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Lucy and Jonno’s Visit to Corfu

September 10, 2010

D & I with Lucy and Jonno

We have now been in Corfu for nearly two weeks and like it here very much. Those of you on Facebook will already have seen the photos; I will include some on this post for the rest of you.

Having arrived here safely on Sunday 29th August, we were very thankful to have made the trip from the Straits of Messina as swiftly as we did because the following Tuesday and Wednesday were extremely windy (force 6 – 7) so not much fun to sit out in the cockpit or use the marina pool, despite being quite sunny. The first couple of days here were spent doing the usual chores, i.e. laundry, scrubbing decks etc. We discovered that there is a large and very good supermarket just outside the marina which is very handy. They seem to stock just about anything we may need and the fresh produce is good quality. This makes a pleasant change after Italy where, surprisingly, we had all sorts of problems sourcing fresh food supplies. There is also a small supermarket actually in the marina which is handy for water etc as it doesn’t then have to be carried far, not to mention the occasional ice-cream!

Sunset over the marina

The marina here is really very nice; in addition to the above-mentioned little supermarket, there is a chandlery, a swimming pool and a number of bars and restaurants. There is even a dive centre here although I have not actually managed to find it open yet so possibly it has already shut up shop for the winter. This is a pity, if so, because we have done only one “fun” dive this summer so it might have been nice to do a few more. (We have of course, used the scuba gear several times to clean the bottom of the boat, sort out the propeller etc. but that hardly counts.)

J with our lovely orange scooter

So last Tuesday we cycled to the holiday town of Gouvia. Initially we were looking for a Vodafone shop or similar in order to sort out internet access. There were only internet cafes and bars offering wifi in Gouvia, but we did notice a number of car and scooter hire businesses. Those of you who know Duncan even slightly will be aware of his addiction to two-wheeled transport so by the end of the morning and for the princely sum of €50, we were in proud possession of a bright orange, (Mags, you’d approve) tatty-looking scooter. We rented it just for the week, ostensibly in order to make life easier whilst Jonno and Lucy were in Corfu. It turned out to pay dividends, not least because the English guy at the scooter hire shop was able to direct us to the nearest Vodafone shop so off we set.

Thankfully there was a young English girl working for Vodafone as our Greek is all but nonexistent. We soon established that the best bet was to buy a year’s contract as we are likely to be in Greek waters for at least a year and also this is the only package that enables us to use Skype. We had gone armed with passports and other forms of ID. However in order to sign up for a contract we needed confirmation from the marina that we are staying here, so back we came to obtain the requisite piece of paper before returning once more to the shop. By this time, the scooter had justified its existence as the shop is about 5 miles from the marina; there and back twice, if not impossible on bicycles, would have been tedious at the very least. Sorting out the contract took forever, but eventually we were able to return to the boat and respond to a heap of overdue emails, check the bank account etc.

That evening as we sat aboard “Curly Sue” for a drink with our new friends, Susan and Andy, we had a call from Jonno to say they had arrived safely and we arranged to join them for dinner the next evening. On Wednesday, the weather still being blusterous, Duncan and I went into Corfu town. We have been there a number of times having holidayed together on Corfu twice in the past. (We were here about 10 years ago with Polly and her friend Paula, and then again two years ago to do our Day Skipper qualification. I also came here with Jonno & Polly and a neighbour of mine plus her 3 children about 24 years ago but that’s another story!) Duncan and I both like Corfu town very much; it’s attractive in a ramshackle, slightly down-at-heal sort of way with lots of touristy shops selling goods made of carved olive wood, and the ubiquitous T-shirts etc. plus lots of bars and restaurants and quite a number of useful shops, so we had a good wander round. I was able to replace my flip flops for the second time this summer, one of my latest pair having been blown away by the wind from the pontoon the previous evening whilst we were aboard “Curly Sue.”

The view from their villa as the light was fading.

On Wednesday evening we climbed aboard the Orange Peril and set off for Kentroma in the north east of the island. Lucy & Jonno were staying here with Lucy’s sister, Emily (who we had seen earlier this summer on Ibiza) and her partner Rich. Emily had found them a fabulous villa perched high up on the hillside with wonderful views south towards Gouvia and Corfu town. We all went out for a very nice meal together at the White House in Kalami where Lawrence Durrell lived in the 1930s.

On the beach at Kalami Bay

The following day they all came over at about midday and off we set in “Rampage” to do a bit of sailing and find a pleasant bay for lunch and a swim. We made our way, mostly on the motor, to Kalami Bay and after lunch and a swim we commandeered several sunbeds near the bar and enjoyed ice-creams and cold drinks whilst Jonno and Rich entertained us by playing Frisbee and beach tennis and diving off the small jetty whilst D read his book and the ladies chatted. By the time we started to head back to the marina the wind had got up and we had a cracking sail most of the way back. That evening we all went out again, this time to a restaurant in Corfu town where we drank a toast to celebrate Duncan’s and my 32nd wedding anniversary!

Dinner in Corfu town

Sadly last Friday and Saturday were pretty miserable – chilly and wet and I felt very sorry for the others. Jonno came over and joined us for a few hours on Saturday afternoon while the others went shopping in Corfu town in the rain. On Sunday the weather perked up again so D and I went back into town together and wound up having lunch there. We had both intended to just have a snack but in the end we had a very substantial, quite delicious meal. Those of you who have been counting will note that this was our third meal out in less than a week. I would not wish you to think that we always live like this – indeed we are now completely broke and will be living on very basic rations for the rest of the month!! However it was great fun and if any of you come to visit us, we will take you there as it was great food, very reasonably priced.

Duncan waiting for his "snack" lunch!

Duncan collecting Jonno & Lucy from the beach at Agni Bay

On Monday we again arranged to meet up with Lucy & Jonno. Emily and Rich were off out on their own for the day so D&I agreed to sail round to Agni Bay, the nearest bay to their villa, where the others dropped them off to meet us. We had a lovely day, sailing up a bit further round the coast to a little island with a lighthouse between Corfu and Albania and then back to a small, deserted bay for lunch and a swim. Later we headed back towards Agni but instead went into the bay just north of there and once again, swam and went to the beach bar until Emily and Rich arrived at about 7pm to whisk the others off for a special dinner to celebrate Rich’s 30th birthday. It was a brilliant, fun day and D and I were back in the marina just before it got dark and as there was no wind, I managed to bring “Rampage” into her berth without any undue excitements or alarm to our neighbours. (I really need to practice taking the helm in marinas as I fallen into the habit of always allowing Duncan to do the manoeuvring which is not very sensible.) Anyway, I think our two trips with them have whetted Jonno’s appetite to do some more sailing with us which would be great. Thankfully the weather stayed fine for them on Tuesday which was the last day of their holiday. Duncan and I returned the scooter and D packed for his trip to the UK. He was booked onto the same flight as the others so that evening, they very kindly picked him up en route for the airport and he spent Tuesday and Wednesday night with Lucy and Jonno at their flat in Putney.

Lucy and Jonno aboard "Rampage" - sorry their not smiling!

Duncan with Lucy and Jonno at a beach bar after a day out on "Rampage"

I have spent the time while he has been away, cleaning the boat, doing laundry (trust me, a much more protracted business than with an automatic washing machine,) and going to the pool in the marina. Duncan has taken the opportunity whilst in London to buy some better charts of the Ionian, (considerably cheaper in UK) and stock up on Cadbury’s Instant Drinking Chocolate to which he is addicted and which is one of the few items we have unable to buy abroad. Last night he made his way to Deepcut in Surrey to be “dined out” by the Corps. Our friend Pete Lynch was also being dined out and generously agreed to collect Duncan’s DJ from his sister, Jinny’s and bring it down to Deepcut with him. Having inspected said dinner jacket, he then did the noble thing and had it dry cleaned! I know Duncan’s aim was to look as ramshackle as possible at his last official Army function but I, at least, am most grateful to Pete for his thoughtfulness!!

So now I await the return of the Skipper who is due to fly back here this evening. There are thunderstorms forecast for the next couple of days and indeed there have been a few rubbles of thunder while I have been writing this. Once the weather clears up we aim to head off south for Paxos, Antipaxos and possibly Levkas.

Jonno enjoying his day on "Rampage"

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3 comments

  1. Know what you mean about Italy and fresh food!! I’ve only been there a couple of times but found that you can buy delicious fresh food if you ‘dine out’ but goodness only knows where they get the ingredients as there never seems to be any fresh food in the shops!! I think that there is a conspiracy, to ensure that tourists have to spend lots of money in the restaurants!!


    • Glad to find that we aren’t the only ones to suffer from the problem…. Keep smiling 🙂


  2. Well done Pete in thwarting the skipper’s plans – Made me laugh!
    Julia should write for the Corfu Tourist board – I’m hooked and definitely coming out in February!
    Mags
    xxx



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