Monday, 25 February 2013

The Spice of Life

Lately we've really had some amazing changes in the weather. Today, Monday February 25th, it's been around 18-19ºC and we've been up to town to do a bit of shopping. We had coffee in one of the chic new cafe bars near the new marina and stared out in bright sunlight at a choppy sea.

Just a couple of days ago, however, it was a different story. Perhaps I should say a "couple of nights" ago, since at around 1.30am on Saturday morning, we experienced the hailstorm to end all hailstorms. During the Friday evening there had been quite a few big thunder crashes, following a few flashes of fork lightning, all par for the course during a Rhodean winter. But as the evening wore on the thunder abated and so did the rain which we'd had during the early evening. All gone  ...or so we thought.

As I mentioned above, it was around 1.30am and I was lying in bed listening to music on my iPod. It was another of those nights when I wasn't sleeping too good, so a bit of Jethro Tull was easing me through the small hours. My wife was sound asleep until she was woken up by the hail. It had started coming down so heavily that I couldn't hear the music on the earphones properly!! So we both got up and took a look on the terrace outside the front door...

The above was taken after my dearly beloved had decided to try sweeping it up. I suggested that it perhaps ought to wait until morning and so she gave it up as a bad job. It's strange because, the thermometer was showing around 11ºC, yet here was all this hail pelting down on every surface and making more noise than a football crowd when their team has just scored. So much hail fell here in Kiotari in the space of probably only about 20 minutes, that the following morning, which dawned clear and bright, I was nevertheless able to take this...

In seven and a half years of living here we'd never seen anything like it. It looked as though we'd had snow. And, here, we got off lightly. Despite the intensity of the falling hail, it was all small stuff. Paying a visit to our friend Gilma down near Plimmiri, he told us that mixed in amongst the small stuff down there were some hailstones as big as tennis balls. It was hard to believe that he wasn't exaggerating, until he pointed us toward a nearby huge prickly pear plant, which bore the battle scars of the rock-hard chunks of ice that had bombarded it...

Gilma told us that he couldn't recall such a storm, and he's in his seventies. 

During the afternoon of Friday 22nd, we'd gone for a walk down to the beach because the sea was really up and I wanted to snap a few photos. If you've ever lazed on Kiotari beach during the height of the season, taking the occasional dip in the flat-calm crystal clear water of the Mediterranean Sea, you may just about recognize the place in these...

Yup, somewhere along there is Gennadi village, about 3k away

This is across the road from the La Strada taverna

S'a bit like a view of the Scottish coast, yea?

They say that variety is the spice if life. Well, the weather lately has certainly proven the point to us. Just yesterday we ate lunch out under the parasol in 19ºC and bright sunlight. I even partook of a cold beer!

Finally, walking to Gennadi a couple of weeks back, we walked past this...

Sadly, it's a not altogether uncommon sight on a Greek island. Tell you what though, it certainly makes you think about whether it's a good idea to send or read a text message, or even answer your mobile phone while driving. It just might turn your whole world upsidedown.


  1. Wow, most impressive white stuff! I had seen a video of the waves crashing at Mandraki and then heard that poor old Lardos had suffered water ingress again but thought you may have missed it all!

    1. We were in Lardos on Saturday evening and there was no sign or mention of anything serious. probably just a few houses close to the river were threatened by the torrent, or perhaps small flash floods (due to inadequate drainage to cope with the precipitation) affected a house here and there. Everyone's nervous in Lardos these days after the floods a winter or two back, which it now seems were definitely the result of someone opening the sleuces on the new dam upriver at Laerma.