Birthday Invitation – Saturday 19th May 2012


The weather forecast had proved wrong again. There was no further rain and we set sail from Ionousses in sunny clear warmth. The waters were very calm and the lack of wind meant that we had to motor.
Today is Louise’s birthday. I can think of no better place, and no better way to celebrate than sailing around Greek islands. Today we make it to Chios. Most Greek islands have several ways to spell them using the English alphabet. I have never been to any of the islands we visit on this trip and each one is different and interesting.
Within two hours we arrived at Marmaro on Chios. The harbour is tiny with no other yachts or motor boats, only small fishing boats.

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There are a string of six tavernas and bars along the quayside and a tiny town square with a few further cafes and shops, most of which are closed for the afternoon. A complete windmill stands at the Northern corner by the sea and another, sail-less wreck lies further in the inlet.

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John and I go to explore the town and find a further restaurant deep within the village. Tis has a swimming pool and is set amid allotment gardens. We walk up to the church and admire views.
Meanwhile, Louise and her husband go on their own and admire a lady’s garden. Before they know it they are invited in for oranges and drinks, and shown collections of model boats. What a wonderful way to spend a birthday. This family went out of their way to welcome Louise, advising her on other parts of the island to visit and chatting with her for nearly an hour.

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We wanted to find somewhere a little special for Louise’s birthday meal. This can be quite hard in remote and less frequented spots. We walked to various restaurants only to find limited menus or that they were not serving food at all. In the end we went back to the middle of the village and re-found our swimming pool restaurant: To Aypskinma. We were the only patrons, but what a feast we enjoyed! Our hostess grew much of her own food, served with great pride and cooked well. It was a brilliant evening. Tiny spinach balls, cheese pies, stuffed courgette flowers, Imam aubergine, veal and chicken, followed by home made cherry conserve and yogurt.

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