Ithaca Greece - Winter 2005 - 2006. Greek Island Holidays in the Ionian. Ithaca Ithaki, the home of Ulysses and Homer
Winter on Ithaca 2005 - 2006
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Mon 13 Feb - Almond trees are blossoming all over the island. Yes, it's an early bloom. The rain, followed by days of abundant sunshine, must have the shrubbery confused into thinking it's Spring. On Tuesday the weather is predicted to take another turn for the worse. More rain, more snow? Perhaps. Meanwhile, February is traditionally the month many locals take off for a holiday. Good thing too. Let's not all howl at the moon at once.
Tue 14 Feb - Looks like the Weather Bureau is right. Last night the skies changed and the rain began to fall on the horizon. The chilly temperature yesterday had everyone rugged up in scarves and hats. February and March take Ithaki deep into Winter,
Tomorrow your webmrs goes to Athens. It seems that quite a few people wanted to see me in my old job (Hard Candy) so I'm off to do a gig with NY band Oneida. I'll be joined by Demetri Vlass (Spavento), Hard Candy is his old job also, Stavros Delas (Delas Tours), who's joining Hard Candy on Bass guitar and Dimos Kostopoulos, footie player and Council worker on drums. Click here for Hard Candy site. Dimos will be back for Sundays football game to make sure the Vathy lads stay in the A team, but I'll be gone for about a week, so keep yourselves occupied by revisiting some of the earlier pages on, the site which is now in its' 4th year thanks to all of you who visit and log on. I'll be back...
Thur 23 Feb - Back in the online saddle after a week of pollution, noise and loud music. First the important stuff.
News on the cat spaying Update - Letter from organizer Vicky McGuiness

Hi Erika, i was wondering if you would be so kind as to include an updated note from me about the cat 'Spayathon' i am trying to get organized. I have had a lot of interest from people who have heard about it on your website, so i need to tell them that the dates have changed and that they need to contact me so that i can ensure as many as possible get done this time around.

A vet from the 'Friend of the Cats' Charity will be on Ithaki from 5-7th March 2006.

Female cats = 10 euro. Male cats =  5 euro (At the Vet surgeries it costs 150 euro per cat)

If you want to neuter your cats, please call Vicky McGuinness on 6939624486 or 2810 230658 after 5.30pm

I need to know who will bring me cats and how many, since i need to tell them what day and where to bring them. I have already a list of about 35 cats and i don't want people to have to wait outside with their poor cats in a box.

I will be doing cats from Stavros, Polis Bay, Exoghi, as well as the South of the island. But i will do as many cats as i can from anywhere.

If i am to do the cats in Kioni then i need to find somewhere there to set up the operation table. They used the Greek Islands Club office before, so i will ask if i can use that. However, the last time they neutered cats in Kioni, they had a disease called F.I.C. or something which is incurable and spreads very easily from cat to cat. Therefore, i plan to go to Kioni last to prevent it from effecting the other cats.

The response i had from the note you put on for me last time shows how many people look at your website. Even had a lady from the South of the island call! Many thanks! Vicky - Vicky Tel: 6939624486 or ask or call Costa at the Odysseas Supermarket in Stavros, 2674031084

Thur 23 Feb - is back...just. Not even a national ferry strike can keep this site down for too long. It's going to take me awhile to sort through all the mail and pics etc., but all going well (no power power outs, ferry strikes, ote problems) I'll have the athens and Hard Candy stuff online very soon. Rien Post from Lefki Cam is contemplating making up T-Shirts with 'I SURVIVED THE HARD CANDY GIG' It was a bit of an ordeal with things heading out of control the minute the gig was agreed to. First the 1 week Power Out in the middle of rehearsals, a burnt hand when a candle set fire to a tea towel, car failure, a ferry strike that kept half the band on Ithaca until the very last minute, the flu, exploding equipment and the list goes on. Mr. Post may have survived, but I'm sitting here in pieces, gluing the necessary parts back into place so I can update you on all things Ithacan after the weeks' absence that feels like a year.
Right - Sunset over Athens
Fri 24 Feb - Click here or on Photo right for Another 'From Ithaca To' Trip - Athens (Including Hard Candy Gig)
Click here for more photos of Athens Trip February 2006.  Includes Hard Candy Gig.  
If it's not one thing it's another. Slaved over the athens pages to get them online as quickly as possible, but haven't been able to get a line through Ote all morning. It's now 1.30pm. Ote are getting some flack over their service to the islands, one of Lefkis' residents got his name in the paper with a letter he wrote concerning the Ote dis-service Ithaki gets. It could be worse. We could be without power again. There were some very heavy storms and winds over night.
The Sahara comes to Greece. Red dust obscurred much of Greece today with winds blowing up from Africa. On ithaca it rained mud most of the day.
Sat 25 Feb - The rain seems to have stopped and the sun is making its' way back out from behind the heavy storm and dust clouds today. Good thing too, because tomorrow, Sunday in Stavros, is the annual Childrens' Carnival, where the kids and the parents get dressed up and have fun in the town Square. Festivities start around 4pm. Bring your childishness.
Mon 27 Feb - The weather was so bad yesterday that the Stavros Childrens' Carnival was cancelled, so instead here's a photo of the darkened sky over Lefki and some barbed wire and rubble, the extent of Ithaki action yesterday. A couple of days before however, Kioni had too much action for some locals, when a mini tornado ripped and mangled the Avra Restaurant Canope and sent it soaring into the Agalio hills.
Dean and Christina
Tue 28 Feb - Ok, so Ithaki has had a few hitches in the past weeks, but that doesn't mean that people are leaving the island, in fact, more and more winter tourists seem to be taking advantage of what Ithaki has to offer at this time of the year, in terms of its' unspoilt landscape and mostly traditional way of life, not to mention the peace and quiet and spectacular views. It's not common knowledge that the best views are infact attained during the winter months. In Summer, the horizon is often obscurred by the heat haze. Autumn and Winters' crisp and clean air, make for stunning horizons and views deep into the mostly blue distance. It's a time when you can at least pretend you have the paradise all to yourself. Left - Dean and Christina are no strangers to the island. They enjoy their time getting acquainted with Ithaca in Winter, getting into the corners of the island where history lays under foot, waiting to be explored.
Below left - Beneath Lefki.
It started off a great morning, sun was shining, blue skies and a bit of wind, but nothing too bad, then around 3pm, all hell broke lose with severe winds and sheets of rain that were coming in horizontal. Right now at 5pm, trees tops are revisiting their roots and the wind is howling at around 100 k an hour, if not more. Things that aren't nailed down are flying all over and it's a wonder we haven't lost electricity or phone lines.
Other news is that the ferries may go on strike again on Thursday, not confirmed, but that's the word on the street. If you want to get to Ithaki or leave, do it tomorrow.
Vathy is getting ready for its' big Carnival on Sunday. It's assured there'll be lots of colour and mayhem in the streets as locals get into the spirit of this annual event with sensible and outrageous costumes and Floats. Let's hope the weather doesn't cause VAthy to cancel its' Carnival, as it did in Stavros.
Frikes news is that Rementzo Restaurant is opening its' doors again in March. Fridays and Saturdays only, but not only will you get Poppy and Nektarios enthusiasm, you'll also be getting 'Live' music again with the two Makis. Yes, the Rementzo crew have forgotten how exhausted they were after the last busy season and are looking forward to doing all over again.
No lounging in the sun today
March 2006
Thu 2 Mar - This morning the power went off, and I'm sure many in the north thought "Oh God! Not again" Within in half an hour it was back on. The break in power was due to the connection of the Desalination Water Plant at Polis. A step in the right direction.
A Calendar error that has now been fixed is the Clean Monday date. It is on the 6th, not the 13th
Fri 3 Mar - Right - The sun is shining again and it feels like Spring.
Last night Mylos Creperie in Vathy held a Pre-Carnival Party. To see more CLICK HERE or on photograph left
Sat 4 Mar - An ordinary day in northern Ithaki. Click here or on photo Right for some pics. The Childrens Carnival of Stavros was cancelled for this year, so no pics, but don't forget the Vathy Carnival tomorrow... Let's hope the rains hold off.
Mon 6 Mar - Yesterday the weather really gave a wonderful backdrop to the Vathy Carnival. A mild 22 degrees C gave the day an air of Spring that everyone seemed to enjoy. For the record number of pics this year click here or on photograph below left for 11 pages of photos from The Vathy Carnival 2006.
Click on photo above for all the Vathy Carnival pics
Kathara Deftera today, marks the first day of Lent and no more meat eating until Easter Sunday, 23 April. For the religious followers of this Orthodox tradition, the day is celebrated with a legume and vegetarian feast and picnic in Anoghi and the flying of kites, although today, the heavy winds and threatening skies will be keeping the vegetarian feasting masses, indoors and the kites, put away until next year, when hopefully the weather will be conducive to this annual tradition.
Wed 8 Mar - A pretty miserable day yesterday. Wind, rain and plummeting temps. Spring doesn't know whether it's coming or going. Wild flowers are carpeting most of the island already, but with more snow threatening to fall on parts of Greece, and who knows, Ithaki, most would die under frost. On a sunny day, bees too, are making their presence known, but disappear again quickly in the cold. Disappointing news for Ithacans is that the proposed non-payment of electricity bills due to the blackout, has gone belly up. Many have already paid their bills, and after the Council looked into the legality of this proposed move, it
decided that it was illegal and would therefore not go ahead with it. DEH has graciously given the residents of Ithaki until May to pay their March bills instead, so we have been informed by the Post Master. How magnanimous of DEH. This proposed objection to DEH could only have worked if the entire island adhered to it, but as many have already paid their bills, it would leave the rest of us vulnerable to being blacked out again, so unless there's someone fighting for our rights in the government, looks like DEH will not lose anymore sleep over our continuous midadventures with electricity. TI NA KANOYME rules again.
A little update on Kathara Deftera. It seems quite a few people did make their way up to Anoghi on the 6th March, but . no kite flying. There was food and drink put on by the Anoghi Cafeneion in the old Anoghi School, for the Ithacans that made their way up in the rain and cold. At least something was salvaged of this usually great kite flying day.
Deep in the heart of northern Ithaca.
In the backstreets of Lahos, where time stands still during the Winter.
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