|Monday 28 May 2007
Got up about 0800. The beds are hard and lumpy so we didn't get a good nights sleep. After breakfast we walked along the main street of Argassi and caught the bus (€1.20) to Zakynthos Town, also known as Zante. It's quite cloudy today and rather windy. We walked up a road to Bohali which overlooks Zante and walked further up to the Venetian Fort (or Kastro), only to discover it's closed on Mondays. Just our luck. Looked around shops in Zante and waited ages for a bus that didn't come so we walked the 4km back to Argassi. Sat out by the hotel pool for a while but it clouded over again - definitely not our day! Played cards and drank Mythos Beer on the balcony for a few hours. Advanced on to Ouzo... needless to say, we got a bit drunk.
Out to dinner in Argassi, we found a Chinese/Indian restaurant. There are several of these combo restaurants here, we chose from the Indian menu, which was very nice. The curries were nice and thick, not like the slop you get in Australia. Later we explored more of Argassi's main street. I bought a small statue of greek wrestlers to add to my collection of souvenirs. We stopped at a tour agent and bought a boat trip for tomorrow for €25 each. The lady was British and very helpful.
Our washing had arrived back at the hotel. Had a fabulous coffee in the bar, courtesy of Monica. Later, back in our room we were just getting off to sleep when fireworks start going off in Zante.
Tuesday 29 May 2007
We're up at 0730 to have breakfast and catch the bus for our boat tour around the island. The bus was slightly late but made it to the cruise boat on time. The boat seems to be full of Brits and sets off at 0945, 15 minutes late. The first stop; the Blue Caves. Some of the Brits swam around in the crystal clear waters. I'm taking some great photos. Next stop is the shipwreck at Navagio Beach. A swell has developed so we can't set ashore here so the boat continues on... into heavier sea swell. Tony and I enjoyed burgers for lunch as we watched the Brits, and as if on cue - all get sea-sick at once. Very funny to watch, poor bastards! Luckily, we felt OK.
We admired the beautiful coastal scenery on the west coast of Zakynthos, even-though it was a bit rough and the boat wasn't able to stop at a few places. As we traversed the Bay of Laganas on the south coast, I spotted a turtle in the water. The area is a breeding ground for endangered loggerhead turtles and a national marine park.
Arrived back in Zante around 1730 and the busses took us back to Agassi and our hotel, arriving at 1800. Once again we played cards and drank Mythos on the balcony. Out to a restaurant Monika (from the hotel's bar) had recommended. Received a free caraf of wine and free Hummas. I had Greek Salad and Lamb Kleftiko. On the way back to hotel, Tony decided to do some internet while I continued on back to our room.
Wednesday 30 May 2007
Tony's not well today. I think he's got a bout of food poisoning or something. Still, I felt fine if only a slight headache. I had breakfast in the hotel dining room by myself. Later I go out to get more water (3 bottles for €9) and something to eat and return to the room for most of the day. I occupied myself on the balcony while Tony slept until 1100. It's mostly overcast today. I saw the occasional ship and ferry out on the water travelling along the Peloponnese coast. Read up on Ithaki, a small island next to Kefalonia I'd like to go to once we get there.
By early evening, Tony still wasn't well so I took him along the street to a chemist and he started to feel better once he'd had some medication.
Thursday 31 May 2007
Tony's much better today.We had an early breakfast at the hotel and checked out, leaving out bags for later collection. We headed down the road to the travel agent who booked our boat excursion to see it we could get on todays bus excursion around the island (€18 each). We were in luck. This tour takes us to some of the same spots we saw from the boat plus a few other villages inland. First stop are the Blue Caves where we jump in a small boat and venture north along the coast for about 10 minutes. The boatman takes us inside some of the caves. The water is crystal clear and it's said that if you dip your hand in the water it appears blue.
Back on the bus we weave our way to the cliff top above Navagio Beach to view the shipwreck below. There's a small gantry that extents out from the cliff that holds 4 to 5 people. I had to wait my turn. Not a very good view of the shipwreck from up here but still had to see it. The essentuated blue waters takes your breath away... this is mainly due to the sandstone in the water reflecting the sunlight. The waters here are so bright, so turquoise, so beautiful... they look like they could have been touched up in Photoshop.
Went to a small village called Volimes to see the local flea market. Some nice things there but didn't buy... I'm short on money and I can't buy stuff that won't fit in the backpack. Then a wine tasting at Vanato. Here I bought myself a table cloth with embrioded olives on it - my last €25. A bit much but very nice.
Lunch at a local village hotel. Tony couldn't eat all his meal - he's still not perfectly well. Visited St. Dennis Monastery and Kiliomeno Bell Tower and saw what's claimed to be the oldest olive tree on Zakynthos.
After our bus tour we searched Argassi for a working ATM. Eventually found one and got another €300 out. Had a drink and a baget to kill some time. Collected bags from the hotel and caught a taxi to airport.
We're too early to check in. We played cards for a while near the check-in counter - under watchful eyes of the airport security guards. In typical Greek fashion, the flight was delayed nearly an hour. The flight itself was only 15 minutes.
Landed in Kefalonia at 2140. Only three people got off. I think the flight continued onto Thessaloniki. Taxi to Argostoli and found the Mirabel Hotel, hitting the hay around 2245. It's getting late now... we'll sus out the town tomorrow.
Next island... Kefalonia
... (sometimes called Zante in English), the third largest of the Ionian Islands, covers an area of 410 square kilometers and its coastline is roughly 123 kilometers in length. The island is named after Zacynthus, son of a legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus. The name, like all similar names ending in -'nthos', is pre-Mycenaean or Pelasgian in origin. [more]
...are one of the most endangered marine species in Europe and is the only turtle known to nest in Greece. It can be distinguished from other turtles by its large head and reddish-brown shell. [more]