|Emborio harbour on Halki island|
Departures and Arrivals:
Things got off to a great start when after queuing for check in at Gatwick for some time I realised I was heading for "The Gambia Experience". I'm sure that would have been lovely but it was The Halki Experience at the next check in that I was hoping for. A slightly delayed departure for the Enterair flight but pleasant and friendly cabin crew made up for this. I had slight concerns about the ferry connection due to the late arrival at Rhodes (especially when the Tilos bound couple in front of me were told they were being overnighted) but I was soon on a mini bus heading for Kamiros Skala. This was the first time in four visits it had been a mini bus rather than a full size coach and it became clear why after boarding the Nissos Halki when I realised there were just five of us making the crossing. I've never been in July before but I had expected it to be much busier than my last two visits in June. I have to say it was quite an emotional moment when we arrived at Emborio harbour -with a real sense of home coming.
|Restored chapel at the Crusader castle on Halki|
I know this is a subject dear to the heart of many so a quick word on the subject. I mainly used the Lefteris supermarket -being closest to my studio and my 1.5 ltr bottle of Restsina started off at 5euro. To my horror supplies ran out a few days into my holiday and I made to the trip to the Petros supermarket only to be charged 7euros for the same Restsina! Thankfully, Lefteris soon received fresh supplies though price now migrated to 5.50euro. They did run out a second time but had the alternative of the 500ml bottles at 2euro so substituted with those.
|The Church of the Holy Trinity above Chorio on Halki|
Walks to Kania:
I've posted before that the upgraded Kania beach isn't to my personal taste and much preferred the unspoilt cove it used to be - with just a lizard or two for company. Nethertheless, I still always enjoy the road walk to there and back (I just leave out the stopping bit in the middle!). It's always good to see those bee hives are still there as they always have been and those two huge abandoned trailer things are still parked up at the side of the road. I made a more concerted effort this year to try and see what they actually were but lack of any name plates or signage on them left me none the wiser. Some sort of refridgeration units connected to the old fish farm? Something to do with road building or power lines? In fact I was on the right track with power lines as a regular on the excellent Halki Visiting forum informed me that they were emergency generators intended for use during power cuts. It seems they arrived, parked up and were then never used. Looking at them now I think it safe to say they never will be used.
|Old stone building by Emborio harbour on Halki|
Orange alert and Apaches:
My holiday this year certainly co-incided with a lot of events both in the UK and elsewhere. One such event was the attempted military coup just across the water in Turkey. This manifested itself on Halki in the following week when we had two ribbed patrol boats with guns fore and aft turn up in the harbour followed shortly after by two Apache helicopters thundering low over the island. I thought it was some kind of excercise but it turned out that the Greek military had gone to Orange Alert (combat ready) after reports of some Turkish military attempting to head for Symi after the failure of the coup. That was about it really but we did have the boats return a few days later before heading back towards Rhodes
|The Greek flag flying at Emborio on Halki|
My time in Halki was livened up by the presence of an U.S. actress (not a household name in the UK but she has appeared in numerous television and film roles). Initially on a yacht moored in the harbour, her and her family later moved to apartments close to mine. What was fun was that every night she organised games for the children on the harbour front. I never worked out exactly what the game involved but it consisted of her directing individual or groups of children to various points around the harbour (some sort of strategy game I guess). They all seemed to have a good time and one night there must have been fifty or so taking part! I'm not mentioning her name to maintain privacy (and she may well want to return to Halki another time).
So the end of another great two weeks on my favourite default island. As always, it is the little things that make it good. Toasted cheese sandwich and beer at Costas. The chickens clucking around by the cemetery. The goats on the road to the castle. And, of course, Prevelis gliding into the harbour with all the drama and excitement that causes. Cockerel count and Goatiness ratings were medium for this trip. I never thought I would return to any island four times but Halki has lured me back and, no doubt, will again in the future. Regards, David.