Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Boating We Shall Go!!

Wednesday was yet another beautiful day in Lakka and over the weekend we made a reservation to rent a boat for the day.  It was a simple 16’ center console fishing type boat and our plan was to do some exploring and then end up on Anti Paxos, an island just to the south of us.

First thing on Wednesday we headed out for our day of adventure.  Lakka is at the northern most point of Paxos so we made the plan to bear left (west) and then south towards Anti Paxos.   Josh, as always, was the perfect boat driver, navigating not only the caves but all the waves we encountered.
I know how much everyone loves the shots of the harbor... again :)

Our boat
Captain Josh and his hat
As we round the outside of the harbor
This is actually the other side of where our villa is, in the open sea
The next couple of shots are just ones I took of the island as we were going down the coast...

You can see where the erosion is wearing away at the island

You can see caves in this one!
All of the caves we explored were on the west coast and the terrain was definitely more rugged than the more protected eastern side (which is also where all the towns happen to be located).The caves were huge and my pictures don’t do them justice.Our boat fit quite comfortably in to just about all of them with room to move around, yes they were that big.

Upon entering our first cave I was definitely a bit ambivilent... yes I know that these have been here for hundreds if not thousands of years, but you never know when a cave might collapse.  And as Josh says, I'll probably get struck by lightning sometime too... though here we are in our first one!

Our first cave


Almost there...
Still doesn't look like we would fit does it?  We actually would have but I wasn't ready for Josh to go into a cave at this point... he went into the next one which was a bit larger

Next caves

The picture on the right is actually one of the walls inside the cave.  The picture does not do the size of this wall or cave justice but perhaps the exiting picture below will...
As we leave the cave...
The coolest cave in my opinion was a triple one where the center cave had collapsed therefore letting in tons of sunlight from the open cave ceiling.  Again I don’t think the pics are going to do this one justice.  And this is the video of us going thru it:

First mate Liam LOVED the caves!
Isn't that water unbelievable???
And so clear!
Triple cave with the center one collapsed... my favorite one
Center cave
Cave we actually drove into since you couldn't go in the collapsed one...

Inside the cave

And because I'm not sure which cave this video goes with, I'm going to just plug it in right here: 

Inside the cave was actually a small beach area.  Josh wanted to anchor here but I said no way!  I know, I'm a total spoilsport!

View into the collapsed cave

It may look like it's pretty low but this cave was probably at least 10-15 feet tall at the entrance

Inside the cave was another little cave starting!

View into the collapsed cave from within the one next to it
On our way back out again

Loved that I actually got a reflection of the sun on the water

One of my favorite shots of the day
We made it to Anti Paxos around 11ish and our biggest challenge was finding somewhere to tie up the boat.  Josh dropped the kids and myself off at the dock and proceeded to tie up the boat himself – I did get a comical picture or two of him doing that J

Anti Paxos in the distance
Beach at Anti Paxos

As always the gentleman that he is, Josh dropped the kids and I off at the dock and then had to tie up the boat on his own - you can kind of catch him climbing back on after tying it up
The beach was fabulous – beautiful soft sand and clear turquoise waters.  The only downside was that it was crowded, very crowded.  We did find an umbrella to put our stuff under before the crowds really started to show up but ferry after ferry after ferry kept coming by to this little beach (they were more like water taxis than ferries size-wise) to drop people off.  However the kids loved building sand castles and Aidan enjoyed more snorkeling in the water of course.
Ahhhh the beach!  And sand!
More clear beautiful water!
My little fishie
Building sand castles, the one thing they can't do on Paxos
All smiles
Competing castles
Getting some rocks for accessories
Swimming and building
Out for a swim with daddy
Not a bad attempt Liam!
We had lunch at a little taverna on the beach where they grilled everything right there.  We even saw an octopus hanging out to dry waiting to be grilled.  My chicken was fabulous, Josh’s lamb, just ok by the looks of it but the view was amazing!
Taverna where we had lunch
If you look really close on the left side of the grill, just above it you can see the octopus just hanging there waiting to be grilled...
After lunch we had time for one more quick swim before we had to leave Anti Paxos.  The boat rental company had advised us not to leave too late due to it getting too choppy and windy in the afternoon.  We completed the circle coming up the east coast making stops in the harbors of Gaios (where we had dinner on Tues) and in Laggos which we’d heard a lot about.
Harbor view of Gaios
Small peninsula with lighthouse
Harbor of Loggos
Closer up shot of Loggos...
Ok, I'm getting bored now, are we almost done??
We finally came upon our harbor and I still think it’s the most beautiful of the three hands down.  We anchored to the opposite side of where we are staying and Josh and the kids jumped off the side of the boat several times for another swim.  Ok, Liam didn’t jump in, I lowered him down, but it was still a huge Liam step amongst many this summer when it comes to his fear of water – I think it’s safe to say he loves the water now! 
Lakka harbor
Our villa on the hill
Liam "driving" the boat
Aidan getting ready to jump off  (notice I'm not in any of these, that is because I'm nice and dry, albeit very hot, on the boat)
And there goes Aidan into the water!

My courageous Liam joins Aidan and Josh
That was AWESOME!!!

And I'm going to do it again... and again... and again!

One more boat ride to dry off
We took one last boat ride to dry off and headed back up to the “yellow house” as Liam calls it.  We’ve only got a few more days left in paradise and I’m so sad to see it is going to end soon.  I think we are going to come back next year that’s how much we love it!

Dinner in Lakka
Square where we had dinner
The boys obsession with finding crabs in the harbor

Running back up to the house

And more running!


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