Not a lot to write about today. We wondered if we were going to be able to set off and continue our gorgeous cruise around the Ionian, but Captain Yanni showed us the area we’d be sailing in on his marine weather forecast app; to my untrained eye it just looked like a lot of squiggles and arrows and lines a bit like land-map contour lines, but to the seafarer it showed the wind speeds and directions and the height of the sea swells – it was still apparently a force 6/7 on the Beaufort which he said would make a very uncomfortable sailing for us on a vessel the size of the Hemera, as well as the safety issue. ☹
It therefore looked as if we’d be “stuck” in Nydri for another day. One or two passengers expressed concern that we mightn’t make it back to Zakynthos in time for our flight home on Wednesday, but I was of the opinion that if I wasn’t going to make a flight, I’d rather it was on the way back from our holiday than on the way to our destination. 😊
But there were many, many places much worse than Nydri to be stuck in. It’s such a colourful, lively little town with such a picturesque waterfront and beach and lots of interesting little shops to browse in. Therefore, after breakfasting once again at the stern deck, we decided to have a look ashore. My feet and ankles had gone back down to their normal size overnight, so I wanted to visit the shoe shop again, which was handily situated right opposite our gulet, and have a look at what was available in the sale! 😊
We disembarked the Hemera and made our way over the road to the shoe shop, where I tried on a pair of pale orange mules with woven leather straps across the toes and the instep. The insoles were padded and the sandals were very comfortable, and only 29 Euros, so I bought them!
Then we returned to the vessel to drop them off and to collect the bag of Whiskas cat food to give all the stray pussies their breakfast. 😊
Off we wandered into the bright morning sunshine, heading in the general direction of the beach. If I spotted any cats skulking about, simply shaking the bag of cat biscuits was enough to make them come running. Some tucked into their handful of food straight away; others were very timid and, while tempted by the meaty smell coming from my outstretched hand, didn’t want to come close until I’d put the little pile of crunchy treats on the ground for them, in which case they inched along almost on their bellies, their little nostrils twitching, before tentatively starting to eat.
Reaching the gorgeous beach, we walked along the boardwalk for a while, rounding the edge of the small bay and arriving at another beach. The sun loungers were still relatively deserted at this time of the morning; this is the best time. The sky was very blue without a cloud to be seen and the azure sea sparkled and glittered under the bright sun – beautiful.
Standing there for a few minutes, just admiring the scenery and enjoying the feel of the sun on our backs, we decided to walk back along the shop-front way, so we took a shortcut through an alley in between some private dwellings and found ourselves in the semi-pedestrianised area flanked by shops and commercial buildings. Walking along, we saw a souvenir shop selling the usual postcards and holiday tat, so we bought three postcards and stamps and looked for somewhere to sit and have a coffee while writing them out.
Taking our place on some stools at a high table outside a little coffee shop, we each ordered a white Americano and sat and people-watched as I wrote out the postcards. Then we went off to find a postbox; it’s amazing how you see them everywhere when you’re not actually looking for one, but as soon as you need a postbox they are few and far between. 😊 We eventually found the post office, and slipped the cards into the yellow box outside on the wall.
By now the sun was getting high in the sky as the temperature increased. We had intended to return to the Hemera and get our swimming things and go back to the beach, but the thought of “mad dogs and Englishmen” out in the midday sun made us decide to postpone our swim until later this afternoon.
Back on board we enjoyed a pre-luncheon cold beer as we sat and relaxed and passed the time in pleasant and amusing conversation with our fellow passengers. Lunch, served at one o’clock, was a delicious tender chicken on the bone, along with vegetable rice, potato wedges and salad. The food on board is simple and there is not the means or the room to have a lot of choice, but it is fresh, plentiful, tasty and well cooked, and everyone tucked in with gusto. The meal was followed by the fresh fruit bowl, consisting of bananas, peach, plums, pears and apples.
After lunch Trevor and I enjoyed an hour’s power-nap before waking up around three and wandering around the deck for a bit. From snatches of conversation we picked up, it looked as if the Hemera would be leaving at 8.00am tomorrow, as we had a good eight hours of sailing (at our usual speed of 8-10 knots) before reaching Zakynthos.
We’d abandoned the idea of a swim by now; it was one thing to walk the half mile or so along to the lovely little beach, but it was the thought of walking back in my damp cossie, sarong and water shoes that didn’t really appeal. We therefore just went back ashore and walked in a different direction, looking at the boats and just enjoying being on holiday and not at home. 😊
We then went into a bar advertising “all cocktails 5 Euros” and enjoyed an Aperol Spritz each, before embarking the Hemera once again, where I had a shower and shampooed and blow-dried my hair before dressing a little more smartly in a cotton floral maxi dress with a neat little cropped cardigan; tonight it was the special Captain’s Dinner.
When we walked around to the long communal table at the stern, we noticed that the places had been set with place mats, cutlery and wine glasses in each place. Down the centre of the table was an embroidered cotton runner strewn with sea shells and sequins; in the middle was a metal sculpted centrepiece holding the Greek flag. Some red wine had been uncorked to allow it to breathe, while some white wine was in an ice bucket on the bar. Hanging from the ceiling on hooks was a couple of macrame light-holders, also decorated with shells. The whole effect was utterly charming.
We each took our places at the table and noticed that an extra place had been set tonight in the centre – Captain Yanni was gracing us with his presence tonight. As the wine was uncorked and the glasses filled, Wendy thanked us for booking with Newmarket Holidays and Sail in Greece (the company from whom the Hemera had been chartered). We all raised our glasses and toasted each other, then Mohammed the chef stuck his head out from the galley and announced that dinner was ready. 😊
Tonight we enjoyed a delicious selection of typical Greek gyros, consisting of chicken pieces, roasted aubergine and courgette, and Greek salad made up with tomatoes, cucumber, onion and olives. There was also long, crispy potato wedges and vegetable rice if we wanted it. A veritable Greek feast, we washed it down with our cold white wine and enjoyed the good company and the sultry Greek night. It was fabulous. 😊
Sitting around afterwards we relaxed and chatted and finished off all the wine between us. As the drinks flowed, we laughed at risqué jokes and regaled each other with amusing anecdotes – it was a great evening.
Around 9.30pm, as it was our last night in Nydri (after our unplanned extended stay!) Trevor and I decided to go out and walked up and down the streets, feeding the stray cats some more. We thought we’d finish off the evening in Pyxida, our favourite little bar where the barmaid greeted us, recognising us from early visits.
Trevor had a couple of beer while I enjoyed an Aperol Spritz followed by a caipirinha. Then we sat there in a semi-somnolent, companionable silence, before easing ourselves off the comfortable couch and heading back to the Hemera. We were surprised to see it was nearly midnight – the time had flown. As we approached the gulet, we saw that the rear decks were all in darkness; clearly everyone else had turned in, including the crew, apart from one guy who was ‘on watch’ tonight. Nodding a goodnight to him, we made our way along the corridor to cabin #1, and settled down once more in our comfortable bed, where we were asleep almost immediately.