I was up with the lark again this morning. However, there are no more larks on Nisyros than there are on Kos so I’m still none the wiser as to their getting-up time.
After breakfast on the hotel terrace, always a pleasure, I started to upload the blog. The process I have adopted is to write it in Word, usually in the evening, and then copy/paste that into the on-line software on the Word/Press site next morning. Photos have to be added individually at that stage and that is the bit which takes longer.
There is a public WiFi on Nisyros. Last year there were two aerials, one on the town hall the other at the information office at the harbour. The signal at the hotel, which is in the middle, was weak so I got into the habit of going down to the harbour and sitting in the shade to upload the blog, check bank balances, send and receive e-mails. This year there are at least 3 aerials and the signal strength at the hotel on my balcony is excellent.
However, the connection keeps going down, sometimes mid-process. Uploading the blog yesterday morning took a very long time and even then I only managed to get the text loaded. That was the first thing which didn’t work out.
The second thing which didn’t work out. I had discovered that the free public bus only runs at 06.45 and 14.00, neither of those times being convenient for going for a walk, hotel breakfast being served from 07.30. So I thought I would do as before and arrange to take the ‘volcano bus’ part way and get dropped off. The trick is to get to the harbour before the trip boats from Kos arrive and make the arrangement with one of the two bus operators before the crowds arrive.
Because of the delay with the internet I didn’t make it to the harbour before the crowds and the queues at the desks to buy tickets were long and the bus operators clearly more than a little hassled dealing with the hundreds of people who all wanted personal attention and had idiosyncratic needs, increasingly often through the medium of Russian. So I decided to walk from the harbour to the village of Nikia perched on the crater rim and either catch the 14.00 bus from there on its return trip or do a circular walk around the rim of the caldera and back to town.
In the end I decided to see just how fit I was and do the whole walk, considerably longer than I have walked before. Normally we would do this as two separate walks each of which is quite taxing in the heat. The temperature has increased in the last couple of days from low 20s to mid 30s and we are only a couple of weeks from the summer solstice when the sun is highest in the sky and at its strongest.
It was tough going but I thoroughly enjoyed the walk and got considerable satisfaction from managing the whole thing in one go. Many of the late Spring flowers were still in evidence, not the vast fields of colour which Enfys and I saw in early May 2009 but significant numbers, particularly in shady spots out of the scorching effect of the sun. So I decided to concentrate my photographic efforts on the many types of flower still in evidence to post on the blog. Because of the poor internet connection I’m afraid that’s not going to happen.
I stopped for a break at the crater rim monastery of Stavros and had an unpleasant surprise which led to a very pleasant one. When I opened the nut-bar with dark chocolate which I had brought from home I found that the dark chocolate had turned to liquid and it went everywhere including all over my hands. Having failed to bring any tissues I went into the church to see if I could find any kitchen roll, often in evidence as part of the cleaning kit left there. On opening the door I disturbed a huge cicada usually very difficult to see as they hide in the trees. A good photo opportunity.
Still a long walk back to the town but I eventually made it, tired, hot and very glad of being able to go straight to the beach and a swim in the sea. A lot calmer than yesterday but still pretty big waves. It was fabulous.
The third thing which didn’t work out was that when I put the Greek SIM card in my phone and texted Ruth and David to tell them the Greek number was up and running …. it wouldn’t send. Haven’t got to the bottom of that one yet but I guess it’s something to do with Vodafone cancelling the credit I left on the phone last year.
The fourth thing which didn’t work out was that I have clearly got the wrong PIN for my new current account locked into my brain. I failed to get cash out of the ATM and am afraid to try again in case I get locked out and my card eaten by the machine. I’m hoping David will come to the rescue.
After all this I was veryready for bed. I think a shorter walk is on the cards for tomorrow.