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Friday, 7 July 2017

Run from the Sun

That last heatwave was the worst I have  had to endure. Heatwaves are a norm here in July and August.  You drink more water, go for a swim or two, do any necessary outdoor work early in the morning, close the shutters,  have a long siesta and socialise late at night when the sun has long gone down.

This time there was no getting away from that exhausting non-stop heat.  At 8 in the morning I had already had a sheen of sweat glistening on my forehead.  Nights were unbearable .  Fans blew hot air, air condition never seemed to cool  quite enough.  

We finally could stand it no more and on the last day took to the hills.  We had done this once before in similar heat and found relief up near the (winter) snow fields and the forests of fir trees.

We were on the 7am car ferry, air con in the car working even at that early hour.  Two hours later we sighted our first 'norfolk pine'.  I'm not sure if they are norfolk pine, but these fir trees, called 'elata' in greek grow  in the mountains.  That first fir tree told us it was time to turn off the air con, open the car windows and enjoy the rest of the day!  

We found cheap rooms in a little mountain village with stone houses, surrounded by pastures of green grass, and sat in the square under  shady green oak trees.  Iced coffee, a cool breeze and new faces to check out.  Bliss

We literally took off our shoes and relaxed

Some relaxed more than others.  This woman had taken her shoes off and rested her bare feet on the coffee table.  Not exactly the most appropriate thing to do in a cafeteria in a public square

Local produce

Open sacks of lentils, beans, split peas, rice and herbs.  I bought red lentils, 3 euros a kilo.  In the supermarket they are 4.50 for half a kilo.  They will need a good wash though.  I wasn't too sure about those open bags.  Everything non persishable used to be sold this way but health laws now forbid it...in most places

The tavernas in the tourist village were very expensive and we were not impressed by the menu.  After a long siesta we took off for another little village nearby which we had visited years ago.  Population 114 in 2011.  

The men had gathered in the town square to play cards and pass the time in good natured discussion and gossip.  The one in black is the village priest.  One of the lads (ta palikaria)

We started off with coffee but soon ordered a jug of wine and something to eat.  These are stuffed tomatoes with the plate of tzatziki.  Of course we didn't stop there.  A half kilo of grilled lamb chops helped to fill up a few empty places.

No the dog didn't get the bones.  He had disappeared by that time.  A cat turned up so we gave her a few morsels and suddenly there were four cats, and another dog.  

Next day the heatwave broke and we returned to high winds which are still blowing, presumably from the north because they are definitely cooling.  Suddenly we need top sheets on the bed and closed windows at night.  K says this wind is the 'meltemi'.


  1. A little relief from the unrelenting sun's heat, what could be better !
    When we lived at the foot of Pikes Peak Mountain in Colorado Springs, I was always amazed to look up on a hot summer's day, and see the peak covered in snow. Suddenly I felt cooler.
    Your meal sounds wonderful, a little respite.

    1. It was wonderful!! We slept with Windows closed, light blanket and it was cool!
      Pikes Peak Colorado. I've heard about it. That's the place for me. Snow on the mountain tops in the summer!

  2. You lead an interesting life; just taking off to the hills for the night and booking into a room. Pigs might fly here.

    1. You pop over to Germany,pop up to the mountains. It was either that or 24 hours inside with the air con on and a few beers by the beach. Probably cost the same. Desperate measures for desperate times

    2. I do wish I could write a reply without a mistake? These small screens are so annoying.

    3. We all do it. I don't think anybody worries about it anymore.

      As for going up to the hills I wasn't thinking about the cost, I was just thinking P would never agree if I suggested something like that!

    4. Of course.... We enjoy travelling, or did enjoy travelling. Don't like Greek islands but the mountain villages especially in summer are uncrowded and friendly.
      I'm the one who has to prised out of my chair to move but once I do I love the change

  3. I also wish i could write without a mistake, the screen is not my problem:)
    you are so lucky to have those nice places to go for a day or more, here the ac is working all day every day, another heatwave is on it's way next week, it was 42c this week.

    1. Your writing is quite ok! I should check before I press 'post' but I very rarely do look at what I've written till it's too darn late.
      Glad you've got air-conditioning!! 42 is HOT

  4. We are all suffering, but your solution sounds better than most.

    1. It's so wonderful and cool and green up there. Wish I could spend July and August there every year!

  5. That sounds like a great solution to the heat! "Ick" to the woman with her feet on the table. I'm glad you now have a break in the heat and can sleep better. -Jenn

    1. Ick all right!! Usually you do something like that and you're quite firmly to please 'get your bl***y feet off the table'.
      Another heatwave on its way but won't be quite as bad.

  6. Sounds really hot where you are. Just think - you could be working in this. It's no fun.

  7. I did work in this heat when I was younger . Very long hot sweaty days in kitchens without air-conditioning. Somehow you can do it when you know it's only for a few months and well worth the money.
    Now my own kitchen is too much for me in this heat.
    It's a nice cool morning , wonder how the rest of the day will pan out.
    By the way, I was trying 'follow' your blog but can't work out how to do it. Where is that 'follow' button?