The Peloponnese

After a dawn departure from Milos and then a brisk 60Nm  sail, we made landfall at Monemvasia a spectacular town on the southeastern coast of  the Peloponnese.

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IMG_2162IMG_2163IMG_2166We rounded the notorious Cape Maleas in absolute calm and headed for Yithion (aka Gythion). This was reported to be a harbour infrequently visited by yachts, but a safe place to leave a boat while exploring the Mani peninsula and the town of Mystras. The harbour is currently being converted into a cruiseship port so is rather dusty, noisy and dirty. We squeezed Sea Cloud in between  a fishing boat and a small motor boat and set off to rent a car to explore the Mani Peninsiula.

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This was the first place in Greece where they would not accept an Aust drivers licence, so those plans dashed and we caught the local bus to Mystras, a Byzantine town set in hills high above Sparti.

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Ian loved the church named Peribleptos (translated as looking good from every side)

P1040159 IMG_2198 IMG_2202Back to Yithion for what had become our usual dinner – marinated anchovies, horta (local cooked green veggies) and grilled sardines.

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A treacherous place to work – waiters have to cross the road with our dinner, and not so relaxing for us. Luckily there was the sea on the other side of our table.

P1040148With strong winds predicted, we headed back around Cape Malea, stopping for all too short a time at the lovely Ormos Frangos, on Elafonisos Island.

IMG_2224Sea Cloud was the only yacht in Sabatiki a small fishing  harbour. It was beautifully calm after the boisterous sea outside. The local fishermen were friendly and the meal at the only taverna surprisingly good – a great find.

IMG_2245After a night at Astrous, a lovely town with a newly completed marina, we sailed to Napflion at the top of the Argolic Gulf where we met John Dent who joined us for 2 weeks sailing. The Peloponnese is a region of market gardens and fruit trees. The Napflion saturday market was one of the best we have found in our travels. Beautiful fresh fruit, veg,  and the best citrus honey Ian has found anywhere, and believe me he is always buying or tasting honey.

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We managed to squeeze in a quick trip to Mycanae before John arrived – another must see ancient site in this area.

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IMG_2273 An attempt to anchor in Hydra, a beautiful island we had visited by ferry a few years ago almost ended the marriage. All we wanted to do was get out of the Saronic  (so full of selfish charterers) and back into the much less crowded Aegean.IMG_0020Despite a fishing new rod (thanks to Sel at Pruva Hotel in Gocek) and reel (thanks to John Bowyer), we still have yet to catch a fish. I’m not too heartbroken as I’m not sure I could cope with blood all over the teak. Ian continues to try daily…..

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Sounion, with its beautiful temple on top of the hill

IMG_0038 IMG_0040We managed to find the lion of Kea, something we had missed when visiting here with Andrew in 2009

IMG_0088Kea,  an important place for John (and his daughter Kea) has a charming chora

IMG_2286and wonderful traditional butcher, who,  not surprisingly seeing the size of his knife, was missing  half a finger…

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The lovely Sand Bar Bay in Kythnos, although  full of boats, was still delightfulIMG_2299IMG_2298Our old favourite bay Kavea was not so delightful as it is now a watersport centre. Having jet skis and people towed around screaming on large inflatables is not very relaxing. Luckily the high winds the next day prevented their fun and increased our level of enjoyment.

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Seriphos was our last Aegean island before heading back to the mainland.

IMG_2314 IMG_2325The local delivery man in the Serifos chora

P1040205 IMG_2329John and Ian looking pretty relaxed on our last night in Koutala bay – southern shore of Serifos – 3 boats only.

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