Yes folks, it is I l’eclare returned from my soujourn disguised as a simple greek peasant.
We had a fantastic time, only went for a week unfortunatley, and it absolutely pissed passed.
It started on Saturday at the airport where we checked into the Servisair lounge for a bit of peace and quiet and FREE drinks.(well almost for free, its cost 16 of our english earth pounds ..thats 30$us or 25euros approx per person ).
I think it was the free drinks that did it for me originally, but after having been in there in July, and sampled the benefits, we have decided that this is the way forward.
MUCH beer and a lots of Jamesons Irish whisky later, it was on the plane Kos bound. I dont really remember much about this, surprisingly, but when we got to Kos we transferred ourselves to our apartment in Kefalos via a stop at the local Kebab house for a gyros & a Mythos beer! lovely!
This is becoming a bit of a ritual.
Next morning we made a beeline to see mine host Yannis, to say thanks for sorting out the car, and also to pay for the apartment, and for a quick cup of coffee.
One and a half hours later we were on our way to the beach to meet up with our friend Mike, who has umbrellas there.
It was great to see everybody again. They made us feel so welcome that it was as though we hadn’t been away.Then it was off to Kos town to sort out the diving for the next week.
Steve was very interested in my new toy , a fuji f11 camera with an underwater housing, which we discussed over a beer or two in Jazzmins whilst watching the football.
Steve is a West Ham supporter, they were playing Newcastle, and lost.
Steve was pissed off….big style.
Diving sorted for wednesday and friday, we hotfooted it back to Kefalos for some scoff at The Rainbow restaurant, where we have some more very good friends, Chrysoulla and Yannis, and their 3 rugrats , Irene, Connie and Vassilis. and also Evienia (pronounced Ev ee en ee a) and another Yannis who work there.
Talk about a welcome when we got there! It was fantastic, a genuine pleasure to be seeing each other again
A late night followed, catching up from the last 2 months… we were fucked.. both parties, but neither of us wanted to go.
Next day we were so tired we really didn’t do much apart from go to the beach, and eat at night.It sounds piss boring, but I promise you it wasn’t. Its strange… if we had done that over here, I would consider it a day wasted, but there, just talking seeing ,and being with friends..well it just seems right.
Next morning we awoke.. fucked!
we decided to go to the village and have a look around, and also to go the the church and have a look at the view from there.
Unfortunatley, because it was pitch black last time we went, we got lost, which is a fucking miracle in itself, and instead of going to the church, we made our way round the back of the village, almost to the coast, up and down roads that were little more than dirt tracks.. in a Hyundai Atos!
Do not knock these joke automobiles.This one took us over hill and dale, up and down shit dirt mountain tracks no probs.
Eventually we arrived, past the wind farm, at the church.All that was there was a shepherd, 2 dogs ,5 goats, and us. It was so peaceful, the view was superb, hot sun, a gentle breeze, with the sounds of the goats bells tinkling in the background. I think the term is idyllic.
After a hard afternoon on the beach chatting and laughing, we went to Sebastians for dinner.There were 2 reasons for this, first Sebastian is Chrysoullas brother, second Mikes best friend Ellias works there. This guy is a diamond, just like mike, its quite easy so see why they get on, same sense of humour.
Next day Wednesday saw us up bright and early to go diving.
This is a sport I have really got into, and happily now so is Mrs. Dog, so we can enjoy this together, plus there are quite a few "easy " dives so we haven’t got to go too deep, Mrs. Dog can only go to 12m at the mo, and plenty of places to try out the new camera!!
The first dive was great, took loads of pics, some good, some not, and the old growler was great, no problems, a good buddy dive with.
So good in fact, that we dived the wreck.
Unfortunately it was a dive too soon for the old dragon, which didn’t start well when she dropped my torch!
luckily I caught it before it went too far down, but it was a bad start for her, and upset her confidence a bit, and to be fair she struggled with her bouyancy a bit, and was glad when we all surfaced.
A post dive ritual of decompression fluid, was intermixed with a critique of my underwater pics.Its just as well I am not a sensitive sort, but I took on board the advice & critical points for the future.
Back to Sebastians for some nosh that night, we again saw Ellias, who had been having a long chat with Mike about a " man in the boat ".
I should just say , that the day before I had been trying to explain the principle of " the man in the boat " to Mike.
Mike apparently got this principle, and had been parading up & down the beach at Club Med shouting " man in the boat, man in the boat " all day!
Thursday we tried to find a cave called Aspri Petra, which contains stalctites and stalacmites, and is a local hidden treasure.
So bastard hidden, that after 3 hours trying to find the fucking place we gave up.
Oh well maybe next year.
More beach time saw our tans coming on nicely thank you very much, and an early night saw us again in Kos Town the next day for some more sub aqua time.
The night before I had had a really wierd dream, which had involved me, a flooded camera , and no air! told you it was wierd!
I like to put my kit together early, so there is no rush,(it also gives me time to check the old growlers stuff out as well ), but this time I had THREE sucessive O ring failures.
This is a very important bit of equipment as it stops the air leaking out of the tank at the top.
first time was a bit of a fright, second time was worrying, but the third time fair nearly made me shit my pants.Coupled with my dream of the previous night, I was starting to get VERY NERVOUS!!
A quick change of regs and a spot of calming down talk from the lovely Katrin helped a bit.
Putting the old growlers stuff together for her, I thought " if this fails now, fuck the dive, i’m not going in"
This time we were on a photography training dive for a guy called Mick, which suited us fine. Clear waters, lots of fish, and Steve gave Mrs. Dog a camera to play with.
A revelation… concentrating on the camera took her mind away from the bouyancy problems of the previous dive.
The camera also took my mind off the previous o ring failures, and we ended up having a great dive, with both of us taking loads of photos.
2nd dive saw me on a "deep dive " to 22m on the Thor Star, and the old woofer,the potteries with the captain Perikles as her buddy.
This guy can dive, what a great compliment to her that he was happy to dive with her as a buddy, and also a great boost to her confidence.
A great day diving, rounded off with a barbecue on the boat, complimented with plenty of wine and beer, and a late night out till 4.00am!!
Saturday we were back on the boat, to pay, and say goodbye to the folks on the boat.
This was a bit emotional for a few reasons.
First , it would be another 10 months before we got there again, and secondly it was goodbye properly for some of the guys.
Steve is going to Kefalonia next year to set up his own PADI dive business, and will probably take quite a few of the dive staff with him.
Quite a few of the crew will have left next year,for various reasons, and I think that it will be a bit different, with us getting to know everybody again.
At least Athina & Perikles will be there… hopefully
I hate last days, this one especially. In July when we were saying goodbye, we knew we would be back soon, but this time, as already detailed, it will be another 10 months, and thats if we can afford it health and wealth permitting.
So it was back to Paradise beach to say bye to everybody, though only Mike & Maritsa were there, becuase a relative of Maria and Katerina had died the day before, and was being buried that day.
Talk about quick!
After an emotional goodbye and Mike had gone, we stayed on the beach for as long as possible, milking the last bits of sun and sights , sounds and feelings of a place that one day we hope to make our home.
The Rainbow that night was subdued, with everybody feeling the pressure of "last night blues".
These people are so friendly, knowing that we couldn’t take anything eatable back with us, had bought US a present of a lovely greek vase, which was presented to us in a grand fashion.
We really didn’t want to go home, and would have quite happily stayed there, but home is home , and work pays the bills, so it was into the car, and off to the airport for one of the worst flights we have ever been on, not because of the Airline, but of the weather, which was SHIT!
Talk about a rough journey, no sleep, sitting next to a bloke from Nottingham or some where near to that, who insisted on spreading himself out and making himself quite comfortable thank you even though we were being tossed about! Tosser!
That morning it was back to work.. land at 5.30am at work at 9.00am!!
It’s a tough life!