Having arranged for our car to be delivered at 9am this morning we realised we’d need to get up a lot earlier if we were to make our ‘estimated time of departure’ of 9.30am so we made a concerted effort to get down to breakfast at eight. We didn’t quite make it but it was a good effort, only twenty minutes late. We’d had an alert you see the day before about the wasp situation and the measures one must take to protect oneself from being stung, it said......‘wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible when in areas where there may be wasps’. Great, we’d give it a go, mind you it took ages to get ready and it may have the desired effect but in thirty degrees heat we were absolutely sweltering!
The man with the car arrived at 9am and as Maice and I were doing the driving we were taken to see the vehicle where he proceeded to give us the following instructions a) do not remove the paper (this being the contract we had signed) from here where I put it. It is very important you don’t take it out from here where I am putting it (okay, I thing we can manage that instruction) b) do not bring the beach into the car. You must go slowly slowly and not bring any sand into the car (okay, think we can manage that instruction) c) when you go uphill you must switch the air conditioning off as it uses more energy (yep, that makes sense so we’ll just have to swelter going uphill) and d) Corfu stones are like knives. If you drive off-road they will slash your tyres, so only drive on the normal roads, don’t go off-road’ (well, who knew about Greek stones....amazing what you can learn from just hiring a car!) .......and with that he got on his moped and off he went. We didn’t even get a map!
We finally set off at 10am, a little later than our planned departure time. We were off to Kavos first, being the ‘party girls’ that we are we thought we’d go find out what we were missing. We turned left at the bottom of the hill, drove past our lovely Malibu beach and came to a dead end. Oh well, good practice for me as I’m not used to driving a car with gears anymore!
Maice was sat in the front, navigating. From past experience this wasn’t the wisest of choices however Pearl and Dianne would be taking it in turns to sit up front with ‘the driver’ although I’m a bit suspect about their navigating skills too! We managed to make it all the way to Kavos without any deviation or mishap, parked up and wandered down to the beach. We were quite taken aback by how nice Kavos was, apart from ‘the strip’ which we drove through on the way in and noticed it was full of bars and restaurants all offering ‘huge portions’, cheap prices and ‘bogof’ deals! We found a lovely bar on the beach, we think we must have been in ‘posh Kavos’ as it was quite upmarket, and we enjoyed a frappe before heading off to our next mystery destination.
Driving out of Kavos we noticed a sign for a ruined monastery so being the cultural ladies that we are we thought we’d go take a look. With the Car Mans instructions imprinted into our brains we parked the car at the bottom of the unmade road and walked the 2.5 kilometres uphill to the monastery. It probably wasn’t the best time to walk, it being noontime, in the searing 32degree heat, but you know the saying......mad dogs, and Englishmen or women in this case! Talking of dogs, we were befriended by these two cute dogs, who were definitely a couple, all the way to the monastery and back. They even accompanied Maice when she went to pee behind a bush, apparently they all had a pee together!
We trudged up the steep unmade lane, following the signs to the ‘ruined monastery’ until we came to a big open area where we expected to see it. Well, where was it? It seems to have disappeared, there was absolutely nothing there, tipota, de-nada, zilch. Not even a signpost. So, our hike up the hill to somewhere had actually led us to nowhere and we had found nothing. We admitted defeat and trudged all the way back down the hill to a very baking hot car. We’d google it when we get back just to see if it really did exist and what it actually looked like!
We were that hot and sweaty we had to put the air-con on, praying that we didn’t encounter any hills on the way. Pearl wanted to stop off at a chemist and although we’d driven past loads earlier, now they seemed to be few and far between. We wanted to go to a town called Liminiki which, according to the barman is the second largest in Corfu. We’d all brought extra money and credit cards just in case we happened to see something we liked. By now we seemed to be a bit lost, thats what happens when you’ve got amateur navigators in the car and not having a clue where we were, and in our quest to find a chemist we stopped off at this lovely village with a canal running through it. Turns out this was Liminiki. We had a wander, past the supermarket that sold practically nothing (I thought Greece were out of recession) and realising there were no shops for us to buy anything in, we bought nothing. Just think of the money we’ve saved ourselves!
Pearl’s friend Anne had told us about a lovely little fishing harbour called Petrithi with lovely tavernas right on the waters edge. It was our aim to go there for lunch and after a long drive down a very steep and windey road we found it. It really is a little gem of a place and so very Greek. We found a taverna jutting out over the water and enjoyed a lovely lunch as did the two cats that we fed with our uneaten bits of calamari and the fishes that devoured our uneaten bread. What a very relaxing lovely lunch we had.
As a treat to ourselves we bought some fruit from the back of the fruit sellers van, which is usually much cheaper than the shops except in our case.......he obviously saw us coming and thought ‘female tourists’ I’ll rip these off. And he did, big time. We cannot believe we paid €10 for five fresh figs, a bunch of grapes and four nectarines and we didn’t even question it, we just handed over the money. Ah well, you live and learn!
Our next stop was to find a beach so having driven in a full circle up the windey road we somehow found ourselves almost back where we started. We’d obviously gone wrong somewhere so stopped and asked a very nice Greek for directions who very politely told us where to go. Fifteen minutes later we were cooling off in the sea, gosh it was good, and so warm. We spent the next three hours lazing on our sun-beds or swimming. It was glorious.
All too soon it was time to leave and head back to base. We needed to top up with petrol and like the chemists, we’d seen a lot on the way out but could we find one now? We ended up back at our resort without topping up so we turned back, headed out of resort, back onto the freeway until we found one. We handed back the car with not a grain of sand in it, agreed to meet an hour after getting back, now there was a challenge, and made our way to the taverna at the bottom of our road for supper.
It was such a nice taverna, all the staff were friendly, the food was really good so Maice and I have booked in for Greek night this coming Saturday. Shame Pearl and Dianne won’t be with us but they’re off back home to Scotland tomorrow.......
Well, it’s certainly been an action packed day full of something’s and nothings, going somewhere and occasionally ending up nowhere, but it’s been good fun. We still want to know what happened to the monastery!