Like many places in the world currently we are experiencing a heat wave. Days clock in at 34° degrees, even at night it is often 25°. We have forgotten what it feels like to be cold. Sweat drips steadily from all skin surfaces at the slightest suggestion of exertion. It is on days such as this I had the task of re provisioning the boat in anticipation of guests. In my flip flops, because I cannot bear to wear shoes despite the heat, I make my way to downtown Corfu via city bus. The fare is €1.70 each way so long as I buy the tickets from the roadside booth, otherwise it is €2,30 from the bus driver. I meander my way to the outdoor market avoiding the main tourist corridor and hugging the side streets.
The outdoor market is a thing of beauty. Most travellers will recommend finding a market to purchase fresh local food, and for good reason. Here not only do you find the freshest, most seasonal and local specialities; but you also get the chance to interact with local farmers. Farmers are almost always passionate about the land in which they farm, and love to share that with others. One of my favourite finds was some honey, from fir and one from kuymapo tree from a local beekeeper. Totally different taste than what I am accustomed to. My father an avid life long beekeeper had introduced me to alfalfa, clover and buckwheat honeys, but these were totally different. I wandered through stalls heaped with local fruit and veg, the usual and the unusual. Lemons, kumquats, olives, herbs, onions, prickly pear, melons and green I did not recognize. However, a quick conversation with a stall keeper provided me with a delicious sounding recipe for boiled potatoes fried up with garlic, onion, greens and lots of olive oil and lemon. (Unfortunately, there are no photos of this meal as it got devoured.) I watched a local fishmonger toss a small fish to a pretty black cat, who then proceeded to playfully toss said fish around before eventually eating it.
After packing my Aquaquest bags to the brim, one on the front and one on my back, full of fresh fruits, vegetables and bakery items I headed home to Otoka. The bus only gets you so far so the 1.5 km walk from the station was slow and in the midday heat. By the time I reached home I was dripping sweat. This is the way provisioning goes, especially when there a multiple store to go to. As budget travellers we are trying to save our funds for adventures and that means not taking taxis everywhere despite being so convenient.
One good job in the heat is washing the boat. I used to think boat washing was vain, I now understand it is good boat maintenance. After groceries I set to washing the boat, and more than a few times turned the hose on myself for a quick rinse.
While I tackled these tasks, Nick got to work replacing the battery isolator and the anchor windlass. Sigh, the windlass. We had it serviced in Sokosan at a dear cost, only to continually have issues with it. Two weeks ago we we again had a smaller service done to it after Nick striped it apart and found some bits that needed love. We hoped this would solve the issues. Alas not, while anchoring we again had issues and this time had enough. When sailing, to achor reliably is to sleep soundly. After researching parts and costs of replacements we decided to replace it. Charter boats get abused, though they are regularly maintained we felt that the overall cumulation of abuse and patches made the likelihood of yet more issues probable. If replaced our new windlass would forever be babied and treated ever so gently by us, lasting a long time.
The productive day was coming to a close and our wits coming to an end. The heat likely frying our brains in our skulls. When Nick suggested taking the kids to the pool at the marina we were all ready in record time. At the pool we love to throw the kids, catapulting them as high as we can. The girls love to do round offs, cartwheels, dives and other tricks into the pool, requesting all the while that we “Watch THIS!” Miss T and I have also been practicing holding our breath, and diving to the pool bottom. Her current record is 50 seconds while at the bottom rung of the swim latter and myself 1:20. My biggest hurdle to overcome is my floatiness in the salt water as it makes it so incredibly hard for my to dive down.
Before long we could feel our normal selves returning as our temperature cooled. In the way home we hit up a local gyro stand and got 4 large gyros for €10 or approx $15cn. They were fantastic and exactly what we needed.
This week we have family coming to visit. We are so excited to see familiar faces. More on their visit in another post.
We talk often about what we like, what we miss, things we are learning and discovering. We dream about the future and how we want to channel our energy. As of yet, nothing stands out enough to commit to. Obviously there is still more to see.