To help the Exoghi Community, why not buy a raffle ticket or two or three, and put yourselves in the running for a prize. Businesses in the north and occasionally the south, donate prizes for you to win. People with cars should be warned that the narrow road to Exoghi can make it difficult in regard to parking, so either park further out of Exoghi, stick your thumb out and hitch or take the traditional route by walking the path to the village which starts at Yefuri restaurant in Platrithia. Don't forget to take a torch. The Exoghi festival will have 'live' music and lots of dancing, so bring all your energy and lots of good humour to make it a great night for all.
Today the power was out for the morning. Since the winter power shortage a couple of years ago, no one is taking any more chances, so now almost everyone has a generator. They are convenient, very convenient, especially for the businesses around the island who lose alot of perishable stock during these inevitable cuts, but the smell and the noise of them is enough to drive you loopy. From 7am to midday, the island roared with generator motors, burning up petrol and vibrating through the Sunday morning silence.
Tue 17 July - Frikes President, Nikos Douglas, is keeping a close eye on the Flotillas coming into the village. Seems one flotilla in particular is disregarding the 'no open fire law' by having an open fire bbq at Limenia beach opposite the Frikes Pier. The beach is surrounded by forest, and lighting fires during this high fire danger period is completely irresponsible. Niko Douglas promises that the next spark will mean the fire department and police being called. With fires raging out of control in other areas of Greece, this Flotillias action is incomprehensibly stupid and dangerous for Ithaca. A little respect for the island and the welfare of the community is called for here, and if not offered willingly, then enforced.
Get your dancing shoes buckled folks, it's Exoghi Panighiri time tonight. Have a safe and good time!
Unfortunately north Ithaki does not have ADSL and it seems this summer, instead of Otenet increasing bandwidth for dial-up connections, they have decreased bandwidth, leaving people in the north to twiddle their thumbs as they wait to get online, usually after about 50 - 60 paid attempts. It's frustrating and it's expensive. As I've said before, any other business would be skinned if they charged for a service that's not provided, but Otenet keeps gettting away with it. Isn't there anyone out there with a bit of clout to get Otenet moving on Ithaca? We don't want special treatment, just what we pay for. They certainly don't want to listen to us, instead of fixing the problem, we're advised to decrease our speed from the 45 kbps down to 28, and even then, we still suffer the same consequence. It's becoming increasingly difficult to update the website when hours are spent trying to get a simple dial-up connection.
Fri 20 July - Tonight is the Feast of Ag. Lia - Kioni Panighiri. It's bound to be alot of fun.
Today the phone has been running hot with the question "Can you get online?" Answer "No" not even once today. Thought I'd persevere and just keep logging in, now up to the 200th time and costing a small fortune. Time to use FREE. Yep, that works...also costing a small fortune, but what the heck. I'm ONLINE!
Mon 23 July - Many people in the north of Ithaca have completely given up trying to get online, but not me, still trying to log on after 5 hours. Ithaca needs more bandwidth, but Otenet just doesn't want to supply it. Nothing to do, but kick the computer. OUCH!
If you like pop music, you may want to head down to the Garden Theatre at Vathy High School on Wednesday 25th July to see Evridiki. It will be Pop til you drop. Doors usually open around 9pm. A Fimios Ithakis Presentation.
Tomorrow night, 24th July, you can see the Play - Flight 634, at the Cultural Center in Vathy. You can find the Cultural Center just up from Proto Supermarket, right next to the Vathy Cinema.
For years people have been wanting to get online in Kioni, but no one had internet access, well, you now can get it at Spavento Bar in Kioni. No more trips to Frikes or Vathy. A good move by George and Jenny. Drop a coin and get connected.
Tue 24 July - Last night was the warmest night locals had ever recalled. If you've ever walked out into Singapore after being in air-conditioning, you will know what it was like. Sultry, suffocating, sticky heat that burns your throat when you inhale it. Frikes, usually one of the coolest places to be in a heatwave, was unusually hot after dark. Platrithia was by far the coolest place in the north and a walk at Dexa was quite refreshing also, but wow! It's been hot. In Kioni and Vathy, you broke out in sweat just moving a limb. Exoghi, which one expects to be cooler considering it's in the mountains, has a cool(ish) breeze from around 5 - 8pm, but after that, the heat just hovers and envelopes the village without a stir in the thick atmosphere of this heatwave. Needless to say, air-conditioners are running the power down on the island.
Unsung heros in this heatwave must be, without a doubt, all the grill men around the island. They're grilling up souvlaki and fish in close to 50C heat infront of those burning coals, kitchen staff too, are suffering, but amidst the heat exhaustion, most have managed to smile through the difficulty.
Thu 26 July - Much of Greece is burning, including Cephalonia around the Skala area, and here, at Limenia in the bay of Frikes, completely inaccessible via road, the Nelson flotilla is having a bbq on a beach embraced by bushland. Gloves off! This is the most reckless act and has really got my back up. President of Frikes, Nikos Douglas had warned the Nelsons flotilla just recently, but again, the night before last, they lit up and endangered the island. 46C and they think lighting a fire is ok? Are they crazy? They deserve the most severe punishment, but unfortunately they were not caught in the act by the fire department. At minimum, the company should severely reprimand the flotilla leaders and should most definitely warn Flotilla leaders against this act in the future. If you love Ithaca, write the company a letter to complain about their flotilla leaders lighting open fires during high fire danger periods. Sail in and sail out, not giving a $%&* about what they leave behind, usually a whole load of rubbish on the LImenia beach, but also the possible devastation a fire would cause. So much of Greece is burning, but all they care about is getting pissed and bbqing. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRr!
48C is blistering no matter where it is, but imagine that temperature in Athens. Unfortunately Athenians didn't have to imagine it yesterday when the mercury hit that unbelievable temp in some areas. Greece is suffering under a big heatwave, and with the air-conditioning units around the country burning up the revs, Greece has undertaken turning the power off around the country at various times to not overload the system. Ithaca, along with other parts in the Ionian and on the mainland, had a 3 hour power-out on Tuesday with another forcast for yesterday. The islands restaurants breathed easy when the power stayed on despite the prediction. The power-out on Tuesday caused minor mayhem in the kitchens, without generators, around the island.