Sunday, 15 May 2011

Why Not Take a Drive - 2

I was originally going to update the previous post (Why Not Take a Drive) after having done the drive today (Sunday May 15th), but decided that it was easier to just do another post. So some of the stuff in the previous post is updated in this one (best read the two, but read the other one first perhaps).

I've now taken a picture showing the sign on the main Lardos-Kattavia Road in Kiotari, just before the crossroads where you need to turn right toward Asklipio. Here it is…

The next pic shows the far end of Asklipio square, with the Nikolas Taverna to the right and Sylvia's Taverna is just a little further along that street right ahead, where you'll need to drive. I know, it looks a bit like it surely can't be the right road doesn't it, but rest assured it is. As you proceed along this "lane" you're pretty soon driving alongside a chain-link fence to your left, where I mentioned in the other post that there was an old hand-painted sign pointing toward Laerma, but today this sign was missing, so perhaps don't bother looking for it!
Once you've exited Asklipio down the short hill, you'll come across the "Scenic Route" sign that's in the first photo below. This will reassure you that you are indeed going the right way. It's the kind of reassurance you'll need after driving through Asklipio, I'd say. Carry on along this road, which takes you all the way to Laerma. Along the way you'll see such sights the like of which the next four photos give you just a flavour. Today there was still quite a flow of water at the largest of the fords, as you'll see below. Depending on what time of year you may do this drive, you may not see it at all. If you can discern the yellow hue to the countryside in these pics too, that's the wild flowers, which are in great abundance at present, whilst they still have the precious moisture from the spring rains in the soil, which will soon be drying up completely, thus withering the flowers until next year. Remember, clicking on any of the pics ought to open it in a larger window for a better view...

The next pic shows the small cafe/bar which I recommended that you stop at. But I must also recommend the first one which you'll pass as you descend into the village proper. First though, I ought to remind you that when you reach the Thari Monastery, you'll find that the main entrance and car park are right in front of you and you'll need to take the left hairpin as you climb the hill in order to continue on to Laerma.

Returning to the village, the first taverna/cafeneion/bar on the right is called the Igkos [ΙΓΚΟΣ] and is run by Panayiotis and his wife. Panayiotis spent many years in Germany, but returned to Rhodes some years ago to run the family's business. He's in his sixties, strongly built and is ready to pass the time of day with all his clientele, which is what he's doing in the next photo, that's him standing talking to some German-speaking guests who arrived just after us. The last pic shows my good lady along with Andrea and Heinz, our friends who live in Stegna and hail from Austria, although Heinz is fluent in Greek as he was brought up here and did all his schooling in Arhangelos.
Why do I now recommend Taverna ΙΓΚΟΣ? Well, we 'd originally planned to just have frappes, but as it was about lunchtime and I was peckish I asked Panayioti for a plate of chips.

"You don't want fried potatoes," he told me. "I do you our sliced oven potatoes and arrow peppers, with skordalia, much better."

"Sounds OK to me," I replied. "Bring it on."

Well, bring it on he did. He placed before both Yvonne-Maria and I a plate each of sliced oven-cooked potato, along with sliced green peppers (the one shaped like arrows) and every slice was smeared with a liberal helping of skordalia (garlic sauce, made with olive oil and mashed potato). He also brought us Horiatiki bread, that heavy, brown traditional village bread that we love so much and we had ourselves a lunch on our hands.

Panayiotis later came to ask how we were liking it and thus began an interesting conversation about why we spoke Greek, which elicited compliments from him regarding the effort we'd made in this regard. He explained to us how the taverna got its name, which I'll leave you to ask him about, should you get there one day soon. After a few more minutes during which the four of us ate and talked, Panayiotis exited the front of the building carrying a tortoise, which was easily large enough to cover a dinner plate then then some.

"Is he a pet?" We asked. To which he replied, "No, he was just passing through.I found him in the middle of the road so I picked him up and gave him some slices of tomato to eat."

"Right," I replied, and too quickly for my own good got a laugh when I suggested: "Probably in a hurry to get somewhere I suppose!" Since he'd been found ambling, in the way that tortoises do, down the middle of the road. While the entire taverna's clientele joined in appreciating what a fine specimen it was, a cat sauntered past with a huge lizard protruding from his mouth, back end first. I don't think the lizard stood a chance of survival, the way that cat was carrying him, as his front legs and head were evidently half-way down that cat's throat already I shouldn't wonder.

Good job we'd almost finished eating.


  1. Trevor Mcilveen17 May 2011 at 15:50

    Another scenic drive is from Lahania to Mesanagros. Then onto the west coast arriving near Apolakia.We have also been on the drive from Apolakia dam to Siana

  2. Have they tarmac-ed the road beyond Messanagros Trevor? Last time we went up there, it was impossible to go further on a decent surface!

  3. Trevor Mcilveen17 May 2011 at 21:27

    John Yes its tarmac all the way.Not a much travelled road.Last time we went some sheep were sat in middle of the road. As they refused to move, Gloria had to drive around them

  4. Trevor Mcilveen17 May 2011 at 21:39

    So far our most daring drive was last October. You met our friend Hugh.Well he wanted to see the new dam. So one day Gloria drove us from near Masari , through the hills on a dirt road to the dam near Laerma. The dam is very big & cost I believe about 45 million euros to build. The maddening thing was, just as we got onto the Lardos to Laerma road , we got a puncture.

  5. Yea the access to the new dam is better now as they've surfaced the road leading to it from just East of Laerma, right down to the dam itself, which one can drive across. I took a couple of photos of the dam from atop a nearby mountain when we did an off-season hike a while back, maybe I'll search them out of the archive and post them some time.