Some new FreeLoaders had replaced those present over the past couple of days however they were less discerning about their location plonking their tent in the area by the Big Beach. For me, this caused considerable discontent as it’s an integral route in my morning walkabout routine. We managed despite this interruption although it was an unnecessary inconvenience. Perhaps they’ve found it too windy and relocated to a more favourable location on another island maybe.
Progress was further complicated by a fatal paw injury to Luis. A small thorn had embedded itself in his front-right paw. Without my glasses, it was difficult for me to remove and it was demonstrably very uncomfortable. I parked Luis, Oskar and Charlie early so that I could make some progress with the others and Luis would have the opportunity to remove the foreign object in his own time. Instead, he spent most of that time protesting at being deserted so had little chance at the delicate procedure required. I moved them to their normal location when next we passed and he was walking well for the return trip.
Luis and Oskar joined the larger dogs and we set off down the road towards the river. It’s a little quicker and more direct than going on the shingle for the first part of the walk. Progress was slowed by quite a fierce wind from the northeast. Luckily, I had Dog-Assist so was able to keep up. We encountered a lone tent on Karavopetra Beach: both Isabella and Oskar showed limited interest though Luis had a little bark until I persuaded him otherwise. The offending tent was back from the shore positioned between the rocks for shelter. It may have been a blustery and annoying night for the occupants. We proceeded to the end of the walk without further ado before returning via the same route. I took the precaution of attacking Luis for the bit past the tent to avoid complications. When three dogs are controlled it’s more difficult for others to make a fuss as they’re doing it on their own. The other day, Isabella and Charlie went racing off after the little dog which lives in one of the houses amongst the greenhouses a little way back from Alonáki Beach. I was mixed up in Skinny’s line but quickly grabbed the controller on its lanyard, pushed the stimulation up a couple of notches before delivering a few pokes to the pursuers – they returned together very promptly! With Isabella and Oskar behaving nicely and Skinny on the lead, there’s little scope for Luis otherwise he finds himself out on a limb being the only one making a racket. Not that that would necessarily deter Luis who is totally uninhibited.
I went down to the sea for a swim but knew I risked being blown about even though the sea was not rough due to waves. I’d not long been in when a sudden squally gust sent a sandstorm from the beach high into the air. Wavelets quickly appeared so it was quite exciting in the water. I took the opportunity to swim back to the beach battling against the sea. One of the waste bins in front of Ammos Beach Bar had toppled over sending all kinds of litter including beer cans, plastic bags and wrappers onto the beach and into the sea. I was unable to rescue a beachball but captured as much rubbish from the water and the beach as I was able before righting the bin and stuffing it all back in. Hopefully, someone came along later to empty the bins or it was all for nothing.
My next activity was to ride to Krios. It was very windy so I was glad of the weight and power of the bike as well as an almost fully-charged battery. Gregor and his dogs welcomed me as I arrived and we chatted a little while. Gregor went to turn off the water for the trees and I wandered over to speak to the French couple in their van nearby. It’s a while since I’ve had a long conversation in French so I was working quite hard. The couple were frequent travellers to many countries but preferred Greece and Crete. They’ve been coming for many years. They were not in a motorhome just a van which had been kitted out by them as a ‘Stealth Camper’. We agreed that such a vehicle is unremarkable so more likely to be ignored and left alone. They told me they’d been up by Paros port where they were down by the sea in a delightful bathing area, just the two of them. Two fast ferries came into and out of the port at speed sending a huge wash in all directions. They saw the wall of water heading towards them but were unable to escape. Fortunately, they were not drowned when the water struck but the described the experience as like being in a washing machine. Both felt extremely lucky to escape with their lives and few injuries. They lost several possessions, including their mobile but, as they pointed out, you can buy a new mobile but not a new life. They described themselves as travellers and not tourists as they have a different attitude and outlook to those who come for a holiday. We parted and I even forgot to wish them Joyeuse Fête as today is Bastille Day in France. Not that they care much I suspect.
My ride back to Grammeno was against the wind so I was buffeted and shoved around on the road. There have been gusts to nearly 70km/h (around 45mph). It’s not rained for weeks so the ground is very dry making for dust devils and sandstorms at the shore.
It was a little later than usual so the dogs were extremely pleased to be let out and I fed them before myself. The remainder of the morning and afternoon were reasonably uneventful except for the preparation of Doggy Dinners, other little projects I’m working on and a couple of support queries.
I’ve just been back to the pussy compound for the extended evening restaurant sitting. The boys are usually clamouring for attention and food around 15:00 however the younger female and the mother are out and about so appear later but not necessarily together. I feed the boys little and often as their requirements are not necessarily dietary as there’s a certain element of attention-seeking into the bargain. Now, I think they’ve all had enough and I shall be warned should any external pussy dare to enter in order to clear up any uneaten food. Georgia’s cat was given a wash not long ago and sent packing amid a cacophony of barking.
Happy Bastille Day to everyone:
Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !