Fri 3 Aug - Now that August is here, remember that the main strip in Vathy, from the Council Offices to Alpha Bank, is closed to traffic from 9pm. You'll need to go the back way if you want to get to the other side of the Vathy Bay. Kioni Bayside is also closed to traffic. Please note the sign. You can pass through the top of the bay to head towards Cemetery beach, but don't even think about turning left toward the bayside. The locals will not be too happy.
Since the heatwave has dissipated somewhat, it's left the island quite damp. You can see, as well as feel, the steam coming off the asphalt. Sticky hands, sticky feet, sticky just about everything. A warm sun with refreshing breeze makes the days pretty wonderful though.
Otenet have stated that all of Ithaca will have ADSL by the end of 2007. Some are saying 'I'll believe it when I see it" but ithacagreece.com is forever hopeful.
Sat 4 Aug - Since the breaking of the heatwave, Greece has been experiencing very high humidity. Weather forecast predicts thunderstorms in Greeces' north/east on the weekend, hopefully it won't spread west across the Ionian way. There's the big Stavros Festival that would not benefit from a down-pour.
Businesses around the island seem to be happy with Summer season, and now with August taking the island into full swing, everyone should be very happy, gathering nuts for the winter. A record number of yachts are sailing in each day and together with holidayers and day trippers, the island seems well packed.
Sun 5 Aug - Everyone is feeling a little nervous with the storms forecast around Greece for today. Sunday is traditionally the day of arrivals, with tour groups and independent travelers coming to Ithaca for their holiday in the sun. A few years ago when it rained in august, holidayers packed up and left the island to return to their countries of origin, where they were having unseasonally good weather. As at midday 1.40pm, no storms yet, yesterdays wind died down through the night, and although a little cloudy, the sun is still shining and it's still quite warm. Tonight is of course the first night of the Stavros Panighiri for which everyone and sundry are keeping their fingers crossed that the storms and rain hold off.
Another quaint complaint - A family holidaying in Cephalonia asked to leave their accommodation due to the noise the crickets were making. They were of course moved to a quieter location at which they complained of too many voices laughing and talking.
Tue 7 Aug - Well, the storms never made it to Ithaca. Occasionally the skies became a little black over the mountains, the wind blew and distant thunder could also be heard from the direction of the mainland, but Ithaca remains dry, and summer continues without a hitch. Knock on wood, ithaca has been left unscathed, thus far, by fire or flood. High fire danger is not over yet however, so continued vigilance is required. High winds over the past few days would turn any fire into an inferno.
Sat 11 Aug - The BIG August weekend is coming up with the Anoghi Festival on the 14th and the Platrithia Festival on the 15th. The island will be brimming over with Mainlanders coming to join in. Ferries are predicted to be full and traffic horrendous, as the big escape from the cities merges on little Greek islands like Ithaki.
Today the skies clouded over quite a bit and the wind was blowing again. No one seems to mind too much as long as there's no rain predicted. A cool change is as good as a holiday for the locals who have been working their bottoms off during this, the busiest of months. Restaurants are running out of food each night, and those who are still complaining that there is no tourism this year, are dismissed as 'not quite right'. This is the month Ithacans go a little loopy. So many people in so little time diverge on the island. 1200 people came off the Day Trippers in Kioni in one 3pm session. One Cafe Bar owner, one of the of the friendliest people on the island, admitted she just couldn't take any more orders. For the first time in her life she had to ignore some of the poor buggers drooling at the mouth with only 10 minutes to drink and eat before their Day Tripper took off again. The most common phrase - $%@#$ *&+%. Second most common phrase 'I'ts madness'. What people may not be aware of is that at this time of the year it is quite common for business owners and staff to do 20 - 22 hour shifts. There are thousands of mousaka and souvlaki to get out. All have families they don't get to kiss goodnight and all are in need of sleep, so when an order takes a little longer, you may feel like complaining, but I wouldn't advise it, August is not a very charitable month for these cranky, tired people. In five years I've noticed the psyche of Ithaki change in August. It's not pretty, but necessary. What some of these business owners do is not human. They take on Superman proportions coping with the needs of those who are here to have a good time and a nice break, and even amidst this August mayhem, you'll be surprised just how well they keep smiling, but at the end of their shifts, they are limp with exhaustion, counting down the days to the end of the month.