Wakey, wakey!

At 04:15 I was awake so ready for my 04:30 alarm. I’d carefully arranged everything accessibly the previous night so I’d be able to get ready more quickly. There was no real reason for this attention to preparedness other than to avoid the usual wandering around looking for things in a half-awake state.

Progress was good: Fido was waiting at the compound gate and seemed to wriggle slightly less than usual as I attached his lead which is left overnight draped over the wire fence by the entrance. Usually, Oskar’s prong collar (to prevent pulling as Oskar is quite annoyingly vigorous), is over the bars of his cage but seemed to have been forgotten the previous evening. No matter, I picked it up and attached him next. Luis required no encouragement to leave his house and Pea emerges like a cork from a champagne bottle as soon as I open the door. With Obi as rearguard, we wound our way between the trees in the SDC to the gate with the field where I attached the four to the inner fence. Obi was clipped to his shared lead and connected to the fence a little way away. I opened the gate and the four nearby were moved and then attached to the outside fence. Obi came to extract Princess and Charlie before proceeding to the gate to pick up the others. With my head torch on, four dogs in one hand and three in the other, we set off across the field at 04:40.

A distant light showed that Ursula was crossing the car park just ahead of us and a further car parked in the car park that extra FreeLoaders might be present. As a group of eight dogs and two handlers, we proceeded along the east path to quickly discover the whereabouts of the first group of FreeLoaders. Only Charlie had been let run free as I anticipated such an event. He is generally reliable whereas most of the others are generally reliably unreliable. The FreeLoaders also had a dog which started up as soon as it detected it was about to be attacked by a Division! All nine dogs barked loudly as we walked past the tent at around 04:45 of an extremely dark Sunday morning. As they say in Little Britain, am I bovvered? My face, did it look bovvered? Not one iota! I simply marched straight by, eyes fixed in the distance. I just hope they were not expecting a Sunday lie-in.

Charlie remained free, but the others were on the lead for the duration. The moon was 96% visible, so we went up onto the rocks to view the moon and its reflection in the calm waters of the Libyan Sea. The Lunar bedtime was approaching giving us the opportunity to witness the changes in colour as it gradually slipped towards the western horizon. From a silvery white, it changed through various shades of yellow to orange before sinking into oblivion in a small bank of clouds floating above the sea.

Then the stars were visible again. I stood on my dog leads while I took out my iPhone to check out the menu of heavenly bodies. Uranus and Neptune were some of the offerings so unlikely to be visible. We both stood with our respective instruments matching the distant stars with their names and constellations.

The sun’s rays were starting to appear in the eastern sky as we scrambled down from the rocks to make our way back to the camping. I’d failed to apprehend Charlie, so he was still at liberty until I returned from my run which lasted just over forty minutes this morning.

After a shower and some tea, Ursula departed, and I set off for Paleochora a while later. Tony had a cheese, ham and tomato pie from the bakers and I bought various vegan things from Petrakis while exchanging conversation with Yannis. Exciting stuff like how far I ran today. The veg guy seemed interested too.

Breakfast was delayed as the lovely Greek lady, formerly of T3, evicted to one of the four-bed cabins, came to say goodbye. They are going to Kandanos to buy honey before catching the evening ferry from Souda to Piraeus. They live in Athens and have work in the morning.

A short snooze for me followed by a visit from Janne and Erica who wished to view my new canopy and higher roof. We chatted a while and then parted.

Apple cake and tea with Ursula and Tony before the Evening Walk and the Sunday ‘Animal’ supper for the dogs. Hopefully, there will be no FreeLoaders on the Promontory tomorrow morning so that the dogs can run free to burn off some of their excess energy.


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