Winter on Ithaca

2004 - 2005

Ithaca Greece
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Thursday October 21st - Here on Ithaki the weather has been so great that it's difficult to write anything about Winter on Ithaca. It still feels like Summer. It's perfect weather to start building or renovating or fixing those bits and pieces around the house. It's also time for olive picking. During the past couple of days, locals are beginning to do just that. With storms and rain, even hail, predicted for the weekend, everyone is fitting in as much as they can to take advantage of this very satisfying Indian summer.
Combing the olives from the branches in Kioni.
Excavating on the island is a job for the professionals, thankfully Ithaki has a few. The steep descents and rocky underground can make the first stages of building that dream house quite a bit dangerous. Luckily there's always someone to watch out for the worker and for wandering photographer who walks dangerously on the side of getting hit by a truck or falling into a great big hole.
Oct 25th - The Indian Summer continues
October 24th - A golden sunset over Lefki
Above - Ag. Varvaras (St. Barbara) church over the village of Stavros, has amazing views across to Aphales, over Stavros and the bay of Frikes. For nature lovers or just lovers of life, a walk into the hills is a great way to inspire the senses. Great views all around. Paradise is not lost. A weather change was expected for the weekend, but there is no sign of it here on Ithaki. The sea is like glass and the skies are blue. Today we have a top of around 26 degrees C. Not bad. Last year most of the businesses had closed their doors by this time, but this year, the occasional busy day and night are more reminiscent of May and June than of October, and have kept the island in 'Open for Business' mode. The nights are cooler, but not by much, so there is still the opportunity to sit bayside for a great meal and some local wine. To bring in the Winter, at least in spirit if not in temperature, Metaxa Cognac is being opened around every taverna to warm the cockles whether they need warming or not. Ithakis' Indian Summer has been a great way to save money too. With 'heating oil' prices on the up, Ithacans are saving themselves some dosh by keeping the heating turned off. Locals predict that when Winter does finally hit, it will hit hard, so everyone's enjoying the reprieve while they can.
Stavros at dusk
Colour before the storm
Oct 26th - Early yesterday evening, the predicted bad weather traveled over Ithaki with some heavy rainfall especially in the south of the island. A distant roar of thunder and just a little lightning took all the lights out momentarily, but the storm had more huff than puff, causing little disruption. Today it was like it never happened. Warm and sunny again.
Vathy morning
Road works on the Aetos stretch is well under way. Drainage for the water seeping through the mountain and under the road, making for instability, will very soon, no longer be a problem. The Council has gone all out to solve this problem once and for all. During this quiet time, and taking full advantage of the good weather conditions, workers are speedily bringing this project to an end, making this stretch of road safer for all.
Thursday October 28th
O X I ..D A Y
Ithakis' school children parade in the streets of Vathy in Celebration of Oxi Day, the historic day Ioannis Metaxas refused Mussolini.
After some glorious weather, a sudden heavy downpour over Northern Ithaki suprised everyone. Those enjoying the outdoors quickly rushed inside to escpae the intensity and strength of the rain. When it was over, Aphales was embraced in the colourful glow of this giant rainbow.
Perahori Bell Tower and Church
Friday 29th October - Left - It's time for a little visit to the Southern Ithacan village of Perahori, high up over Vathy. Perahori leads the island in Eco friendly tourism and local, organic produce. Their olive oil is bottled and sold at the Vathy Supermarket. The views from this village are undoubtedly the best in all of Ithaki, it's as if you can overlook the entire Ionian from this steep mountain standpoint. Get a little excercise and walk up to the old Perahori ruins. There's not much left, but worth a look for the great view. Click here or Photo for a quick look at Perahori.
Olive Picking around the island is well under way.
Olive Picking in Perahori
As you go from village to village, it seems there are more women up in the trees combing olives onto the drop mats than men. Women in their 70's, who have lost their husbands, continue with a chore some started to do at the age of 7. Harvesting the olives to make olive oil is the life blood of many on the island and age makes little difference to the great importance of that.
Olive picking in Vathy
Olive Picking in Lahos
One thing that is noticeable right away is that the younger generation are not involved in the harvesting of olives. It will be interesting to see what will happen in the future, when the salt of Ithaki have passed on, to leave this wonderful island in the hands of its' heirs. For now, and for the most part, it seems to be the women who give strength and sweat to the olive harvest.
Olive picking in Lefki
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