September 2012 >> Page 1 2 3 4
It appears there is a change in weather on the horizon. Today it's occasionally cloudy with rain expected in the north and rain maybe here on Ithaca by tomorrow. For now there's still lots of sunshine and the temp is actually very pleasant.
There still seems to be quite a bit of confusion with the ferry timetable. I can tell you that if you catch the night ferry from Patras for Ithaca (Vathy) it will now also be leaving at 7.30pm instead of 8.30pm, so don't be late.
After hours of heavy rain, we may be in need of an Ark after today. The thunder keeps exploding and sheet lightning continues overhead. When locals hoped for a little rain, I don't think anyone meant for a downpour such as this. It will no doubt clear up in a few days, but probably not before quite a few people clear out. After all, they have come for sunshine and swimming in the sea, not in the gutters.
September Saturday 1st - Another brilliant summer's day for the first of the month. Kalo Mina to all.
Left - A full silver moon shone across the Ionian last night.
Above - Usually people hire a boat at Polis to go across to Fiscardo or around the little coves to find some privacy, but not usually to read and sun bake on at the jetty.
Left - The lights at Aetos with Sami in Cephalonia in the distance.
It may be the end of August and officially, the end of summer, but summer is far from over. There's still lots of great weather to enjoy and warm seas to swim in.
Left - Under the umbrella..ella...ella at Polis Beach beneath the village of Stavros in the north of Ithaca.
At Polis Beach you will find a lovely little cantina with some great snacks, calamari for example, and of course all kinds of refreshments. You'll also find Boat Hire and Lucky with his umbrellas and sun lounges. If you head to the far end of the beach, you'll also find a few olive trees under which you can relax in the shade.
Sunday 2nd - A lazy sort of day yesterday. Not alot happening. Weekends are usually quiet. I guess that might sound strange that a weekend is quiet and mid week is busy, but when most of the traffic coming through the island is from flotillas and yachts, then midweek is when they are at their most active. In tourism, Saturday usually means change-over day, thus the weekends have an ease about them.
Left - A Bumble bee bumbles its way into a tobacco packet and then round it too slippery to bumble out again.
Above and Left - No matter how you look at it, it's still only this big.
Left - One waiter says to another waiter...

Just to mention that on the last day of August, a patch of dry land caught fire in Vathy, but thanks to our brilliant fire fighters, it was put out quickly and there was no danger to the village, although it was very close. Ithaki's fire fighters are always vigilant and on the lookout all through summer. It makes us all feel very secure, still that's no reason to become lax. Summer is high fire danger and we should always be aware and have good practices in order not to need the help of the fire department.
Monday 3rd - Brunch at Yefuri has become a bit of a habit for some of the people staying on Ithaca.
Left - The Varigos family from Melbourne Australia, enjoy a family holiday.
Just a note that after next Sunday, Yefuri will only be open on the weekends, Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday brunch and dinner.
Above - It's hard to believe that in Winter and Spring the grass around the island is green. Summer has sunburnt it all.
Left - You can't say that doesn't look like fun. This guy sped across from Mavrona to Frikes in a matter of minutes.
Saturday 8th - Well it's been a few days since I've uploaded any news or pics. No, I was not lazy, but I was on a little break. 3 days, not much in almost a year. Although Ithaki is beautiful, I do get cabin fever if I don't leave every once in awhile. Imagine never driving or moving outside of your immediate neighbourhood in almost a year... Went up north to Zagorohoria and was again amazed at just how beautiful Greece is as a country. My second time to this area left an even bigger impression than the first. Will share some of that trip soon as part of 'From Ithaca to ...' series. First, there's the confusing news of our ferry timetable for Strinzis. I have no idea what's going on or how to make sense of it, nor do Strinzis employees after interrogating a couple (yes, probably not the best choice of word from a German), but getting information was like pulling teeth. If they don't have any clear idea, how can we? Anyway, from what I've worked out, the morning ferry from Vathy will leave every morning and the ferry will be coming back to Vathy every night, but the afternoon route is up in the air. Strintzis will be going to Sami, but from there to Ithaca, who knows... There should be a smaller ferry linked time-wise, but that doesn't seem to be the case as many have discovered, as they disembarked the big ferry only to see the little ferry heading off before anyone gets a chance to board. Hopefully this confusion will be sorted and Ithaca will continue to have the ferry service we've been accustomed to. Will keep you up to date as much as I can.

Kathara Panighiri 2012

The annual festival in our highlands was huge this year. I got up there around middnight and it was
still going strong. For some pics CLICK HERE or on photograph left.

Although there have been some major exits from the island as parents head back to their homes to prepare their children for school, I must say that the Season isn't quite dead yet. People are out and about and the late night ferry still had a healthy number of visitors disembarking at Vathy on the day I arrived back. The weather is fine and warm, although next week I believe, we will start getting a little drop in temps.
Left - Patra port. There is always an upside to every downside. Catching the late ferry shows you Patras port at one of the best times of the day in that city. It looks so good at dusk that even the locals want to hang out there.
Tuesday 11th - If we thought Summer was over, September is proving everyone wrong. Whatever the reason for this influx of visitors, businesses, especially restaurants and cafe bars, are pleased as can be. Everyone was expecting a gloomy month, but it's turning out to be bright and hopeful.
Today, school starts again, so many did leave the island to prepare for the school year. Another sign that the season is ending, despite the many visitors now having their holidays on Ithaca, is the length of the day. It gets dark so much faster now. The light has changed, and even though the days are still very warm, nights are getting a little cooler.
Left - Yesterday, a couple of Lefkinians (if that's a word), Arthur and Illias, exchange a little advice and a joke or two while they see through a morning in Vathy. Monday mornings are for all, a time for paying bills, organizing papers or doing shopping. No matter how much you need to get done however, there's always time for a coffee and a chat.
Left - Lucky from Polis Beach and Maria finally get a little time to celebrate their marriage by having a belated honeymoon.

Ferry news. This is how it looks now.
Monday, Wednesday and Saturday there will be a ferry leaving Vathy at 7am for Cephalonia - Patra and returning Vathy at 4pm approx. It will not leave Vathy again, so no night ferry at those times via the Strintzis line at least.
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday -
Ferry leaves Vathy at 7am for Cephalonia and Patra. It will leave Patra and go to Sami and then return immediately to Patra, so the Ionian Pelagos (smaller ferry) will take those heading for Ithaca over to Piso Aetos.
The night ferry which leaves Patras, best check on the time as I heard it may have changed to 7.30 instead of 8.30pm will then go to Cephalonia and end in Vathy. So if you want a direct route, you'll need to catch the night ferry on these days.
If you're confused, don't worry, so are we. So much for encouraging tourism. Strintzis need to save money I guess so we get to suffer a little more by helping them achieve it.
Thursday 13th - This past Saturday, Peter and Karen from Fiorendino Bar in Frikes were married before their friends and family in Stavros at Sortiros church. It was my pleasure to be there to take photographs for them. Here are just a few.
Friday 14th - Massive storms over this side of Greece last night and continuing today. Explosions in the sky kept most of us awake through the night. Power on and off. My road has become a river at least 7 inches deep. Vathy was as good as flooded as water covered the square. The fire department had to be called in to unblock the drains and make the footpaths what they were made for again, feet. Guess the gods are doing their washing today and someone forgot to put the plug in the hole. A sudden end to summer.
Saturday 15th - It's been a miserable couple of days for those itching to swim and soak up the sun, but looking on the bright side, Ithaki definitely needed the nourishment from all the rain that's been falling, and continues to fall. The skies have been permanently black since the first storm passed over and it literally hasn't stopped raining since then. It's almost 'sock' temperature. A cool 17C.
Left & Below - Frikes was spookily quiet this afternoon. Restaurants clearing space inside their premises to make room for the few people out and about.
It feels kind of cosy and comfortable listening to the rain and watching the mountain villages disappear under a falling sky. Clouds rush over from one peak to another, fuelled by a steady wind with a 'nightfall' light for most of the day.
Left - Exoghi. Looking up to the Pyramid as a low lying cloud descends the mountain side. Above - Lahos. Not a dog or cat in the street on this wintery day.
Left - Afales Bay as seen from the road to Exoghi. The sea begins to lose its translucent blue colour as the sky becomes blacker and blacker over the island. A murky sheen, glimmers across the waters. Only two days of rain and Ithaca responds with lush green slopes. The rain quickly turns the sunburnt grass into lawn.
September 2012 >> Page 1 2 3 4
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