Since the last trip, we’ve had some fun, mostly based at home. Highlights include:
- A musical lunch at the Botanical Gardens with friends
- Various meals with friends …. still not loosing weight!
And Danny and Lisa visited from Thornaby. They became part of our Turkish lockdown family. We’ve been up to see them and they stayed in our Devon house in January. Danny had been unable to get a dental appointment for 18 months … what is that all about?! So for EUR50, he had a filling replaced over here. could have had a next day appointment, so we are moving into Dental Tourism as a money making exercise! just don’t expect your flight to arrive on time! Once that was down, we headed off to Spinalonga for 2 nights. Lisa only just managed to finish ‘The Island’ before we arrived. We parked up at Plaka beach for 2 nights, visited the island and ate out. Super hot so used a bar’s sun loungers and had a few swims. En route, we stopped at Knossos (Minoan main city) and on the way back at Moni Arkadi. And we managed just fine all 4 of us plus CO2 in the van. We also has a WW2 tour about the start of the invasion … will probably repeat this with the Aged Ps in October.
Spinalonga Island and Elounda behind.
Danny and Lisa are not lepers, honest!
So Danny and Lisa left on Monday. House cleaned Tuesday. Next guests arrive on the 11th June … we have a few weeks to head off in the van … yay!
Potamon / Potamoi Dam
Wednesday 25th May 2022 (IRemembering Nicky’s who would have been 57th today)
Before we collected Jez, we went via Chania for J to pick up his repaired hearing aid … he’s been on one working for over a week. And let me tell you 50% of hearing aids is not equal to 50% hearing loss. I am sure people think I must be more unpleasant than I am, due to the aggressive sounding shouting. And he has missed most of the conversations when any background noise.
Our 2nd chore was to take Jez to a Fiat garage to have a new remote key programmed. When we were thinking of selling Jez last summer, I hid 2 sets of remote keys, along with all locker etc keys somewhere SAFE. Of course, we kept hoping they would turn up. The van has been emptied and turned over, but at some point (probably much earlier than now) it is sensible to get a replacement key. Especially as we are thinking of Turkey come July. So down some narrow lanes to the Fiat service centre. A chap came out and wanted to drive Jez down to the back of the garage, between a wall and lots of parked cars. It was TIGHT. I don’t know if he had ever driven a right hand vehicle before. Keys programmed … apparently if we do find the missing 2 sets they will no longer work anyway! But then I had to reverse out. J was my rear end man and another man on the front …. big sigh of relief when out onto the road.
Only 1.5 hours drive to Potomon Resevoir We’ve stayed here before, but this time we’ve moved around the other side of the dam. So hot, we got the chairs out and sat in the shade of the van reading and knitting. Peaceful views only briefly disturbed by a drone! What?!? Two photographers and a bride and groom for a photo shoot. And thankfully CO2 didn’t jump on her! Once it cooled down, I walked CO2 to the junction of the road we want tomorrow. It was impassable on our last visit here due to massive subsidence. It’s been re- tarmaced and slipped again. Along with landslip across the carriageway and encroaching foliage making sections single track, but passable. Signs up declaring it a ’slow speed road’! And no prizes guessing for the person who didn’t pack the mossie spray! I’m OK, J is my decoy!
Potomon Resevoir. For the second night we moved up to the chapel.
We’d gone cheap on a replacement roof light, and it doesnt open as far as the previous one. After exploring lots of alternative routes up the roof, I finally managed to get through the aperture and cleaned off the various Sahara dust storms.
The wedding shoot. Do wish men would have their too long trousers turned up! Lovely dress, but grey from the dirt at the bottom.
View for the chapel parking.
Thursday 26th May
We ran the dodgy road but only for a 3km run. Getting warm. And recently we’ve been driving to where it is virtually flat to run, so the hills were taking it out of us. A short drive the Patsos Gorge. Anther revisit. Very pretty … a (much) younger couple ahead of us indicated that it was impassable from the bridge, so we aborted on part of the climb down. Into the taverna there for lunch. Decided to head back to Potomon reservoir, but stayed next to the chapel. More shade and higher up to less mossies.
A prayer to St Anthony and you don’t need your crutches to walk out of the gorge.
Lots of prayer offerings and scraps of written prayers stuck into the rocks.
Syvritos by Thronos, Monistraki a mistake, and Moni Asmaton a ruin
Friday 27th May
We stopped by a church in Agia Fotini to ’steel’ some water. Such high pressure, it should have been called Agia Fountainii! I did a mini hand wash, filled the van. Proper working town so managed to buy mossie repellant and itch cream from a pharmacy. J suggested a cold drink at the cafe …. good to ‘pay’ the town for the water.
A sort hop onto Thronos, destination Syvritos. J is normally up for most of my suggestions. He had some comments on this mini excursion though. Mostly along the lines of the sense in climbing a rocky track in the heat of the day. And hadn’t we seen enough Minoan sites already. At the top, he sat with CO2 in the shade and I went to explore Syvritos. I was back pretty quickly. It was so overgrown that there was very little to see. Just a few signs denoting building A or B. Thorny bushes so couldn’t even walk around what was there. Ho hum! It was much quicker going back down to Jez. Had to move the van from a dirt area as apparently that was the bus parking! Lunch in the shade with a breeze.
View from the climb to Syvritos.
Was the climb worth it James?
Not when this is all there is to be seen!
Then onto Moni Asmaton and just before we arrived, J suggested an ice cream at a cafe …a quick swerve and parked. Coffee and ice cream. I looked at the map … Mono Asmaton was all of 150m away. So I left J with CO2. A stunning ruin with an intact chapel in the middle. From 1927 to the 80’s it had been an agricultural school. One much newer building had been replastered recently. It would make a good hotel complex. I was tempted to ‘lift’ a couple of shutters and doors to decorate the patio area in Almyrida, but would have had to walk back past the cafe with my swag! Too embarrassing.
Is Moni Asmaton worth walking to James?
Yes, it was!
We drove towards Monistraki. Another ancient site with a parking that promised views (ergo a breeze) and water. Errr … not down that road we aint! Sat nav re-routed us to another unfeasibly narrow road with over hanging trees and parked cars. A 5 point turn and the bemused faces of locals as we passed by them on the way outta town! Similarly we headed to Amari, but it didn’t seem to have any larger roads. Another 5 point turn. Ooh a lovely parking identified with water, a breeze and on a hill top. We arrived and decided we may have got Jez up there and under the arch, but then again … Abort. Tired now, we went for safety. And drove down to Komos Beach. We had cycled here previously when we have stayed at Matala. Much as we like Matala, we knew it would be rammed with a small beach.
We arrived. Parked. I swam. And availed ourselves of cold drinks from the mobile snack bar. Once the beach front parking cleared out, I moved the van into a prime position.
Our prime beach front parking at Komos Beach.
We used the Snack Shack …
Having been the solo van it felt a bit congested to now be one of 4 vans. A D, Ch and Greek rental. The German Swiss chap I disliked. He seemed to think it was to let his large German Shepard roam free. Disturbed CO2, who promptly shot out under our new £600 door flatscreen. Minor damage. The concertina trellis was no deterrent. Humpf!