Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kalymnos Part 2

Our second week in Kalymnos has gone by in a flash. We’ve enjoyed more hot weather and have spent much of our time in the water. It’s a little hot for climbing right now, but we generally go out in the morning and then spend the afternoon at the beach. This photo shows a climber in the Grande Grotta (cave).

There is a resident goat that comes to the cliff every day. He’s very punctual and you can almost set your watch to his approach up the barren slopes below the cave. People feed him - he’ll eat anything - and this perpetuates the problem. I’ve witnessed him put his face into a climber’s pack and rummage for food. Elise thinks it’s hilarious, although she’s seems a little fearful of him when we get close.

Our little apartment is comfortable and our little problems have been resolved. However, Elise pulled a first the other night when she wet her bed! I went to her to say good morning and she said, “Dad, I had an accident”. She sure did. We had to do some serious cleaning and devise a new strategy to help her out. We put a headlamp in her bed so when she has to pee at night, she can go without worry. This is exactly what she did the next night and we hope we’ve solved this problem. This photo shows Elise in her usual evening frenzy, just before going to bed.

The flowers in front of our apartment are beautiful. Pam could tell you what these are, but I can’t.

Much to Elise’s delight, there are many cats on the island, including a couple of families with kittens who live in front of our apartment building. Elise visits the cats every morning, and has become much better at approaching the animals slowly so as not to scare them off. It’s funny to watch – Elise creeping up on these poor cats in slow motion. She takes it all very seriously and gets very upset with me if I approach too fast and scare them off.

The sunset from our deck.

We’ve been doing a lot of swimming. This photo shows a concrete dock we discovered along the coast. It made a good staging area for swimming and snorkeling. Elise got in with her mask and saw some fish, much to her delight. It’s taken a bit of perseverance, but Elise finally started swimming in the Aegean a few days ago. When I say swimming, I mean she lurches into the water and flails her arms and legs, momentarily staying afloat between Pam and myself. Oh well, at least it’s a start. And she sure is pleased with herself.

Our demented child…

A sunset photo of Elise at the beach.

For the first week of the trip, we opted not to rent a car to save a little bit of money. Here we are boarding the bus for a morning trip into the island’s main port, Pothia.

The fish market in Pothia.

This village is old.

Motorcycles and scooters are the transportation of choice on the island. This one has seen better days.

This is the courthouse in Pothia.

The courtyard in front of the courthouse had an intricate stone patio. Elise ran laps around the perimeter of one of the circles.

We spent the morning wandering around, shopping and looking at sites. It was incredibly busy (and hot) so we took it easy and didn’t go too far. After a picnic lunch, we caught the crowded bus back to our village, about half an hour away. It was standing room only.

Another day saw us take a ferry over to the island of Telendos. This was a fun outing and we visited a remote beach on the island, had a nice dinner and then rode the boat home. Elise liked the boat ride.

This is a view of the beach on Telendos.

Elise napping at the beach.

Fishing nets on the dock. You can see our village across the water.

Sunset behind Telendos.

We picked up our rental car on the weekend. It was a bit of a relief to have transportation, both to ease the pain of hiking along the roads to the cliffs and to increase our flexibility for daytime activities. Our car is a Fiat Panda and is the smallest car we’ve ever driven, but it’s more than adequate to get us and our gear around the small island.

The day we picked it up, we took the car to a village called Vathy on the other side of the island. Vathy is a tiny fishing village with a rocky inlet. We swam off the dock, spotted fish and snorkeled in the bay. It was very relaxing and Elise enjoyed seeing the fish and a friendly cat.

We’ve enjoyed the company of other people while we’ve been here. Various friends of ours are here from Squamish. This photo shows us with Brian, Lana and their girl Anika at the beach and crag.

It was Anika’s first birthday the other day, so Brian and Lana invited us to their hotel for a pool party in the afternoon. The kids had fun and we enjoyed eating Greek pastry!

This is a photo of us with friends we met in France a few years ago. Brigette and Bernd are from Germany and it was quite a surprise to see them here. We enjoyed catching up and talked about future plans for a trip to see them in Germany.

Another couple we met and spent time with is Axel and Heather from North Vancouver. We climbed with them a little, had a few meals out and generally enjoyed their company. Unfortunately, they are leaving today and we’ll miss their company. They got engaged while they were here, and we are very happy for them. We look forward to spending more time with them in the future.

The weather looks a little stormy this coming week. Hopefully, the conditions cool off a bit for the climbing yet still allow us to swim. Stay tuned for more!


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