Our last few days on the yacht flew by, we sailed to Monemvasias, Elafonissos and Gythion.
Monemvasias is a beautiful busy little part of the Peloponnese peninsula of Greece. The great rock shape of the island is distinct and is linked to the mainland fishing village of Gefyra, and is a beautiful place to walk round and see.
A single entrance to the island, the steep slope up the side of the Rock is lined with parked cars which trail up as we walk along; a walled city with no streets wide enough to park, Monemvasias is riddled with lots of meandering pathways between stone buildings with gorgeous terracotta roofs, and a zig zag path separates the upper uninhabited old town with the lower town.
Streams of people come to view both the upper town ruins of churches, and the lower town souvenir, boutique shops and cafes which line the main walkway through Monemvasia. Peace and normality return to normal once dusk sets in as the fishing harbour restaurants fill up.
Elafonissos was our next stop, but not before our most dangerous bit of sailing yet as we headed around Cape Maleas. The seas around the cape are notoriously treacherous and difficult to navigate, featuring variable weather and occasionally very powerful storms. However we weren’t in such bad luck, with wind speeds of only 30kn (which was very windy in my opinion with the wind whistling around our ears), and Len’s years of sea knowledge and experience, he made light work of the cape. Both Dave and I tried to navigate the bigger than usual waves and found it hard work to steer course. Len and Cathleen are pros, and are quick to interpret the ever changing and unpredictable weather. Even relying on weather forecasts cannot be wholly trusted, which is no surprise on our part with the English weather forecasts!
Arriving in Elafonissos was simply breathtaking with it being the most unspoilt area and bay that we have been to! The sunshine lit up the crystal clear Aqua green-blue sea, and the sand was incredibly inviting with a few loungers scattered along the bay edge for people to enjoy.
A short sail to this little island allowed us to enjoy the rest of our day here, swimming and exploring the rest of the inlet. We finished our last night on the boat with Cathleen and Len cooking us an amazing pasta bolognese (you definitely can’t beat a bit of homemade cooking and Cathleen is a master chef in the galley kitchenette). Under a clear dark and starry sky, where we could see not only the Milky Way but the most amount of stars I think I have ever seen, we played ‘Oh Hell’, a card game which was such a fun game to play and really quick to learn. A truly great end to our last night on board.
An early start and a five hour sail on calm sea took us to Gythion, our final stop on our sailing voyage. An authentic semi-urban port with a waterfront which is lined with cafes, tavernas, hotels and shops. The waterfront is the perfect place to take an evening walk and its a real pleasure wandering through the classic houses and old apartment buildings that hug the side of Mount Koumaros, (and also a good workout for your bum and thighs as you climb the many steps which take you onto the houses on the mountains side).
We said our goodbyes to Len and Cathleen and headed for our hotel. We have had an amazing week with them both and can’t thank them enough for not only the sailing experience, but the tasty and locally sourced breakfasts and fresh lunches they provided as well! An experience I highly recommend… if you are interested in doing something similar: