The trees were battering the roof of the van most of the night. I must prune the carobs before the winter storms! It was still windy, cloudy and dark at 05:15 when the alarm woke me. I put on a polo shirt which was only just about warm enough given the northerly wind.
Walking up the Promontory, a large, black object hammered past me and disappeared into a clump of nearby bushes. The LBO was soon joined by a number of other, smaller barking creatures who were trying to chase the cat which, quite sensibly, had retreated to the uppermost branches. I walked on and encouraged the dogs to do likewise. We walked the rocks and went back the same way. I naturally assumed the cat would have removed itself to a place of safety but no. We had a repeat performance but the dogs soon followed after me.
We walked in the darkness towards Plakaki which was devoid of copulating couples. After some biscuits and roll-call, we set off back towards the Promontory. This time, I chose to walk up the Big Beach and the western side. Over the rocks and back down the eastern side where, this time, I was certain the cat would no longer be in the bushes. But no, it was still there as was the full compliment of dogs who were now quite excited by the whole event.
The cat was quite excited too and, mindful of the last cat which lasted just over a minute, I thought it might be a good idea to extract the dogs before some misfortune befell the moggy. For a moment, I considered how this might be achieved but thought I might try with just calling the dogs away. I started with Skinny and Isabella then worked my way through the list. Amazingly, despite the frenzied excitement, they all dutifully followed me! Not a button was pressed!
I drank tea and Elevated my mind then set out for my cycling workout up to the top of the mountain. The wind was consistently strong from a northeasterly direction so progress was slow to begin with. Once on the section up Panorama, where it’s slightly more sheltered, life was a little easier and the wind was almost behind me for the next bit. My bike battery wasn’t very full so I felt I should be sparing with motive support to save it for the demanding bit where the road turns into the wind near the top. In fact, it wasn’t that bad as the wind was calming a little.
Once at the top, I just had to whizz down the mountain and onto the main road into Paleochora. The ferry had departed and there was a naval vessel parked in the bay to the east of Paleochora.
Going along the sea front in Paleochora was windy so I was glad to get past the PAWS puppies location and down to Petrakis. I needed to stock up on dried fruit, nuts, seeds and berries as I’d deliberately let everything run right down in order to have a complete clear out. I was going to make some banana bread soon too so needed ingredients for that. Especially bananas!
With the shopping out of the way, I set off westwards towards the camping for a more leisurely ride back with the wind mostly behind me.
The dogs were released and fed so I made tea and sat down for a little rest and to read my mail. Soon after, I received a message from Marie to say that Sascha, Steffi and she were coming to visit perhaps followed by luncheon in Houmas restaurant later. I jumped into the shower in honour of the occasion and then awaited their arrival.
A smart, new Mitsubishi hybrid turned into the camping and parked up. We then wandered down to the bar for coffee and lemonade. A strange combination I know. Steffi and Marie, bored with our conversation about computers, cars, solar power etc, left for the beach, a swim and a shower. We then wandered off together for a meal at Houmas which was very busy.
With Zora firmly attached to a nearby railing, we sat at a table with a view of the bay and the mountains and enjoyed a leisurely nosh until around 17:00. Such decadence! Whereupon we walked back to the camping, they went to say hello to Litsa and Manolis and I chatted with Michael and tried to make some sense of Maria’s neck and shoulders. No wonder she gets headaches!
Maria went off to the bar leaving Michael chatting to me. Now that his wife and child have left, I think he feels a little lost and he says Maria is not particularly chatty. She has another exam later in the month which doesn’t help matters. Maria returned to tell me that some new arrivals were in M4 and she was sure I’d met them on a previous visit. I left Michael and walked down to M4.
It’s possible that I’ve met them before but many of the customers tend to blend and blur. It turned out that they are French so I was able to dust off my French for a little while. I eventually extracted myself to go back to the dogs who’d been already released. I’d put their rice on earlier but, by now, it was getting dark so I fed them quickly so that we could all go inside and I could feed myself.
With a high of only 27.6ºC and some strong wind, the day was not particularly warm by Cretan standards. Wednesday is forecast to be thundery with occasional light showers but the probability seems low.