After the impressive passage through the Corinth Canal, we sailed along the Peloponnisos coastline towards Old Epidhavros. It is a typical Greek coastal village, though more for land visitors than the sailing type, probably because it is connected to the mainland. It is also the closest point to the Epidhavros Theatre, which the pilot book says everyone has heard of …. Mark and I must be the exceptions then. There are not many places to moor up, so spaces for visiting yachts are limited to 10 or so, but plenty of room to anchor in the sheltered bay. The harbour has a fleet of small multi-coloured wooden fishing boats, which is a good indication that there may be some fish life on this side of Greece. The village is set at the base of steep wooded slopes, surrounded by trees crammed with ripe oranges and pomegranates and a field of Aloe Vera – you’ll have to Google that to see what they looks like, Mark thought they were pineapples.
Just next to us on the town quay is a little park area, grassed over, with an umbrella of pine trees, it is a lovely shaded spot and a nice separation from the bars and restaurants behind. There are a few stray dogs around scavenging left-overs from the restaurants, they are cute and don’t cause any trouble, but unfortunately carry the unwanted bugs and flea of any stray animal … Hudson is desperate for a play. The village has souvenir shops, bakers and even a barbers and to the side of the bay is a beach area, where the locals swim ….. and on the hour the bells of the local church toll out summoning the faithful in this very religious country.
On our first afternoon, Mark caught up on his sleep and I went exploring the village (sounds like a familiar theme), checking out the bars and restaurants for possible options for night one, and then stocking up on supplies and gorgeous fresh fruit. Early evening we took Hudson for a walk, stopping for the customary refreshments and a game of cards (I won again 3 day on the trot), we had decided to eat out, but as we were not feeling too hungry so we settled on a Gyros. Our first night in the bay was bumpy; the wind had increased, causing swells to enter the bay and showers with thunderstorms highlighting the sky in the far distance. Even with ear plugs the slosh slosh on the bum of the yacht from the swell was enough to give us a very disturbed sleep. Mark had a restless night with the noise and going up on deck to check the lines on the boat. It seems we are due two maybe three days more of stronger winds 26 knots gusting up to 38 knots from the north-east. Our anchor is secure so the yacht should be fine but we may have another 2 sleepless nights depending on the level of swell. What joy.
Day 2 – Saturday 13th, we had a slow start following a bumpy and noisy night. The day felt much cooler at only around 30 deg C, we have been used to much higher temps so this really is a pleasure. After catching up on the blog we headed out to explore the outskirts of the village, and came across The Theatre at Demos of Ancient Epidaurus, over a thousand years old and accessed by the scruffiest dirt track – this would be a national treasure in any other country.
As you can see from the photos, it is interesting how the Greeks go about their archaeology and in securing their sites.
On returning from our travels we found the new Greek way to park your boat if there is no room on the town quay …. this is not recommended as a way to avoid mooring charges. Following a relaxing afternoon, Mark caught up on his sleep AGAIN and read up on his scuba diving, as surprisingly he found a professional Dive Centre in the village and has booked a wreck dive for Sunday. I have been studying, reading up on my Bridge and catching up with the Blog.
Day 3 – Sunday 14th – Hudson and I started the day with a run along the promenade and back through the village, then we waved Mark off to go diving for the morning and set to work cleaning the boat and catching up on the washing … well I did whilst Hudson just slept. Tasks done we settled down to a quiet afternoon, relaxing on the boat, but despite the light winds and small waves, the wind direction meant we had a continued slap slap slapping on the bum of the boat, it impacted my “tranquil” afternoon. Mark came back from his dive late morning; he had been to a large tanker that had sunk some 10 years ago, as legend would have it, holed by the rocks whilst the Italian captain made love to his mistress. He was a little disappointed by the lack of coral and fish life, but it does keep his skills up.
Day 4 – Monday 15th – We had not planned to stay so long here, had the winds calmed down we would have moved on yesterday, at least the nights are calmer now so we can get some sleep. So with no excuses we all went for a run, Hudson and I showing Mark around the village avoiding the stray dogs, who seem very friendly and just want to play. We had planned to visit the famous Epidhavros Theatre this morning but destiny was working against us, as today was a religious day with all the locals dressed in their finery attending church, so the Theatre was closed. They very kindly broadcast the priests’ sermons and chantings by loudspeaker over the whole village. So today was now a lazy day, with a film in the afternoon, reading and doing our various hobbies. We are ready to move. We have planned our next few stops along the Peloponnes and the weather is showing calmer seas and winds of force 3-4’s for the next few days.