|Small boats at Lakka|
Things got off to an inauspicious start when I realised the train guard had inadvertly sold me a day return ticket -not one valid for two weeks. Not a good start but soon sorted out. Failing to get into my room at the Gatwick Hilton I was informed that the room wasn't ready yet and I had to haul my luggage back down to reception to get a new room allocated. It was just as well I was already in Greek Island mode and didn't let any of this bother me. Things happen, or in the case of my flight to Corfu didn't. At around three hours I'll admit it is not the longest of flights to Greece but nowhere had it said anything about no meal being served on the plane. I'd only had a snack at Gatwick assuming there would be lunch coming in flight.
Still, shortly aboard the fast Kamelia Lines boat for the 90 minute or so crossing to Paxos, I was able to sit outside in the bow area and enjoy the view ahead -which mainly consisted of dark black cloud. Eventually the captain blew the horn and indicated we should all come inside as we approached the storm. Being inside wasn't as bad as I expected as we got to watch the crew in action not least the impossibly glamourous young woman expertly steering our boat through the, by now, rolling seas. When lightning bolts started hitting the sea around the boat with a loud crack it just added to the fun (possibly not for those letting out screams each time).
Finally, after an eventful journey (apart from the non event that was lunch) I was able to open the shutters of my appartment in Lakka and step out onto my balcony knowing I was, at last, back on a small Greek island. Now all I needed was the Retsina (and food). Luckily the Bastas appartments/hotel (call it what you will -they do) are just a few yards walk from the harbour and its collection of tavernas, bars and several mini-markets so the Retsina and food dilema was quickly resolved. It turned out that the Bastas was right next to the appartments I had stayed in back in 2003 which gave me a glow of nostalgia every time I passed them.
I am pleased to say that nothing much in Lakka or the rest of Paxos seemed to have changed much in the eleven years I had been away. The island is densely packed with pine and olive trees and quite a contrast to the barren look of some islands. This makes Paxos ideal for walking as there is plenty of shade available when you want it. And I certainly did plenty of walking, accompanied by my camera of course.
|Local bus in Loggos|
The main beach at Lakka is Harami beach which you reach via a stone path at the left hand side of the harbour. This boasts an excellent taverna where I enjoyed a number of lunches of Saganaki and a cooling Mythos beer -with a great sea view. Another favourite lunch venue was the Albatross snack bar (better than it sounds) right where the path to Harami starts.
Paxos was everything I remembered from eleven years ago and more. Peaceful and friendly with lots of lovely walks to be had. The bad weather I encountered on arrival very soon passed and apart from the odd light shower (and a reported tornado -more likely a water funnel!) I enjoyed two weeks of glorious Greek sunshine.
|Ilida II hydrofoil, Corfu harbour|
Goatiness rating for Paxos still remains low as I only really saw the few outside Lakka -there's just too many trees to fit in the goats I suspect. Cockerel Count on this visit dropped from High to Medium (quite possibly because my rear facing appartment didn't really let me hear the dawn crowing as much as last time). I would have to place Paxos in my top four favourite Greek islands now and is certainly one I would seriously consider making a third trip to one day. Regards, David.