Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Kefalonia - Part Seven

Wednesday 25th

Following what had to have been the worst night's sleep yet, we relaxed, expecting the car pick-up to arrive at any minute (the man who delivered it had said about 0900). At 1430, I rang the Avis Kefalonia office and was told, mighty helpfully, 'maybe they'll pick it up this afternoon'. Well, given as it's past noon, I'd hope so! Ignoring the obvious lack of aid from the Avis call operator, we went for a dip in the sea, covered for the first time in factor 30! The water was lovely and cool in the afternoon heat, and we lounged just outside the bay for the first time, in the wind-chopped surface waters. Unfortunately for me, clearly 30 isn't enough protection - my skin began to peel in a thin band across my shoulders post-swim. We'll have to see if I can dredge any more out of the 50 bottle, and shore up the damage with a hefty dose of after-sun.

Refreshed from our swim, we meandered into town and perused the souvenir shops for gifts before heading to our chosen restaurant of the evening - the Taverna 'To Perasma'. All the reviews on trip advisor were true - the food there is wonderful. I sampled a truly different starter this time ; Skordalia, which is pureed potato (like mash but, more in the style of a thick soup) laden with garlic. Katie didn't enjoy the richness of this dish, which was fine with me - I enjoyed the entirety of it. For mains we both tried new things; chicken from the spit for madam, whilst sir chose Chicken Schnitzel. Both meats were deliciously moist, and mine was accompanied by the sweetest and tastiest mustard sauce ever (it was laden with honey). Post-dinner we back-tracked further into town to purchase tomorrow's snacks from the bakery, and an ice cream each from the supermarket (really a corner shop). Back at base, we discover the source of the load Oasis music we awoke to this morning - our new neighbours. Hopefully they won't keep us up tonight, I could do with some sleep!

Thursday 26th

Not much to report today; we ate lunch at the cafe F'iore D'amore and did a little further shop-browsing. One shop keeper gifted me with a Greek-style pen holder, in the shape of a cross-section of an Athenian Greek temple. Georgia, the keep, told us that its an antique - she's had it in the shop for nigh on eight years, and had resolved to give it to someone who was interested in it. I had originally picked it up and examined it when we first entered the shop, so we were given it to take home, after she made us promise to remember her. It just about made our day, and reminded that, despite their driving habits, Greeks are some of the loveliest people you'll ever meet. This evening we were surprised to find Kioni, our hire car, back in the parking lot outside the apartments. Unless she's haunting us, or pining for us to use her once more, someone else must have been given the pleasure. If I find out who, I'll warn them about inclines and third gear!

We returned to the Odyssey hotel tonight, as we had promised Karen. Katie dined on an Armenian Mezes followed by Spetsofai (eggplant wrapped in bacon followed by Greek sausage and pepper in a spicy wine sauce), whilst I had a familiar Pocket Feta, rounded off with a saliva-inducing Spaghetti Bolognese. We were slightly restless afterward, so once we'd said our goodbyes to Karen, we ambled into town to buy an ice cream, enjoying the pre-penultimate night air. It's going to be interesting returning to the UK after staying here; everything is pretty damn-near perfect. Ah well, those worries are for Sunday afternoon, for now, I'll enjoy our little slice of heaven.

Friday 27th

Another slow, relaxed day - making the most of the time we have left. Following some sunbathing on the terrace (on Katie's part; my part was to read, of course), we took a jaunt into town for lunch. We both had Pitta Club's, which were gorgeous and very filling! After a little rest and a cool down in the apartment (it's quite a task walking up that steep drive in this heat you know!). we went for a dip. I used some of the spf 50 dregs on my shoulders as some form of protection (which didn't work - what healed is now slightly peely again; hopefully aftersun to the rescue), and we took our snorkelling gear. We took a route right form the beach this time, to make a change, but found nothing of any note bar the seabed, so pursued our usual path out of the bay, hugging the rocky coast. In the typical law of the universe, we used the last few shots of our underwater disposable camera just before we saw the bigger and impressively-coloured/patterned fish, but we can hope our precious few pics are good enough (they'll have to be!).

As promised, this evening I treated Katie to dinner at the primary seafood restaurant here in Agia Efimia - Poseidon. I had meatballs for starters, of which nine turned up(!), all of which were succulent balls of perfection. Katie had a stuffed pepper, followed by the peace de resistance; Fishermans Spaghetti. This was the long stringy pasta (obviously), accompanied by mussels, squid, octopus and shrimp, topped off by two king prawns, all in a tomato-based sauce. I sampled the cheese and bacon-stuffed chicken breast. Uninspired, as it was s seafood restaurant, I know, but then I'm not that big a seafood lover; I prefer to observe marine life, not eat it!

We mooched along the front after tea, nosing at the boats as has become our nightly way, admiring the two new additions to the port (or, more correctly bay, as they were too large to fit into the marina); one large, two-sailed ship, complete with rigging and a fine-blue lacquered finish. The other a crisp white, multistory luxury yacht with a full waiting staff and crew, dressed up to the nines in their spiffy white uniforms. It's alright for some! Stopping off at the bakery for breakfast supplies, the charming baker-lady whom we've come to know gifted us with two fresh cookies for, as she put it, "her long customers". So it was with bellies full and spirits high we returned to the apartment to face our last day here in Greece, and the penultimate evening draws to a close.

Saturday 28th

This morning was spent in a duel-role; we packed our suitcases (as much as possible at the time) and sunbathed on the terrace. Between which we feasted on ice creams and pastries (and a beer, in Katie's case) - if you can't do it on holiday then when can you, eh? As midday approached we returned to our lunchtime haunt of yesterday and had another double dose of Pita Clubs, whilst watching some of the first Olympic events; of particular note were our swimmers, who we were heartened to see at least one doing well. It was an odd experience, for once the roles reversed; in a foreign country watching the Olympics taking place back home in England! It soon became apparent on our walk home that today was hotter than most (we found out afterward it had topped off at 39 degrees C at the hottest point). Dilly-dallying until late afternoon to avoid the worst of it, we went for our last swim at about 1630. Floating about performing the occasional somersault, back flip or barrel roll, we wiled away the time and, after an adventurous swim to see how far out of the bay we could swim (which was quite a distance, and seemed longer upon turning to swim back against the tide and wind), we trudged back up the hill to the apartment.

Today, not only being the hottest we'd had yet, was also a day for wildlife! On the apartment driveway Katie (A.K.A. eagle-eyes) spotted a tiny lizard scuttling along. Just as we left for dinner that evening, we noticed a preying mantis crouched in one of the snorkeling masks! These are the main two alongside the plethora of dogs, cats, wasps and fish that we encountered here everyday.  Finishing off our holiday as we started it, in Spiros, I enjoyed a Mezes starter followed by a Kefalonian Meat Pie (so finishing EXACTLY how I had begun). Katie had a Saganaki Shrimp (shrimp and feta in a tomato sauce) and a green Mediterranean salad. Finally, unable to put it off any longer we returned to Myrto for the final time, pausing only once along the way for me to scatter low-value cents into the swimming bay for snorkeling kids (or adults) to find. An early start in the morning, and a long day, so time for a (relatively) early final night.

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