The trip to Nidri, was smooth with no wind and calm seas. Regrettably there was not enough wind to sail, usually we get a favourable breeze blowing off the mountains around Preveza. We made the 12:00 pm Lefkas bridge and continued to Nidri, hoping to find space on the Iris Hotel pontoon, but were prepared to anchor in Vlikho for the night if there was none. A telephone call to Christos at the Iris hotel confirmed we could take the final space … Hurrah. We arrived at 2:00 pm, tidied the boat and headed up to the pool for a cold beer and a swim. The pool was a bit “fresh”, but you soon warmed up lying in the sun.
Christos the owner of the Iris Hotel has a good business going here, the Hotel apartments are fully booked up well in advance and his pontoon is always also full with either Sailing Holidays yachts, as they have a flotilla based from the hotel, or private boats like us who queue up to take any spare spots. His rates are cheap at 15 euros a night although it is expected that you spend some money at the hotel bar or restaurant. I find it so relaxing here, a mini holiday within our sailing holiday, laying on a sunbed around the pool in a stunning setting, ordering food and drinks on a tab … it is like being in an all-Inclusive.
The Hotel is about 30 minutes’ from Nidri so you can walk in and visit but you have none of the noise and distractions of the town. Hudson and I stopping for a nibble halfway through one of our dog walk.
We hired a car on Thursday 6th June, with several tasks to undertake. The main one being to find and book a secure mooring for me to stay on the boat with Hudson whilst Mark returns to the UK for 5 days. We started the day at the Lefkas lifting bridge to buy two large bags of Oranges from a local seller who bases himself next to the bridge (cheap at 5 euros a bag) and secured fresh orange juice for breakfast for the next few weeks. Then on to get Mark’s haircut, unfortunately his usual barber was busy, so he tried my lady, who gave him a very short, short back and sides.
We popped into Lefkas marina to ask about their availability for a mooring, they had no space for us for the dates we needed, amazing really as it is a large marina. Then the boring task of food shopping, before heading back to the boat to drop off our supplies. Next to Vasiliki, Mark was keen to see if the new marina was open and although it looked finished (and quite spectacular) they weren’t allowing anyone to moor, something to do with the elections was the rumour … what a waste … Greeks. The village is pretty, with restaurants covering every available space on the quay, it is hard to believe they can fill them all up, but I suppose in July and August they must.
Our final stop was Sivota, important as we hoped to get a deal with the Italian pontoon which has lazy lines, water and electric. Following various negotiations with the owner and with help from Christo the owner of the Supermarket (who we know well), we got from 180 euros for 6 nights to 130 euros, cash of course. With the deal secured, off we went to visit Yanna at the Family Café. It was so nice to see her happy and not stressed, she had been facing the prospect of handling the whole of the front of house on her own, but she had one of her sons back working In the Kitchen and a new waiter called George serving out front with her. On our way home we stopped off to look at the progress of the boat below which has been made from scratch, the workmanship is excelllent.
My final day on the Iris pontoon was spent relaxing by the pool, leaving Mark in peace to sand down and re-varnish the steps into the main cabin. In the evening Tina and Tim came to the Hotel for drinks and supper, it was so nice to catch up with them, a very boozy and enjoyable evening.