Sivota is just a gem, we say that each time we go there, so our decision to spend three days to try to relax and at least have a small holiday before going home was brilliant. With our hire car loaded to the gunnels, apartment booked and the rest of the gang heading down on board Shiraz, we set off. Our plans didn’t however go entirely smoothly, as the apartment I had booked was in Syvota with a “Y” (Not Sivota with an “I”) which was 150 km in the wrong direction – easy mistake to make I told Mark, who had that highly unimpressed expression that he sometimes gets. Fortunately, we had an option 2, the Galini Studios which turned out to be just wonderful, a 2-bed spacious apartment in a great location a street back from the town quay, but high enough so we could keep an eye on the activity in the bay as yachts crossed anchors and jockeyed for a place to park – the bay was pretty full in advance of the Ionian Regatta later this week.
The first evening (Friday 15th) we joined our friends Tina, Tim, Alice and Aunia for a game of boules and bbq on the beach, this is always a noisy, riotous affair. The boules teams were decided by picking a short or long twig and overseen by Mark, I am sure he cheated so as to not to get stuck with me on his team. The challenge with boules on the pebbly Sivota beach is that the jack is pretty impossible to see, so we had to mark it with a pink ice cream spoon. My team, which included Tina and Tim were on form and despite trailing in the early stages, managed to get ahead and steal an overall victory in the last game. Mark, through gritted teeth, congratulated his victorious wife, blaming his team for more focus on the beer than the game – to say he is competitive is an understatement.
Saturday 16th (Day 2) began with Hudson and I jogging around the bay, followed by a couple of hours sun bathing/swimming and finishing up with Mark and I, together with Keith and Tracy enjoying a massive grilled Red Snapper with oven roasted vegetables, absolutely deliciously cooked by the Twelve Gods Restaurant. Another item on my tick list of things to do this Autumn … shame we didn’t have Hapatoni. It’s not the same without the yacht, but it comes a close second.Our group of 8 started to expand as other boaties who we had met on our travels, pulled up on the town quay, Greece is quite a small place really, and boaty people are a very friendly lot. We chose “The Family Restaurant” or “Mama’s” as we call it for our final night in Sivota and ended up taking over half the restaurant. Nicos is the young waiter who has a really welcoming disposition and always remembers us from previous years, particularly that Mark likes his food spicy. So, every meal results in weight loss as he tries to increase the spicy heat on everything he serves – this bizarrely also includes the salt and vinegar crisps.Mama is the matriarch, spending much of her time in the kitchen, but venturing out to give her favoured guests a hug and over indulge Hudson with a sneaky sausage snack. She is truly wonderful, the type of woman that everyone would love to have as their mum. As the evening passed the volume increased along with the number of empty glasses, we even persuaded Mark and Justine to play a tune on the guitar, although I ‘m not sure anyone was in a fit condition to “name that tune”. With an early start planned for the next day we headed home after a night cap at the Pirates bar.