Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Wood anemonies - anemonies wood, a huh huh huh, just like that.

Today is one of those days when you say, "This is why I love living here!" It's 20-21ºC depending on which thermometer you believe, the sky is unbroken blue and the horizon as clear as crystal. It's the kind of day (as I say so often that my other half groans audibly) that any British summer would be proud to call its own.

As I sit typing this at almost 4.30pm on what many would call Christmas Eve, my better half is still out in the garden in a t-shirt having a good potter about. This morning we decided that, in the interests of the dear reader who for some odd reason may just be a follower of this blog, we'd have a bit of an expedition. It's been a day that cried out for a good walk right from breakfast time and so we bit the bullet, started up the car and took it over to the south end of Psaltos Bay, just over the hill from Pefkos on the way to Lindos. There's been a walk that I've wanted to do for quite a while right there. I've lost count of the number of times we've driven past this spot and I've glanced up at the gently sloping hillside and thought, "I must walk up there. It just might lead me to the top of those cliffs that featured in the ridiculously old movie that we still harp on about "The Guns of Navarone". 

Right, first, lets' get this clear. The bay's correct name is "Psaltos". It's really only the ex-pat Brits who've kind of commandeered the place and converted it to "Navarone Bay" in recent decades. There are now signs all over the place demonstrating this fact. But, in truth, to the locals it's still "Psaltos". Well, as you'll know if you've been there, at the Southern end of the bay are some pretty impressive cliffs that were featured in the night scene in the venerable old movie in which the "heroes" come ashore from a submarine, reach the base of the cliffs in fairly rough weather, then climb the sheer rock face. Of course the scene was obviously filmed in broad daylight through some fairly unconvincing filters, but, well, the magic of the movies and all that. What's equally funny is that once the heroes get to the top of the cliffs, they set out across the terrain, up and down a valley or two, through a village and arrive at the Old Town in Rhodes. How do they do that then? Answers on a postcard please...

Anyway, to help you see where we parked the car and set out, here's a Google Map...

You'll notice I've marked the location of a Trigonometrical Point on the map. This is the spot where we took a bunch of photos of the view down across the bay. You'll see them below pretty soon.

Recently I was going on about how the wild anemonies are a picture at this time of the year and how I would be trying to snap a few for you (and of course, I) to wonder at. Well, this was one of the reasons why I wanted to do this walk today, in order to snap some of them in all their glory. Yippee, they didn't disappoint, as once again, you'll see below. So, car parked safely off the road, sun beating down to such a degree that we'd smeared on some factor 15 before leaving home, we set off up what to begin with is a fairly easy path. I had visions of us walking all the way to the end of the headland. Memories of younger days when we used to walk the length of Brean Down in the Bristol Channel, just South of Weston Super Mare, well and truly had me deceived into thinking that this little jolly would be just as easy. Oops.

After a mere couple of hundred metres the ground began to become much (and here I mean, like ...MUCH) more difficult. There were more rough stones and rocks than there was level ground and the lush greenery between them could have hidden some real ankle-breaking crevices. Thus, our progress went from merry jaunt to whoa, double back, Aargh, that one wobbled... and so forth. Add to that the fact that much of the vegetation is designed to scratch you to oblivion and you see why this was no easy stroll.

Never mind, we kept at it and, after a couple of ridges were negotiated where a bit of light mountaineering was required, we arrived at the Trig point. So, good folk in Net-land, here we go then. Hope you like 'em, I almost landed up being airlifted to hospital to get these!!!

The wild flowers are a botanist's dream at the moment.

This is the most common of the wild anemonies

The better half contemplates the vastness of it all, then says, "Which way now?"

This pics helps you appreciate how tricky it was underfoot. Not only could you break an ankle with ease, but if you fell your face would soon be a bloody mess as well!! (Not meant as a swear word there!!) Incidentally, in case you haven't sussed it, this pillar is the Trig. point.

...and there's the proof.

"I REFUSE to go any further!" "Smile anyway then sweetie!"

Not a bad view, eh? Click to get the larger ones on several of these and you'll see the snowy peaks of the Turkish mountains quite clearly. These aren't usually visible in the summer due to the heat haze.

And, no, I'm NOT trying to pull it over! Pefkos Bay in the background. Just to the right of my left shoulder (if you're keen sighted) too is the tiny Profitis Ilias church that we walked up to on a dull day last winter. There are some photos toward the end of this post.

Can't knock the colours of that sea, even in December, eh? The AquaGrand and Lindos Memories hotels are clearly visible.

As mentioned above. Right click to get a larger view and you'll see the snow on the Turkish mountains.

I took this one especially for the snowy peaks on the horizon.

You get a good idea of how tricky it is to walk on this terrain from this one. There's hardly a square foot of level ground.

Stunning. And the entire landscape is awash with them.

Well, you gotta have just one selfy!

A scene of real beauty. Oh, and the wife too.

Three other walkers we bumped into. Not very sociable though.

I took this as we scrambled back down because I was well relieved to catch a glimpse of the car through the boughs of this tree. Saved!
Once we'd finally stumbled back to the car, some medication was in order, ...of the dark brown bean variety. So we drove round to Zucchero Café at Flevaris supermarket, ordered a couple of Frappés and some kourabiedes. Well, we figured we'd already walked them off.

Finally, since I'd packed the chainsaw in the boot after we'd caught sight of some likely logs on the beach during a walk the other afternoon, we detoured down to the local beach on the way home and within ten minutes of firing up the machine, had ourselves this little haul. A satisfying day's work all round I'd say.

I love it when a plan comes together.


  1. Very very nice blog!
    a reader from Italy

    1. Thank you! I meet many people from Italy through my work during the summer months, maybe you were among them this year?

    2. I was on holiday in Pefkos in early October. I come to Greece twice a year because I love Greece and I am also studying greek! Sorry but I have read only few pages of your blog and I don't Know which is your work during the summer months.


    3. Well, your English is pretty good too! Actually, I work a few days a week as an excursion escort, taking guests on a day out by coach. Sometimes we board a boat for a "Bay to Bay" lazy day cruise, and other times we take the guests from the South of the island up to Rhodes Town and back again.

    4. What a beautiful job! I'd like to move to Greece and do the same!


  2. Brave souls, you are. We've walked from the Pefkos side, right up to the point at the top of the cliffs and wondered how, or even if, you can get down the rocks to reach Psaltos. Now we know it is possible we might try it, or maybe we'll just tell other people that it's possible!

  3. Great account- made me feel I was on the walk too! Can't wait to return in March and so looking forward to our per ant move in 2016!

    1. Thnak you Helen. Forgive my ignorance, but "per ant"?

  4. Brilliant interesting post Jon.
    Happy New Year
    Steve W

    1. Thank you Steve. Nice to hear from you. Hope all is well at your end.