We were keen to visit Paxos, another one of our favourite Islands in the Ionian. So, with a few strong coffee’s inside us, we left Sivota in the dark at 6:45 am on Monday, driving the 150km north to catch the car ferry from Igoumenitsa to the port at Gaios.Paxos is the smallest of the Ionian Islands, just eight miles long by two wide, a place where most things can be left until tomorrow and where visitors, mainly Italians, English and Athenians, return year after year to do not much at all. Our studio apartment was a few minutes’ walk from the town quay in Gaios, unfortunately no sea view this time and not quite as spacious as our apartment in Sivota, but pleasant enough. As the car ferries don’t run every day, we decided to stay till Friday.
We quickly unpacked, keen to revisit some of our old haunts and check out the restaurants again …. most importantly, was there a spit roast on the bbq ready for tonight, in our favourite restaurant? We headed for the top of town to Taverna Taka Taka and joy upon joy, there they were slowly turning on the spit, a choice of lamb or chicken calling to us to “come and get some”. The only downside is the restaurant is also home to the largest herd of cats we have ever seen, so we would need to be on our guard with Hudson as they can be pretty vicious with dogs. Despite the glorious appearance of the pork and the vast quantities served up, the flavours were not as intense as they have been in the past, so we left a little disappointed at the end of the meal – can’t say the same for Hudson, who was salivating at the thought of getting the leftovers for breakfast the next morning.Over the next few days we settled into a daily routine, with a leisurely start in the morning lounging around the apartment, followed by an excursion in the hire car in the afternoon and ending the day with the obligatory taverna visit for beer and cards.
The first day’s excursion was to the north of the island, to Lakka. We have been there several times and never tire of visiting this gorgeous horseshoe-shaped bay, its translucent waters crammed with fishing boats and yachts. We did our customary walk around the bay, dodging the many cats who hang out around the tavernas and in any shady spot they can find, waiting to be fed or petted by cooing tourists. One of the more mangy of these creatures tried to attack Hudson, I did a blocking action with my leg which resulted in some more scratches to add to my collection of bruises and mosquito bites. We stopped for lunch at our usual place, the restaurant Arriva on the end of the town quay and had our usual selection of yummy dishes, calamari, stuffed aubergine, Greek salad, etc, all washed down with a glass of wine/beer.The clouds started to mass in a dark and threatening way towards evening so after an early dinner, we arrived back in the apartment just as the heavens opened, monsoon style, with a bit of thunder thrown in for luck.Day two of our sightseeing, found us heading to Mongonissi, a small bay on the south coast which will definitely go on our “must visit by yacht” list. It had a lovely anchorage, several tavernas and a beautiful sandy beach, quite unusual for this part of the world where pebbles are the norm.This was followed by the spectacular Tripitos Arch, later in the afternoon, which in typical Greek fashion took someone with SAS navigational skills to find. It is the remains of a collapsed sea cave, over 20 meters at its highest point. Approaching from above it is very imposing, the arch itself appears scarily narrow but is apparently wider than it looks, nonetheless Mr & Mrs (I hate Heights) Clark both wimped out and decided on a photograph as our memory of the visit.The day finished with a late lunch at Longos, a small fishing village on the northeast coast of the island and also a must see, it is very pretty. Only room for one or two cruising yachts on the mole though, so you are likely to have to visit this one by road.
The last couple of days passed in much the same way as the first few, we revisited a few of the sights and spend leisurely evenings on the town quay playing cards and watching the antics of the charter yachts and hordes of tourists disgorging from their tripper boats out of Corfu.
On the Friday 22nd, we caught the 2:00pm ferry back to Igoumenitsa, before returning to Sivota for our final 5 days in Greece.