Another 'from ithaca to' trip February 15 - 23 2006

Athens Here we go

Day and Night


Flea Market

Ancient Library

Changing of the Guard

Hard Candy Gig

Finding a way home

On Tuesday night the Union announced another 48 hour strike period.  No way back to Ithaca with the car until Friday at the earliest, and then who knows, the Union may continue for another 48 hours. We swallowed down the frustration by going shopping around Ermou. For days there were phone calls back and forth between Stavros, Dimos and Rien, who were all investigating the Ulysses trail, and for them, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Fishermen were doing runs between Astakos and Vasiliki back to Ithaca, so the boys got on the bus and made their way back home. It was all a bit cloak and dagger.  Some rogue vessel crews had been beaten up earlier, so no one was shouting this service from the rooftops.

Close window to exit



Athens Here we go   Day and Night   Lekavittos   Flea Market   Ancient Library   Changing of the Guard   Hard Candy Gig   Finding a way home


Close window to exit

We head along the beach road towards Kilini, an hour or so outside of Patras further south/west. We had no idea what would await us. Firstly, would the ferry arrive? Would it leave again, if it did arrive?  We had no idea and no one could tell us for certain. We tried not to think about the possibility of getting stuck once again. It was my first time to Kilini.  I'd passed by the area a few years ago after a trip around the Peleponnese, Kilini is famous for its' health spas, and I knew it was the departure port for the island of Zakynthos, but that was the extent of my only knowledge about Kilini. The port village is a dump, but the port is expansive and seems to be well run. A lonely ferry docked at the harbour.  Destination Zakynthos. We hoped and prayed, The Kefalonia would arrive. At 7 pm, it did. One step closer.

While at Syntagma, we decided to call the Port Police, just in case there had been some movement, and were told that a ferry left Ithaca in the morning for Kilini, and although it wasn't certain, there may be another that evening. We rang Vicky at Polyctor Tours in Vathy, she gave us the number to book the car on the 'Maybe Ferry' and so we were off.  Athens had been great, but the weather was changing and if we couldn't get off that day, we could have been stuck there due to the high winds predicted for the rest of the week. The Union was allowing ports, other than Patras and Piraeus to open so we headed for Kilini.

We loaded up with supplies, the usual chore when one leaves Ithaki for the city, packed up the guitars, the bags the others had left us with, and off we went. With most of the trading traffic stuck at the major ports, the road out of Athens towards Patras was a breeze to drive on.  Hardly any traffic  The predicted weather change had not hit, so we drove the sunny afternoon into night without a hassle. On reaching Patras, trucks and buses lined the road sides from end to end, ferries from all over, docked at all the points and more trucks and buses crammed around them. There had been riots on Crete and Piraeus, but Patras, at this stage, had no blood in the streets, but that could still be to come, with the dock meeting arranged for that evening. The workers want their health benefits and pensions secured, the farmers want their produce transported, passengers want to travel home, truck drivers want to get back to their countries, the Union wants to maintain the pressure and the companies and government want to be left alone. The ND party is again seen as doing nothing to help its' people

Leaving from Kilini, takes around an hour off the usual Cephalonia trip. We were hopeful we'd be home before midnight. Few knew about this run, no one in the media had mentioned it, and we only found out through luck, so the ferry was almost empty. When the ferry didn't budge on its' departure time, the few people on the boat started to get nervous. Had something happened?  Had the Union turned over its' earlier decision?

I had a sinking feeling churn away in my stomach until finally, at 9.30 pm, moving noises alerted everyone that we now leaving Kilini. "For the safety of the passengers, do not jump from the ship"  "Smoking is not allowded in the areas..." The familiar recorded messages got us on the way. The ferry arrived and departed Sami in record time, and as the clock struck some number after midnight, we were back on Ithaki.

Zakynthos bound

Ithaki bound