June 7, 2016
We’re now in Preveza, an outgrowth of the ancient Nicopolis (City of Victory), built to celebrate Octavian’s 31 B.C. victory in a naval battle against the forces of Anthony and Cleopatra. We’re in a small, low-key marina, stocking up on water and groceries and doing laundry.
This follows eight days at anchor in a lovely bay in front of the very small town of Lakka on the island of Paxos. What a nice stay! The bay was clean and beautiful, and we swam at least once a day, more often twice, read a lot, and worked on our tans. Vid Vandre was close by.
Anchoring is such a pleasure! No docks (and no cost), rowing and swimming for exercise, and a nearby town offering very good food and drink at very reasonable prices. Although we’re adapting to retsina, there is sometimes good red wine available too. In the 12 days after leaving Corfu we only used half our fresh water, so we’re much encouraged about our ability to spend big chunks of time living on our own resources.
Between taking a bus to another town on the island, and sailing the 36 miles to Preveza yesterday, I was surprised by how empty Greece is, population-wise. Forests of tall olive trees cover Paxos, and on the mainland miles and miles of rugged mountains are bare of any towns or houses. A little research, and here’s a fact that surprised me – the population of Greece is smaller than that of Cuba, or, for that matter, the Chinese city of Shenzhen! 10.8 million people, total, in the entire nation. Warren Buffet could restore the entire economy to health out of his petty-cash drawer!
Anyway, there is a lot of awareness of the economic difficulties here, and a keen interest in international politics. The marina manager, a young guy getting by in a pretty clearly marginal job, asked me if I’d be going back to the U.S. to vote. I said, “No, I’m a socialist and I don’t support either of the candidates.” That produced a fist bump, and a story. He told me that a couple months ago he’d had an American in the marina who said he was going back to vote for Donald Trump. “Then,” he said to the guy, “today is your last day in the marina.”
We left our friends and traveling companions Morten and Anne-Inge in Lakka, and miss them. We hope to see them again in Kalamata in September after their return to Norway for the summer. We’ll leave here tomorrow morning for another ten or twelve days at anchor, first on the island of Maganisi, then on Ithaca – Odysseus’s home.