Indeed dennisn, we have been spoiled with a flurry of activity near the end of the season, catching up with all 3 of your holidays has been wonderful! Thank you all 😄 Hope you’re not feeling too blue after your return and looking forward to your final updates.
I am about to try doing a couple of videos of our travels in a Jimny
First, Koukounaries to Aselinos, then Xanemos to Ayia Paraskevi. All cross country stuff, ignore the times marked on these images from Google Maps, If and when I can upload threm, you'll see from the video footlines that I was often doing at best 3mph.
We decided that after two days of jeeping around the island, we would reward ourselves with a day of lounging by the pool. So, we went for the early morning beach swim a bit later than usual and just revelled in it. Breakfast was our usual fare - diabetic friendly stuff for Vera, Grapefruit, wheetabix or wheat stuff, yogurt, fruit. For me, five digestive biscuits with a slice of tomato on top. Then we finished off our grapes, cold out of the fridge, absolute nectar of the Gods! And the rest of the day, in and out of the pool, with home made lunch some time or other - can't remember what diabetic stuff was partaken of, but I had a bag of origami crisps and the last of my Mavrodaphne. We ate at night in Vareli, after the tzatziki both having Kleftiko and they seemed extra large portions. As a farewell complimentary sweet, a bowl of fruit which we had difficulty eating, it was so much extra on top.
Thursday 20th September.
Our last full day to go the rounds of farewells to as many friends as we could get to. First, of course, beach swim. The sea was in such a good mood, we did extra ups and downs along the beach to try and cover for what we wouldn't be doing on Friday. Five swans came to bid us farewell, but did so by holding a defensive line between us and our bag of towels and clothes - your favourite Big Girls Blouse hesitated, then bottled it and waited ages for them to move off (well, a zillion years ago I was attacked by a swan whilst canoeing on the river Ouse in Bedford, not an enjoyable experience). We had some unwanted rice cakes for the terrapins, but the swans followed and stood looking at us, so we gave them some. They tried one bite, sniffed in disapproval and walked past us into the pool to munch greenery. I had taken quite a long time to come out of the sea, feeling very emotional about the place and drinking in every moment of pleasure. I can clearly remember my last looks around the beach and seascape.
Vera had an appointment with the nails people in a place called Angela and the boss lady told me to have a free gift session with the feet eating baby sharks. Normally 10 minutes for 10 Euros, they put me in before they even started Vera's nails, took nearly an hour with her and then let me out. The sharks kept at my feet and toes all that time, so you'd expect me to feel very clean-footed, but all I felt wasw a bit of relief to get away from all the nibbling and possibly a bit cleaner down there. So off for a stroll around seeing a few of our friends. When we were ready to settle our bill at Nikos Taverna, he brought me a free beer to swell my already extended waistline!
Our last meal was in Jasteri, Vera for Kalamari (which she vows is the best she's had, so it will be a regular return) and I had sea bass fillets, another best ever. We both just managed, because the portions there are a tiny bit more managable. Complimentary sweet of yoghurt with carrot stuff and honey, difficult to describe how delicious it was!
Transfer coach was on time and I had already been on Flightradar24 to check and found that our flight had left on time (for our flight, that is, namely 10 minutes later than scheduled!) so I expected an early arrival. Not to be though, we learned later there were strong headwinds, so it arrived on the heels of the Stansted Thomas Cook, which delayed it, to take a turn round Skopelos until the runway was clear. We went straight into the departures lounge instead of hanging about in the cafe thing. I say straight in, but what I mean is we went to the entrance where the security people were doingb a terrific job - I really seriously doubt if they have any idea how to do it, the box woman was making us put everything in boxes and told me "watch", then "belt" and I said I don't wear a belt only elasticated waist, she gruffed "belt" again and I pulled out my waistband and twanged it for her and she let me go through the bridge thing. I smiled at the nice young uniformed lady at the other side and offered myself arms akimbo, but she turned me down. Meantime, Vera was having a problem, being wiped for drugs and haviing her hand baggage wiped for them too. She thinks it's because she's diabetic, I think it's because they have to wipe somebody every now and again and she drew the short straw.
We got a seat in the very empty departures lounge with no difficulty. By the time our boarding was approaching, they were knee deep in the aisles as usual - it made me think back to July last year with some nostalgia, when I beat all the queues in my wheelchair!
I can't understand why strong headwinds had delayed our incoming flight and still were to delay our homeward flight. Not that the captain told us so, his announcements were the usual totally incomprehensible high speed efficiency crackling to reassure us of his ability. The senior flight attendant wasn't having any nonsense from us either. Turbulence an hour or so into the flight had the seatbelts sign on and she gave a woman a proper telling off for not getting back into her seat fast enough. I went for the toilet queue (no more than two queueing, she cautioned) and as I stood there, a young woman came from the front carrying a baby, so I eased aside to let her past. And she joined the queue in front of me!
We touched down at Birmingham at 3:40pm and reached the toilets en route to immigration at 4:25pm! The plane was unloaded by steps, not a caterpillar, and only one set of steps, one door at the front. It took nearly half an hour to get something like 200 passengers off the bluddy thing - have you ever watched these airline stories where the trainees have to get passengers out of a burning airliner in 90 seconds? Then another half an hour to get through the new, improved magic passport gates with crocodile approaches. I at last spotted a tiny diagram showing which way up and round to stick my passport in and it grudgingly let me pass. Not many minutes after that, we reached baggage reclaim, well, the entrance to baggage reclaim, our carousel was number 3 and we had a long walk to it. Our suitcases were no surprise in coming among the later batches - obviously SOMEBODY gets their bags first, but I have a feeling they are the secret passengers who are there to test the system so they always get their bags first.
And out to Marks and Sparks for a sandwich and a couple of supplies to see us through the night. M42 obviously mid rush hour. We reached home at 7pm, a mere 14 hours after getting out of bed in Skiathos. It's cold and raining, so I can't get my washing dry (hah, joke, I never get my washing dry!). I'll just do my new ticker to get my tucker up.
EDITED TO ADD - MY WINDOW SEAT HAD A WINDOW, HURRAY!!!
Sorry not to have posted earlier, busy week at work (they all will be now right up to xmas!). Great reports as usual and enjoying the video though im having to dip in when i get a few mins in installments. Ive walked the section from Kouk round the headland to the mandraki xerxes turnoff twice and having walked other bits of the island i still think the views down to some of those obscure little beaches takes some beating. Also good to see what happens to the trail beyond xerxes. I think i did a little bit around there on foot in 2015 but might not have been same track.
I’m sure some of them will be completely impassable except in something with very big wheels or tracked machines. That sort of rain rips down the tracks and when it reaches a bend, it tears a channel across - I’ve driven over a few with a Jimny, but I would expect far worse effects now from this storm.