Friday, 9th June 2006 in May/June 2006.
Another long journey. Stayed over the night before in an airport hotel as we were due to fly at 7am. Flight fine although coming into land on a small island definitely takes your breath away. Pilots seem to hover as if looking for a safe place to land and then go for it., leaving stomachs, gorges, and everything else up in the air for a few seconds after you land. Engines screaming in reverse thrust, you rapidly approach the end of the runway with the sea beyond…..and suddenly stop. We were then herded into a coach which took us to a ferry to our island Alannisos which is to the east of mainland Greece. Suddenly I felt almost joy – a warm sun, tavernas, turquoise sea. We had a lunch of Greek salad – tomatoes, onions and feta cheese- then Neil had lamb kebabs plus a bottle of local white wine – not retsina yet. Takes a while to get used to the resinous taste. Apparently they used to use resin to seal the wine casks – hence the taste. Climbed aboard the catarmarin in good spirits. Soon dashed when we got to open sea. There had been a storm the night before so the sea was rough, on top of which we were not allowed outside in the air. How I kept the lunch down I’ll never know. While I was engaged in some refocusing of thought and stomach fluids, Neil struck up a conversation with a Greek doctor. Apparently at the height of the summer there are 10,000 people on the islands and only 6 doctors. Moral is don’t get ill!!!! Me, I washed up at the tiny port – Patitiri – feeling like lying down and keening right there on the quay. Instead a nice young lady showed us to our pillar-box red hired car and we twisted and turned up and down hills and valleys dotted with olive trees and umbrella pines. Even in my delicate state I could see it was going to be beautiful. Final descent down an unmade road to a bay with two tavernas and two cottages. Being frugal and Norwegian and fond of the ocean, I had booked the one without the pool – really tiny with a huge shady olive tree in the garden and a patio with a view of the sea. The photo in the brochure somehow suggested it would be right on the sea so Neil was a little upset. After a couple of glasses of rose at a taverna however he started to see the point of the whole thing. The cottage is fitted with everything you need, the sea is warm and tomorrow the boat, we also hired, will be delivered. For now I need to rest and recover completely from the US tour, from the emotional distress of JJ and from the sea trip.