Sat 30 July - Ithaca may be behind in lots of ways, but when it comes to water we're keeping up with the Burgers, Hamburgers that is, the great Germans and their water technology. As everyone knows Vathy and Kioni have Water Desalination Plants, using the most sophisticated German Technology with purveyance cameras that let the German company and Vathy, keep tabs on the flow, intruder alarms and amplified warnings to the trespasser. Well now it's Stavros' turn. The Plant at Polis Beach is nearing completion. Yep, that's why the road was being dug up and occasionally closed to traffic. All for the good of the community. See? This technology takes in the sea water and through it's process sends 40% into the pipes of homes and releases the remaining 60% back into the ocean. It's clean tasting and abundant, and finally gives Ithaca control of the water supply. Who needs to keep up with the Jones' when the Burgers are close by. Drink up! There's more where that came from.
Mon 1 Aug - Exciting news for Ithaca is that Amnesty International will set up a branch here.
Gerasimos Kouvaras, President of Amnesty International Greece, and cousin to Poppy Pagoulatou from Rementzo, will organize training of its' members in the near future. If you would like to become a member of the Ithacan Branch, contact Poppy Pagoulatou at firstname.lastname@example.org. hOME ithaca greece website has also been approached to participate in a link exchange with Amnesty Greece as Ithaca is Mr. Kouvaras' island home. For further updates on Amnesty International on Ithaki, keep your eyes out here.
Tue 2 Aug - Tomorrow in Kioni and the day after in Frikes, there will be some fun for children and adults alike with
Karadiosis Shadow Puppet Show. Apparently a puppet show with a difference. Click here for details.
Wed 3 Aug - Record temperatures over the past weeks have air conditioning units working hard all over the island. Today with a top of 40 C it is almost too hot to be outside. Ithaca has of course had these temperatures before, but the difference sited by all is that never has there been a heat wave for this long without cool breezes giving relief at night. Around dusk, there is a slightly cooking breeze in some villages, but by nightfall, that breeze has turned to warm air, blowing itself out by midnight and leaving a still warm night to be uncomfortable in. People are heading out to their gardens and balconies to sleep, while houses simmer on a slow boil, unable to cool down with current conditions.
Ote has again been giving the north island periods of being disconnected from the rest of the world with short cuts in telephony operations each day over this past week. If there's a problem, no one knows about it and if there is work being done, no one has been informed of that either. Conjecture is the only means of information when it comes to Ote, at least in the north island, and that conjecture is that the sheer volume of calls and internet usage is overwhelming the system, or public works in certain areas are cutting the lines of communication.
Over the past few days, the August influx is very apparent. The restaurants are all beginning to fill 2 and three times in one night and there are actually people walking around the streets making the villages look full. The noise level has also gone up a few notches with more cars and mopeds driving around the island. Traffic jams in villages like Frikes are usually unheard of, but each night bottle necks hold up drivers who meet at the crossing from Kioni to Stavros. Pollution levels are also up with exhaust fumes from badly maintained bikes and cars. They're stinking up the ithaki atmosphere. The locals are finding it more difficult each day to find a parking spot, but enjoy this period of meeting up with friends who have been absent for many months. While the young and the beautiful parade the streets of the island showing off their summer best, the cats come out for the best feed they'll have all year. Yep, it's August.
Frikes Bike hire is no longer. Niko Douglas can direct you to the new owner and it's promised that all bookings will be honored, but Bike hire seems to have had its' day in Frikes. News is that if staying around the northern villages, the new owner will deliver a moped to you, so for the customer its' a change with little consequence, but it is the end of an era. Many that have come to Ithaca have been acquainted more personally to the island through Nikos Douglas. So, big deal. Hire a bike from the new guy and then go have your drink with Niko outside The Gods gift shop, (the old bike hire office) He'll still be in the same place, so don't despair. Nothing will move our Elvis from his beloved Frikes in the Summer.
Thu 4 Aug - Weather back to normal today. The heat wave is broken. A cool afternoon breeze, the usual one that rolls in just after lunch is just in time to make this 34 C day more bearable.
Fri 5 Aug - Many were unaware yesterday, that a fire at Aetos, south Ithaca, was engulfing an entire mountain side. Water planes were summoned to get the large fire under control and to stop it from spreading into inhabited areas. The wind factor made efforts difficult to say the least. The Wire has it that a cigarette butt, flicked from a car, may have started the fire, which began near the road and made it's way up the mountain side of Aetos. At dusk the water planes returned to their hangers leaving the mountain smoldering under a puff of smoke, but the wind increased in force and spot fires began to ignite in the scrub. By nightfall, 8 force winds had increased the number these spot fires into over a hundred and warranted greater vigilance from the Fire Brigade and its' volunteers. Under the cover of night this mostly inaccessible mountain side flickered like christmas lights on a tree with fires burning in and out of the scrub. With heat wave conditions over the past weeks, it seemed unthinkable that someone would be so stupid as to devastate the Ithacan landscape with such thoughtlessness and ignorance. Cars have ashtrays, don't they, or are they an optional extra?