We didn’t manage to find a car for any sightseeing around South Evia although they did offer us a 50cc scooter but with the poor roads and high winds, we declined. However, we found a walking tour to the Demossari Gorge. This involved an hour’s coach journey along tracks and roads that were only just wide enough. God forbid anything coming the other way! We reached the start of the walk near the top of Mount Ochi and were almost blown off it by the strong NE winds. We then began our descent to the gorge. Despite being August and 35 degrees in the shade, the walk was beautifully shaded walking through trees.
The whole thing took about 4 hours as there were around 30 of us with varying levels of pace and included a couple of stops. The last one being at some rock pools where we had our sandwiches and bathed our feet in crystal clear, cold water.
We finished the walk at an old chapel and were then whisked away in a converted van. The van could take ten people so there was a shuttle service. The way we were crammed into the van would be completely illegal in the U.K. but at least it was only for 15 minutes. We then deposited near a beach at a Kantina to get a well deserved cold beer. The waves crashing on the beach were spectacular but meant that we couldn’t swim in the sea.
Back in Karystos we treated ourselves to a meal out as we couldn’t be bothered to cook and found a busy taverna, Cavo d’Oro, down a side street. €15 each including wine – bargain. The next day we were both a bit sore but decided the best thing was to walk it off. High above the town is a Frankish/Venetian castle called Castello Rosso that was built in the 13th century. It’s now a ruin but it does provide amazing views of the bay. We sensibly decided on a taxi there and to walk back as it was going to be another hot day and there would be no shade. Near to the castle is the village of Myli, a verdant oasis amongst so much barren rock. The village has a river running through it that’s fed by mountain springs. Crystal clear and very drinkable.
The following day was Friday and we knew we needed to get back to our home port of Lavrion (25nm away) before the stronger meltemi winds came through over the weekend. After leaving the relative shelter of the harbour, we were soon flying along with 30 knot winds behind us. We only needed a small amount of the genoa (front sail) out and we were still doing over 7 knots. The wind abated a little as we drew closer to Lavrion but it was still gusting over 20 knots in Olympic Marina. However, with help from the marineros we moored up safely. We then had to get as many of our ‘putting Nimmie to bed’ jobs that were wind dependent as possible as we knew the winds would be even stronger from Saturday morning through to Monday night. This included taking the genoa sail down just as the sun was setting and the wind had died. We could then do the other jobs over the weekend in our own time, although with the long jobs list we have, it’s been full on so far! Fingers crossed that we can be lifted out Tuesday or, worst case, Wednesday morning before flying back to the U.K. on Wednesday evening – another summer sailing at an end.