June 2016 in Vass

As the month of June progressed we got into our routine of running, Lesley cycling with Mel running, Mel going to circuit training and Lesley going to Swiss Ball with Amy and both of us going to Pilates with Evy. There wasn’t much wind in the early part of the month so Mel didn’t go windsurfing much and the weather was a bit mixed. Ian and Pat arrived on the 1st June and we had a welcome meal with them on the campsite, enjoying Kula’s moussaka with Nikhei, Maria and Irene.

We had a day trip out to Melos Beach in the north of the island near to Lefkada Town. This is a long sandy beach mainly used by kite surfers but there were none there on the day we went to look at it. We will have to go again as it is a nice beach to relax on and it would be interesting to see the kite surfers in action.

We met up with Andy and Barbara Brown, friends from some years ago at Neilson. They stopped in Vass during a flotilla holiday they were on and we enjoyed lunch with them at The Cosmos and had a good catch up with the latest news. Andy came back to Vass about a week later and came to our apartment for lunch; he was doing a tour of the island on his bike.

On one of our days out we went to Nidri and hired a motor boat to go to Meganisi. Mel did his power boat training as part of his windsurf instructor training so he knows how to handle this type of boat. We went across the water to the village of Vathi on Meganisi and stopped there for lunch at Stavros’ Taverna. The family were very friendly and made us very welcome; they helped us tie up the boat and then served us a lovely lunch. I had sword fish which was delicious and Mel had home made beef burgers which were also very good. It was a lovely sunny day but there were a few clouds around and some thunder in the distance as we headed back to Lefkas via Desimi and Geni.

We celebrated Ian’s 65th birthday with an evening at the campsite with Pat, Jean & Clive, Hugo & Marlies and Minoli. Kula & Irene prepared a magnificent spread of food as usual but it was a relatively quiet evening with no Greek dancing!

After a run towards Agio Fili beach and Kontarena I developed a painful ankle which stopped me running for a while. I think it was because I had run in old trainers on this off-road route. The injury was similar to one I had suffered some years ago before I realised the importance of the right trainers and the need to change them before they were worn down. Silly me! So I stopped going to the classes at Healthy Options and just cycled with Mel running. Mel had also got a bit tired and he needed a bit of a rest too; the hot and humid weather was making the running less enjoyable.

Still no good wind for windsurfing but mainly hot and sunny weather so good for relaxing on the sun bed and swimming in the pool at Sun Waves. Mel was doing some renovation work on one of his boards so we had a couple of trips to Nidri to get paint etc from the marine shop there. On the way back on one of these occasions we stopped off at Poros beach and had breakfast in a lovely shady cafe looking out to sea.

Carol & Steve arrived at Neilson on the 19th June and Derek and Anne came to Club Vass on the same day. We went up to Bazanakis’ restaurant with Carol & Steve on a Thursday night when there is live Greek music. We had a lovely meal, a good catch up and listened to very good music.

We have continued with the Greek lessons with Cora, going to see her twice each week and doing some practice every day but it is a very hard language to learn. The local Greek people are very happy to let us have a go and seem very pleased that we are even trying. Elena (the girl on reception at the Imperial Studios) speaks excellent English but she helps us a lot with our pronunciation and grammar.

Something which happens often in Vassiliki is local people travelling around on motor bikes or scooters with only one hand on the handle bars and a coffee or mobile phone in the other. You also can often see them transporting large items such as lawn mowers, maybe several children or an animal on the back. This dog has clearly got the hang of being a passenger, leaning the right way on the bends whilst keeping very still on the straight bits!


Jan & Yvette came back from Belgium the third week of June; it was good to see them again. Jan was looking forward to some good wind surfing but it didn’t happen for the first week. In fact we had some very hot, sunny days with no wind – more like August weather. Yvette, Pat and I went on our first bike ride together to Sivros and it was hot even in the morning. Mel met us at the cafe in Sivros for a frappe along with a group from Healthy Options.

The view from Manolis' house
The view from Manolis’ house

We were invited to go to Manolis’ house for a spaghetti party along with Pat & Ian, Clive & Jean, Brian & Ali and Hugo. We went with Hugo in his car and we followed Manoli in his pick up truck with the others on board. His house is at the end of a long, very rough track and it was a difficult journey. We bounced along the single track road eventually reaching the house he has had built (with no electricity except for that provided by a generator). The views from the terrace are incredible, looking out to sea across to Ithaca and Kefalonia. Pat & Jean had arrived earlier and prepared the food – dips, bread, olives etc for starters, followed by spaghetti bolognese and lots of delicious cakes for dessert. It was all very nice which along with the good company made for a very enjoyable evening.

We took Kula & Nikhei to Lefkada to do some shopping the next morning. Kula bought lots of meat from a butcher and Nikhei bought some parts for the well on the campsite. It was windy in Lefkada and in the afternoon there was a thunder storm in Vassiliki which continued into the evening. The next day was a good windsurfing day and Mel, Ian, Jan & Hugo all went out on the water. Mel had to come back on a rescue boat as he left it too late to come back himself. Later we went to the campsite to have Kula’s lamb kleftiko which she had made with the meat bought in Lefkada. It was very nice but the portions were very big and very filling.

The following week we decided to make our Greek lesson with Cora the last one for this year. We have learnt a lot and feel more confident with reading Greek and having a go at speaking it but we need to consolidate what we have done. The wind has also started to blow so Mel will be windsurfing more (hopefully). Cora invited us to her house in Sivros for coffee and we look forward to doing that at the weekend.

I went on another bike ride with Yvette & Pat to Sivros whilst Mel ran and met us at the Cafe Verani in the square. We extended the route by going up to the springs just above Sivros where the views are amazing and the water lovely and cold.