.August 2009 Page 1 2 3 4
Saturday 22nd - Heatwave temps these past few days. Warm winds and still warm nights. Right - Famous Kioni donkey. Who hasn't said hello?
Below - Peter (Far Right) had one of those freak accidents you don't believe when you first hear it. He was stung by a bee on his 'obviously not so private part' Just goes to show that covering up protects you, not just against sunburn, but also against those 'Identified Flying Objects'.
Sunday 23rd - More heatwave temps again today, and with tragic fires in various parts of Greece, we should all be vigilant to make sure we don't have one here.
Above - Afales beach in the north of Ithaca. With another scorching hot day today, the beaches will again be the only place to get relief from the heat.
August is THE month of the Season and now, as we draw nearer the end of it, you will see some very exhausted faces around the restaurants and bars of the island. Long shifts, late nights, early mornings and little sleep all make the spirit weary of Summer fun and wishing for Autumn, yet somehow, through the exhaustion, Ithacans find the energy to keep up the enthusiasm.
Seems Frikes is showing signs of the increased influx of tourists brought about by the midday Day Tripper from Lefkada and the bumper summer season this year. With the increase in people using toilets (thus overloaded septic tanks) and the increased dishwasher off-flow etc. the village is beginning to suffer a little under the load. Some Frikes business owners suggest that before money is spent to look after the yachts sailing into the village bay by making a new dock, it may be an idea to spend some money on the infrastructure that would allow the village to cope with the increase of tourists, whether they come by foot or by boat. Ithaca wants to be smelling like daisies, not like cow pats doesn't it.
It's surprising just how green Ithaki still looks. With no rain for months now, there are brown and dry patches here and there, but overall the island still looks very lush. During August it's too hot to walk the tracks of the island, but in September, to see the real beauty of our Ithaki, it's worthwhile heading off the beaten track that leads from Vathy to Kioni and stepping into the outer villages like Kolieri and Perahori from where you can walk the tracks etched out by goats to see views that you will cherish forever.
'Zoe' means 'Life'
Monday 24th - The prediction was that the many, many visitors to Ithaki this Summer would begin to thin after this weekend, but by the amount of traffic that I dodge on my walk each day and the number of people still vying for the shade at the beach, I believe the prediction is just a little off. The bumper Season continues... for now at least.
There is still quite alot going on over the next few weeks and months. For instance on Wednesday 26 August, the celebration of Saint Fanouriou at Dendraki in Vathy, Monday 31 August you can see another one of Aristofanis comedys' at the Garden Theatre at the Vathy High School, presented by Fimios Ithakis and of course the very traditional Panighiri at the Monastery at Kathara. If Homeric things interest you, there will also be a Seminiar on the subject at the Cultural Center in Vathy. The Seminar will go from 14 - 19 September. For further cultural and historic enlightenment, Friday 23rd October at the Cultural Center in Vathy, you can take part in discussions on Platona Drakouli (1858 - 1934) where his life, work and ideologies will be discussed.
Right - 2nd Kourvoulia Beach just outside of Frikes where the water is a pristine aqua blue. Below - Kioni Bayside
There is no doubt that getting a nice position on the Kioni bayside confirms you are on paradise island. The colourful restaurants and bars all have bay aspects which makes it a pleasure to eat and drink.
'Agape' means 'Love'
Tuesday 25th - Above and Right - Afales beach has a more rugged facade, but early morning at this beach is calm and pristine.
When the bayside gets a little too noisy, it's nice to know that you can still enjoy great food away from the deafening crowd. In Vathy, you can head up the hill a little to Drosia Restaurant and in the north of the island, there is Yefuri Restaurant. Each has a character of their own and a lovely 'non bayside' atmosphere.
After a very hot day yesterday, a refreshing evening breeze cooled down the night just enough to get to sleep. A little cloud also moved in as dusk covered the island, but soon dispersed to leave a starry sky.
When dawn broke, a golden light settled over our Capital town of Vathy and its bayside.
Right - The building site that quickly transformed into an Archaeological Site remains undeveloped as those in authority continue their investigations of this old Roman settlement. I guess there will be many plots in the same predicament. Ithaki is rich in archaeology afterall.
Can you believe we're nearly at the end of August already? It seems like just yesterday that the island was preparing for the tourist Season and now we're preparing for the end of it. There are 'goodbye' parties, lunches and dinners going on all over the place. This year will be remembered as the 'Big Australian year'. Seems cheap airfares had the Greek/Australians flocking to Ithaki this season. They arrived with the passion and kefi that comes with a passionate yearning for their Ithaki. They filled themselves up on the food they had dreamed about and danced holes into the dancing circles at the Panighiria. It was nice to see so many of them all here together. They arrived smiling and departed crying.
Wednesday 26th - A very strange day yesterday. It started off misty and became increasingly cloudy as the day went on. Late afternoon, the sky turned black as it approached from the direction of the Mainland, but there was no rain, no matter how hard it threatened to come. It was damp and humid however, so much so that a record amount of mosquitoes feasted on bare ankles during dusk. Left - To catch the early ferry, you get up when it's dark to be at the Port of Vathy by 6.45am.
The sky threatened rain yesterday, but with no result. The island remained dry, and effortlessly reversed the rain cycle by lighting up the night with a starlit sky. Until nightfall, most of the island was covered in a heavy low cloud.
After a more gentle and quiet night in the northern village of Frikes over the weekend and Monday, yesterday and today, a second wind of tourists have come upon our Gem. Yes, many have and continue to leave, holiday time is over, but what's surprising are the number of passengers and cars disembarking on Ithakis shores.
Thursday 27th - Sunrise over Ithaki. Spectacular colours cover the island if you get up early enough to see them. Thanks to Jessica, who managed to wipe the sleep from her eyes while getting on the morning ferry, so I can have a couple of pics for all of us who tend to miss this time of the day.
Yes, yes, yes, they keep saying it should have quietened down by now, but it's far from it as you can see. Between 5 - 8pm, the streets are a little quieter, but then after 8, people start swarming the streets again as if it's the beginning of the month instead of the end. Restaurants all over the island are doing a booming business this Season. No one expected it, but all are glad of it. Even in Stavros, the village without a bayside, there are people everywhere, livening up the nights. When a community such as on Ithaca, which has a large number of the population dependent on a previous Summer for their Winter, then sights such as these, give comfort and security for those without winter work.
Above - Monday night the sky looked quite threatening, but the reality of the next day was blue skies and sun.
Above - Frikes from the farside. This year the numbers may have been down for the holiday companies, but travelling Greeks made up for it very nicely thank you very much. Just goes to show what a little advertising in ones' own country can do to move the population towards our shores. For the first time in a long while, Ithaki even has a nice little book with photos that aren't too shabby and for those that don't want to pay, there's also a very nice freebie you can pick up at any of the shops and mini markets etc. For Ithaca at least, this crisis year will go down as one of the best in a long time.
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