This will not be a long series of blog entries because we have covered Megnaisi before and not a lot has changed since we were last here:
The Hotel looks the same and has been given its annual coat of paint
The chair is still at the bus stop
Flowers are out everywhere
Grape covered canopies are just as covered:
and the Harbour is just as picturesque:
The town water tank has received a coat of paint:
There is a new Bus Shelter in Katomeiri
which required a formal opening because it was constructed on the same date as someone’s birthday
and there are probably slightly more yachts in the Harbour.
The one big change however is very unwelcome from the point of view of the Islanders and those hoping to cross either way on the ferry. This is that the ferry company have not only reduced the number of return ferry journeys each day to four, they have also stopped sailing from Nidri to Spilia to Vathi and back to Nidri by missing Vathi out completely.
So now, Vathi gets no day tourists from the ferry boat and if you want to get to the mainland, you have to get to Spilia. And then to make the changes completely illogical (and remember this is the country which could be said to have invented Logic), these changes were introduced on 1st June 2014 just as the tourist season started !
For those who cannot read the times in the photograph, they are:
as soon as the ferry gets to Spilia it turns around and heads back.
Just to make sure that the service to the island has really deteriorated, the single around the island bus no longer meets the ferry at Spilia so if you get the 18:00 ferry back, you have to walk once you get to Spilia! They have reduced the cost of a ferry ticket though, it used to cost €2 and now costs €1.70 although locals point out that it used to cost them only €1 and therefore prices have been reduced for tourists and increased for locals. The ferry company is not best loved at the moment!
The sharp eyed will have noticed that above are the ferry times for June, from July they get even worse with the first ferry leaving earlier and the last ferry later. The reason? The ferry company have decided that they can make more money by using the ferry twice a day on the route from Nidri to Cephalonia than by serving the needs of Meganisi. The port shop keepers are in despair and hope that another company might start a passenger ferry at peak times.
There is also a passenger ferry from Meganisi to Leftkada every day (leaving 0720 arriving at Leftkada 0810, returning at 1230, arriving Meganisis at 1320). The best source we have found for ferry times is here. Be warned however, the ferry times seem to be changing constantly over the summer period and all web information may be inaccurate.
One morning we walked from Katomeri to Spilia via the top road through Spartohori to take the ferry to Nidri and back
and along the way we passed old ladies weaving using old looms - Pat was invited to give it a try
The olive groves were untouched
as was a carefully position stick / pole which held up a branch
the Bourgonvillea were out in full force
the chapel on the road to Spartohori has had a paint job
the road sign warning of cows or sheep or some strange island hybrid has been replaced (the previous one had bullet holes in it)
and one hour later we got to a cafe in Spartohori with time enough for a cold drink overlooking the bay before the ferry arrived to take us to Nidri and back. It is no wonder we like this island
as does this mermaid on a rather stoney Limonari Beach - one very hot morning we walked there which was easy because it is down a very steep hill. Whilst we were there, the island Fire Engine came to water a few new trees and the fireman offered us a lift back up the hill, typical of this small island where everyone welcomes you.