warm as remembered. We collected our keys and settled into our new home overlooking the Bay - fab. We finished the day as we always have with an ice cream/frozen yogurt from Peter - bliss! Our days in Frikes followed a similar pattern: walk to the bakery for bread and rolls, breakfast, off in the boat, lunch and swim and the swimming was spectacular with fantastic shoals of fish, huge bivalves, numerous starfish, finding the test of a heart urchin and the teeth of sea urchins and even finding three violet sea urchins - look exactly like rolled up violet hedgehogs.
Ruth and I always find 'treasure' in the flotsam and jetsam, but this year M&D had the most interesting find of bones which turned out to be those of a sea turtle - fantastic find.
Our days are filled. However, last year we had met Katrina and did the Farmer's Walk at Kioni (sadly not this year), but, we were in time for her Homer's Walk so for us a quick jaunt to Platreothea - all uphill or so it seemed - with fantastic views and unexpected glimpses of the sea. We met up with the group in the town square and were then taken on ancient paths, listening to stories of Homer, Odysseus, Penelope, tasting figs straight off the tree, wandering around ancient sites and a quick look into Penelope's well and a sniff of the carob bean - was it chocolate or smelly cheese? If you have the inclination this is something well worth doing or even the Farmer's Walk if resurrected.
Matt and Hayley appeared at the end of our time to take our luggage back and we had an excellent sail back to Gialos and a few days before returning home.