Back to Argostoli 4 July - 16 July

The dentist fitted Ann's crown, and charged a remarkably modest 200 euros. All was above board - invoiced properly - and Ann subsequently discovered he'd fitted one of a higher spec than he'd quoted for.

We'd booked tickets to fly home in two weeks' time from Kefalonia, so we were keen to be away, but as we wandered through the town we saw notices for an International Choral Festival, starting that day. No one we spoke to could tell us anything about it, nor where the tourist office was. Eventually, a lady in the town council building found us a programme in English and a map on which she put crosses to mark the locations. Keen as we were keen to be off, we were also starved of live classical music, so we thought we'd at least stay for the concert that night.

We arrived early in the incredibly ornate church, and by starting time it was packed. One choir was local, but others were from Russia, Romania, Ukraine and Moldava. The standard was fantastic - at least two of the choirs would have been sure finalists in any such festival in Britain. The Moldavan children's choir, in particular, stole the show with a lullably song that had all the youngsters parading in carrying candles that were gradually extinguished. Nearly all the music was unfamiliar to us, coming from a completely different tradition.

Anyway, we decided to stay another two days, for an open competition next day, and a choice of sacred or folksong the following day. The competition featured diffent choirs, to an equally high standard. On the third day we decided to go to the folksong concert, because it was to be held in the naval museum, which was situated on a small promontery 200m from Razzmatazz, and we could go by dinghy. Unfortunately it was dire, featuring mainly Israeli choirs whose performance should have been restricted to family and close friends!

Next morning, once through the entrance channel, we were just able to lay the entrance of the Lefkas canal, at first very slowly, and towards the end at 6 or 7 knots. After the canal, we sailed very slowly to Ormos Vlikho, and anchored in the south-east corner of the bay. Ormos Vlikho is totally enclosed by high mountains, and alledgedly a good hurrican hole, except that some two years' earlier an unforecast whirlwind had torn through wrecking many boats and killing someone.

After shopping in a small but adequate supermarket and a bakery in the village bakery, we set sail for Fiskardho, reputed to be the most beautiful port of all. But the gentle headwind picked to first to a F5 westerly, which allowed us to overhaul a big French monohull that had overtaken us, then touching F6, requiring a second reef, and leading us to head for Vathi instead.

Melissani (49K) OffPesada (44K)
Melisanni cave Off Pesada
Then to Ay Evfimia, where we moored to the wall, so that we could leave Razzmatazz safely while we cycled to Melissani cave, near Sami. This cave has a collapsed roof, leaving a lake at the bottom of a deep hole. It is indeed beautiful, and strange in that its water comes underground from a sea pool near Argostoli. When we returned, we left the chargeable quayside and anchored in the harbour, with slightly suspect holding.

Next day, we battled light winds until just short of the south-east corner, Akra Mounda, when a south-westerly F5/6 gave us a bumpy ride round the headland till we found welcome shelter anchored off Katelios,. Here we found a minimarket, bakery, and several tavernas. The harbour was jam-packed with local boats and one small british yacht.

Palagia (46K) InlandFromArgostoli (52K)
Pelagia harbour Monastery church at Mitakata
Next morning we continued in light south-westerlies, which gave us a nice beat along the saw-tooth coast with each tack keeping us close inshore. Our planned destination was Ay Palagia, another abandonned marina only 2Km from the airport. Another British cataman sailor had told us that he kept his boat there, and that we should check it out as an alternative to Argostoli marina. We spent a few days there, finding an excellent taverna only a kilometre up the road towards the airport. But, it was clear there was too much agro between the yachties and the fishermen, and also the best spaces were taken, so we moved round to Argostoli marina. Here, Leonardo arranged for Guilio, an Italian liveabord, to look after Razzmatazz, and he greeted us and guided us to an excellent alongside mooring.

We had a couple of days to spare before our flight home, so hired a car and explored inland, to get a completely different view of the island, with its deep green valleys and attractive villages.