I've discovered something about myself over the last couple of weeks (something I've always suspected, but never had confirmed) and that is my innate skill at choosing to holiday in places with sunny climes, when the weather here in England is hotter!
At least I don’t feel so guilty for having had such a lovely time away as I know you’ve all had the best of British sunshine here, while I‘ve been swimming in water the colour of paraiba tourmaline, and eating my entire bodyweight in feta cheese and moussaka.
What can I say, other than I highly recommend a trip to Zante – a jewel in the crown of Greek islands that inhabit the Ionian Sea. It’s not that big but has an incredible collection of tiny coves and bays, with crystal clear waters and some sandy, some stony beaches. It’s fairly still in the morning, but as the temperatures climb, soft breezes start to blow and take the edge off the hot sunny days.
I packed everything but the children, and managed to bring home 7 kilos of excess baggage – souvenirs to you and I. I was £70 sterling lighter for the privilege so have made a mental note to self, not to bring quite so many pairs of shoes next time…
Touring the island and Turtle Beach
Colin and I decided to hire a car, and were soon to be seen tootling around the island in something that was similar to a white dodgem car but slower! Air conditioning consisted of windows open and roof peeled back like a sardine tin, but it was great.
We visited Turtle Beach – where there were 26 turtles with 26 ‘nestys’ as our Greek guide informed us. We met Uncle Doug from Manchester on a tiny boat that took us into the blue caves. And BOY were they blue! He told us this was due to the copper sulphate in the water.
Having managed to get the boat actually inside the cave, we were allowed to swim under a little overhang and into a massive chamber where the water was magically warm and intoxicatingly clear (See photo left of Colin and I just inside the cave). To me, it was one of the highlights of the holiday. Climbing back onto the boat was not as pleasurable, and I fear there was a slight loss of modesty as I tried to haul myself up a very small steel ladder with an equally small bikini on.
Rough waters at Shipwreck Cove
Inspired by this trip we decided to visit Shipwreck Cove – a narrow strip of bright white sand upon which are the remains of a large boat that carried contraband cigarettes. Fatally damaged on the rocks, it was swept ashore where for the last 26 years it has remained – flanked by towering cliffs either side.
Knowing all this, you would have thought I’d have questioned the sense in climbing aboard a very small wooden boat that was to take presumably the same route as the much larger boat that was smashed against the rocks..? Oh no, not I, nor Colin for that matter.
Choppy?? The sea was rougher than a badger's bottom, and a great deal wider! We clung on to the very small railing – the only thing between us and the indigo blue swirling and churning waves, which wasn’t easy as I was trying to position myself to get the best of the sunshine… but we made it!
And yet again the colour of the sea was AMAZING! This photo (left) shows the spectacular shade of turqoise the sea truly is, and the little blob in the centre is me! So it's easy to see why this cove is one of THE most photographed sights on the island. Do let me know if you’ve been there yourself, as I’d love to hear what you think.
It was so good to see the children when we got home, and Lucy had kept everything shipshape. Sam had eaten well – none of the things I’d put in the freezer for him but oh well - and Jack had mowed the lawn. Bless.
I diligently worked my way through three loads of washing and half a pound of sand, and then pegged it out before setting off to get my nails done… just as the heavens opened and poured at least three days of rain over my smalls. WELCOME HOME!
But as they say, the best thing about going away is coming home and I’m looking forward to hearing your holiday stories later this week too.
Have a great week.
Love Ali xxx