Once we had collected the car we drove to the Island of Lefkas (Lefkada) where we had booked an apartment for the week. Lefkas only just qualifies as an island as it is connected to the mainland by a long causeway and a floating bridge.
The bridge opens every hour to allow boats to pass through, causing traffic to build up.
It takes about 25 minutes to drive to Lefkas and the car seemed to be reasonably ok and wasn’t making any loud banging noises but was still rattling and whirring. A garage on the outskirts of the town had been recommended to us so we decided to get her checked out.
Trying to ensure that she doesn’t end up like this!
The mechanic was very friendly, he took her out for a drive, when he returned he said that he thought it was the rear hand break sticking and told us to leave it with him, he would have a look and let us know. (We think that’s what he said as his English was limited and our Greek is non existent).
He did call the following morning, but struggling to understand him on the telephone we went back to the garage. He had the car up on the ramp with the wheel removed, he tried to explain what needed to be done, not sure exactly what he said but he did say ‘very expensive’ several times, we confirmed with him that the car was not worth spending a lot of money on and left it with him to investigate second hand parts. As we walked back into town we were still a little worried of what it was going to cost.
Having not heard anything after a couple of days, we went back to find out what was happening. When we got there he told us, with a smile on his face, that it was fixed. Not sure what he had done but the whirring sound seemed to have gone. Expecting a huge bill, we were delighted when he told us that the total cost was 100 euros ‘cash’.
The next day, we took the car for a drive to Nidri which is the largest tourist resort on the island, and went for a walk up the Dimossari waterfalls. We have visited before but previously came in the summertime and there was hardly any water, we hoped that we would see more this time due to the recent storms. After treating ourselves to a big breakfast on the seafront, we walked a couple of miles on the path from Nidri towards the waterfalls which was lined with trees, many of which were starting to bear fruits and flowers.
A narrow track then continues up along the side of a gorge where a stream flows and there are some small waterfalls.
Eventually you are rewarded when you come to the main waterfall at the end of the trail. At 15 meters high, surrounded by large rocks and cliffs, the water runs into a crystal clear (ice cold) pool. Although it had not recovered fully from the long hot summer, we were pleased to at least see more water than our previous visit.
Lefkas is very mountainous which is the source of many waterfalls and has a lot of underground water which is one of the reasons why the island is very green. We decided to go and have a look at another waterfall, and walk up the Melissa Gorge in the hope of finding more water here, the information said that ‘water gushes through’.
The start of this walk was a short drive away up a mountain, the road was more of a winding track so a good test for the car, thankfully she made it ok. From here we had a great view of Lefkas town, the lagoon to the north and the mainland in the distance.
Once there, we walked on the narrow trail up along the gorge, unfortunately there was no water to be seen! A nice stone path had been installed a few years ago, but had not been maintained, it was overgrown and collapsing in some places with the barriers falling away, but we continued on anyway along the path.
I’m sure we can get through here…..
But I don’t think we should go this way!
We went over some very unstable wooden bridges (I sent Paul over them first to check that they were safe).
The guide said that ‘after going over the 5th wooden bridge we would see a waterfall cascading down’ we eventually found a small stream!
Despite there being hardly any water, it was a lovely walk through the trees, some of which were growing through the rocks, you could see where the water had previously run through wearing the rocks away, there were derelict stone watermills and the remains of old stone bridges.
We did come across a grass snake along the path, it was approximately 2 ft long, unfortunately I couldn’t take a picture as I was too busy jumping up and down so that it couldn’t slither up my legs.
We had planned to only stay in Lefkas for one week and then have the Covid test again before travelling back to Italy. However the rules changed during the week and we were no longer required to have the test if travelling from Greece, providing that you hadn’t been in the UK for at least 14 days. As we had been in the UK, we could either pay 200 euros for the test and head to Italy or spend the money instead on another weeks accommodation in Lefkas. As it was lovely sunny weather, we decided to stay for a further week meaning that we wouldn’t need the test and gave us more time to explore the area. To be continued…..