Departure minus 2 :(

Last nights sunset was one of those times when the world around you goes away, and you just stare.

Today’s outing was to Perivoliou beach.

The roads have continued to be windy, narrow and at times, sheer drops on one side. The girls have been super kind with the comments on my driving, which at times has meant chopping down to first gear and just going for it up the steep hills, with a hairpin thrown in for good luck !!

The journey, however is ALWAYS worth it, as once again we were totally spoilt to have the whole beach to ourselves. As with all the other beaches, beautiful pebbles lined the beach and the waters’ edge. We have all collected a handful to bring home with us, and hopefully to remind us over the winter, of these amazing days. Next to Perivoliou is a little beach called Pethamenis or Dead Woman’s Beach, where a dead woman was found 40 years ago. A local restaurant owner also told us a story about dead Germans on the beach, but we can’t confirm that one ………We wandered the track towards Dead Woman’s Beach but it had deteriorated in places, with a long drop down the cliff so we had to turn back, but not before admiring it from the cliff top.

A little cafe had set up shop at the beach, under a spreading pine tree. We ordered beers and toasted sandwiches and I don’t think either has ever tasted so good.

While we were eating, our towels waited on the beach for us, the only ones in the whole place. Not sure if June will bring more people to the beach, but we are thankful for the peace and quiet.

After leaving the beach, and before heading back to Glossa, we detoured, hoping to have a look at the lighthouse, but we found that the road was very rocky and after a couple kilometres, decided to turn around when we could. Another headline flashed up ……”6 Kiwis get Flatty on lonely Greek road.”

After cleaning up and heading out looking hot, πŸ™‚ we drove down to the port for dinner.

We chose a place we had eaten before, but sadly the meals were not like all the others we had eaten. We have truly been spoilt with our food choices up until this meal.

We did have the company of the most gorgeous wee dog though, and we surreptitiously fed her.

We all left the restaurant with heavy hearts as it is against our nature to accept dogs are just roaming free, but we have to think back to what we were told the first night about cats and dogs living naturally.

Back at the villa, we made plans for tomorrow, our last full day. 😦

Skopelos …. take 2…… action

After a beautiful breakfast of French Toast prepared by Camp Mother and her helper, we climbed into the Opel mobile and we were off to take Skopelos town by storm again. Although we had driven this road before, we took a slight wrong turn. It was one of those times when a wrong turn brought an unexpected delight. We carried on down a beautiful country lane which had 3 lovely old churches one after the other. We made the call to stop at one of them to take photos, when 2 elderly men stopped their gardening and came towards us. They had lovely wild flowers in their hands and gave the bunches to us. A marriage proposal to one of us provided a photo opportunity. The church was about 200 years old, with beautiful blue plates embedded in the walls.

We picked the right road and made it back to Skopelos, first stop ice cream. There is a row of cafes/tavernas on the waterfront and they are so pretty, and inviting. We found a little coffee shop called “The Little Coffee Shop” haha and stopped for a Latte. We have found the coffee to be good everywhere, whether it’s filter, traditional, or Latte.

The shops kept beckoning as they were all so quaint, welcoming and full of gorgeous things. There is lots of linen, dresses, shirts and pants, all amazing colours to match the colours of the villages we are seeing. We dragged ourselves out of Skopelos and to Panormos beach, and lazed under thatch umbrellas while paddling in clear waters yet again. The clarity is amazing, all fish and stones visible right to the bottom. Panormos was our 3rd beach visit and none of them have disappointed. We came for beautiful beaches and we got them.

The driving is becoming second nature, the turns and hairpins all taken in our stride, the most challenging part is the last drive up to our villa, has to be taken in 1st gear, sometimes with the passengers out, to allow a good run up, as the gradient is high.

A visit to the favourite bakery, and a purchase of a slice of amazing chocolate cake, 2 million calories …….

so with that and lots of driving today, we decided to walk Glossa village, and see all the little alleys and lanes that we haven’t explored yet. Being welcomed by the locals at every turn and discovering beautiful doors and windows, was strangely calming. It was totally worth the 253 steps back up to the villa.

This is not a hugely touristy village so we are a bit of a rarity. Anyone we happened to meet on previous walks, treats us like long lost friends. The views to the port and other islands are all spectacular from this village……talk about million dollar views.

After chatting with many locals, we can confirm that living to 90 plus in that village does not mean you don’t do the stairs anymore. They do them every day which is why they are 90 plus πŸ™‚ You can’t get anywhere in Glossa without navigating stairs. The Central Square is the focal point and the meeting area each evening. We even met some sheep wandering the village ….

The evening was finished off by watching Mama Mia, as you do, haha. We were able to pick out many of the places we had seen over the last few days. To say the scenery is stunning just doesn’t cut it.

2 more days ………… 😦

Who’s Gonna Drive you Home ?

The morning began as usual with us all making our way upstairs to the lounge, one by one. After casual coffee and toast, we had a rental car delivered and after signing my life away, we packed up the 7 seater and off we went. The first few minutes of driving was a bit hairy on the narrow roads, but I soon got the feel of it. The road to Skopelos was windy and up and down, but the views out to the sea….. stunning!

We had brunch in Skopelos at another little family run place. I chose the crab patties and they were fantastic. All the other meals were also fresh, tasty and enjoyed thoroughly. The owner was lovely and gave us a piece of cheesecake each for dessert, on the house. Every where we have been, we have been treated so well and given little “gifts” whether it’s food or trinkets with our shopping.

We wandered again through cobbled streets, looking at the shops and chatting to locals. The port is lovely and while we were there, 3 ferries came and went. As has become the norm, we photographed the church windows.

We decided to get back on the road and off we went to Kastani beach. This beach was used in the Mama Mia movie. The clearness of the water took our breath away, as did the local builders working on a cafe on the beach. Hahaha, they kinda liked us too!

We spent the afternoon enjoying the quiet beach, congratulating ourselves for being there off season and having the whole beach to choose from.

Heck! What a great day πŸ™‚ We finished the day off at the villa where Camp Mother made the best spaghetti and vegetables in tomato sauce.

Loutraki Trek

I was the first one awake, and headed up to the top story deck to watch the sunrise. The photos don’t do it justice. The sun was a big pink ball, and I couldn’t take my eyes off it.

We were quite surprised how cold it was last night. As we all woke up one by one, congregating in the lounge, wrapped up as best we could when you don’t pack for winter, we discovered a heat pump which was promptly turned on and we thawed out. Coffee made and eggs consumed, we put the hats and sunscreen on and headed down the hill to Glossa, stopping at Utopia bakery, where we were treated like VIPs by the elderly couple who ran it.

We carried on and down to Loutraki.

Glossa is 300 metres above sea level and Loutraki is the port so…… we did a whole load of down hill on uneven paths, such a great leg workout with amazing views along the way. We found the biggest dandelion in history, so we were all able to make a wish simultaneously, and probably for the same thing πŸ˜‚

We also saw a van which had been repurposed as a shed πŸ˜‚

As we walked, we came across so many photoworthy things, letter boxes, gates to nowhere, sheep, and flags. We got such a warm hello from many locals, who all asked the same question “6 ladies, where are you all from?” If we were into much older men, teeth as an option, we could probably stay and live in an orange 🍊 grove forever πŸ˜‚

The route march from Glossa to Loutraki was awesome and the food at the bottom didn’t disappoint. We ate at a family cafe called Aramis. Once again, a split in the choices, Greek Yoghurt and fruit in one camp and Greek Salad in the other. Cocktails along with and we were happy.

As much as we enjoyed the walk down, the uphill version was a bit daunting so we opted for the local bus.

The pool beckoned as soon as we were back at the villa and we didn’t move from there for hours.

Dinner in or dinner out ? Going out won.

We wandered down a couple hundred steps to Glossa village and ate at Agnanti restaurant, greeted warmly by the owner and shown the most amazing view on the roof terrace. While looking at the view, I noticed a wee cat on a roof, see if you can see him on the photos.

The food was sooooo fresh and tasty. Seafood to die for ( well the fishies did ) and the girls who had meat lives theirs too. We tried local wines and desserts.

Once again, a local man at the next table asked the common question and once again, the reply was ” I have been to Australia and New Zealand, I was in the merchant navy” . Seems like a lot of the older men here were in the Navy of some sort. He was very chatty but as soon as his Paella arrived he said ” now I enjoy my meal ” and stopped talking πŸ˜‚ He did tell us that Skopelos is the greenest island in the Mediterranean…… is that why a bunch of kiwi girls love it ??

The 200 stairs up after dinner, not so much fun but the evening was a success. Each day we love this place a little more ❀️

Ciao

Villa Pasifika

So after getting to bed midnightish, we were all awake again at 4!

1 bathroom, 6 Girls ! But we made it out the door and headed back down the cobblestone road for brekkie. We had all our cases with us as we were checking out and catching the ferry to Skopelos later that morning, so we sounded like an army tromping down the cobbles.

We found a great cafe … 7Sins πŸ˜‚ where a lovely young waiter herded our suitcases into a tidy row and found us a table. There we had our first Greek Coffee and loved it so much, it was the first of many. Breakfast was a split with half the team staying on the local tack and choosing fruit, Greek yoghurt and nuts with honey. The opposition chose a vegetarian omelette ….. both got Michelin Stars from our judges.

We were able to leave our suitcases safely coralled and wandered through some of the alleyways we had seen in the dark. It was all so pretty, and girls being girls, we managed to shop a little as well.

The ferry which should have arrived to take us at 1115 was on a different schedule πŸ˜‚so we had time to enjoy more Greek coffee and young waiter guy πŸ˜†

From our table, we could watch the ferry arrive and unload. The precision in moving all the truck trailers from the bowels of the boat was amazing…… very little space and big trucks with people everywhere !

This photo is the calm before the hive of activity.

Our suitcases were taken from us as we boarded and once again, the friendliness of the people made us smile. The loader saw that we were 6 and when we arrived, he had all 6 cases lined up 😊

The trip to Skopelos didn’t take long. As we arrived at the port, we were amazed at the colour and clarity of the water, tourquoise and clear to the bottom.

We were met by the manager of the villa and had to be tag teamed up to the villa, in her car, as we were hardly packed lightly and there were 6 of us πŸ˜‚ Eleni, a Greek Aussie, gave us a great insight into the island on the journey up the hill to Villa Pasifika. The roads up were narrow and often hairpin and we witnessed 2 trucks endeavouring to pass on a corner ……… wasn’t gonna happen…. one of the trucks had to back up and allow the other one through with us on his tail.

The villa is stunning and the views to die for. We had a wee shuffle of names and numbers in a hat and had our rooms allocated by camp mother. 5 rooms, 6 girls, you get the picture.

As soon as the bikinis were located in the cases, the girls were at pool.

We had a wee drink by the pool, Cointreau on ice with a chocolate chaser, and the villa is christened.

After a sunbath session, we decided to go for a wee reccy. For this we became mountain goats. Glossa is quite hilly, so we will have buns of steel in 8 days. We saw lots of quaint doors, cobbled alleys and friendly locals. The colours on the doors and windows are stunning.

We stopped at the supermarket and loaded up the trolley, and enjoyed wandering the aisles looking at the choices and trying to guess what it was πŸ˜‚ it’s all Greek to me.

The lovely grocery man, offered us free delivery and as we wandered back, it was hilarious as we saw the grocery assistant with all our groceries, hanging on a scooter πŸ˜‚ pass us. Camp mother made us pizza for dinner which went down well with a Syrah. Talk about a bunch of nanas we were all still so jetlagged we were in bed early.

Talk to you tomorrow, wifi gods permitting.

Greece …..is the word…..

Sooooo we cannot rave enough about the Novotel at LHR. Great sleep in a lovely room with 3 little beds in a row.

We woke about 4 am of course and filled in time chatting with NZ, until the coffee was brewed at reception.

After coffee we trundled our cases along the Bath Rd to the bus stop 5 minutes away and got the free bus to the airport to meet the other half of the team. Once we were 6, we headed to the coach to Gatwick.

After an hour through the countryside between airports we were at Gatwick and joining a ” holy moly ” queue to check in.

Boarding passes issues and suitcases checked and we were off to the gate, but not before I was embarrassingly stopped by Avsec with a perfume I had forgotten to put in my LAGS😐 The guy was lovely, funny and sent me on my way.

We flew Thomas Cook airlines on an Airbus A 321. The crew were friendly, while at times a bit lacksidasical.

Landing into Skiathos and seeing the runway, water at both ends, reminded me of landing in Wellington. It was a short runway and handled well by our flight crew. We were bused to the terminal ( really just a shed ) and then picked up and dropped at Pension Eliza. Really happy with the accommodation, views from the balcony and plenty of space.

We soon headed out and made our way down cobblestone streets to a local place to eat … Taverna Cuba. What a setting …… outside tables, 2 beautiful bougainvillea trees and pretty lights.

We started with Ouzo and I had forgotten how good (and strong πŸ˜‚) it is.

I chose fried zucchini, tzatziki and sardines. The sardines were fresh, whole and delicious and I wasn’t the only one who ate them. I’ll let you guess from the photos who shared my sardines. πŸ˜‚

The waiter was incredible and eager to learn what 6 ladies were up to on this trip. That conversation led to quite a few laughs.

After dinner we wandered further down the cobblestone road, just like Dorothy, and found cute allies, friendly people and more cats. I stopped in at a local ice cream/ bakery and bought a Praline chocolate mousse which was a little bit of heaven.

We found the port and the place our ferry leaves from and headed back to the villa for some sleep. Stopping at a little store to buy water, we noticed he sold coffee and asked what time he would be open in the morning. After a wee chat, he gave us a bag of coffee to take with us ….. for free !!! What a place, friendly, beautiful and ……. cats ❀️

Night xx

Pheasant ….. very pleasant πŸ˜Š

No, I didn’t eat it but we ate at the Pheasant Inn tonight. It was only 10 mins walk from the hotel and well worth the walk.

Broccoli and Stilton soup, breaded mushrooms, avocado and shrimps were all delicious. When I ordered all 3, the guy asked if it was all for me? My answer….. of course, I’m hungry πŸ˜‹

The atmosphere was great, low ceilings, cool little windows and friendly staff.

Recommend the food 100% 😊.