There’s Paros and then there’s Antiparos

We needed to get to Paros a few days earlier than planned because of an imminent meltemi. Geez…how many times have I written “meltemi” in these recent blogs. At least I know how to spell it. And according to the Greeks its been a mild summers when it comes to meltemis.

We had a nice run under Geneker, two-thirds of the way across until the wind blew up and turned on our nose a bit at the end. The kite surfers were having a great time as the wind hit 30kts, just off Paros.

The wall at Paroikia in Paros was chockers so we anchored out off the beach. Wasn’t too bad. The bottom was a bit weedy but the anchor dug in and we deployed the fortress as a second anchor as well.

Then it was off to explore the town. The backstreets were similar to Mykonos but without the crowds. It was a very pretty place with a Frankish castle in the middle and a church dating back to the 4th century – how old is that. Wow.

We found some nice restaurants and had the obligatory drink at the pirate bar.

Next day we hired a car and drove around the island. First stop was Butterfly Valley, which definitely lived up to its name. Then we set off for Aliki where Kevin and Di were anchored up. We eventually found them and there friends holed up in a restaurant (where else) and we had a great chat and a beer or two. I’d stayed with Kevin in Sydney earlier in the year but hadn’t seen Di since the Balearics last year. A good but brief catch-up as we both had different cruising plans.

Our next stop was Naousa, which is also a pretty port and old fishing village on the north coast – a nice old town to wander around. We tried to call into Moriatis Winery – the winery that makes the aptly named “Meltemi” wine – but it was closed. So then it was back to the boat to check on the real meltemi.

Next morning it was off to the airport to pick up Dale and Karen. My form with picking up friends is at rock bottom and it didn’t get any better. The anointed flight arrived on time and everyone got off but no Dale and Karen. Ah! Checked phone and emails but nothing. It turned out that Dale coundn’t get any reception at Athens airport so had no way to let us know that they had missed their connection. In the end we correctly guessed that they would be on the next flight – and they were. Phew!!!

Despite being tired, they were keen to do some sightseeing, so off we went in our hire car and got on a short ferry ride across to Antiparos. It was a lesson in boat handling as the ferry captain went onto the quay without an anchor out the front, side on to the meltemi screaming down the channel.

Antiparos was very cutesy and we had a great lunch at a typical Greek tavern, with the octopus drying out the front, before driving down to the nice bay at the bottom.

With Dale and Karen fading fast, we did a quick wander around town, before heading back to the boat.

We new crew on board, we had to present ourselves to the Port Police, to get a new crew list stamped. This time, they wanted everyone in attendance and the young police officer was most particular. Previously in Greece, a couple of us had dealt with the formalities, leaving everyone else back on the boat.

One more day was spent checking out Paroikia, waiting for the Meltemi to blow itself out, before we sailing north-east to Ormos Ay Ioannou. Rod describes this bay as idyllic, with sun-baked rock eroded into wonderful shapes and clear turquoise water. I have to say – Rod nailed it. We spent a couple of days here, relaxing and swimming, tucked into the bay beautifully – the joys of having a cat.

We even managed a dingy ride over to Naousa to show the rest of the crew.

On the second night, we got our first bit of rain since we relaunched La Mischief in June. A novelty as a thunderstorm went over.

With boat freshly washed, we pulled anchored and headed to Paros’ near neighbour and twin – Naxos.

For photos of Paros please see https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202245508492047&type=1&l=c2396cd14a

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