Well, here we are in July. The days are long, the sun is hot, the sea is warm. Normally this is high season and the bay is full of yachts swinging at anchor and Yialos full of gulets and gleaming megayachts. This year both are empty. There are still restrictions in place regarding yachting movements, many cruising yachtsmen are in the vulnerable over 70s demographic so reluctant to travel, flights have to be booked, anti-fouling applied, boats launched – it will take a while for the summer time parade of visiting yachts and gulets to appear, if it ever does this year. At the moment, due to Covid-19 testing protocols, Symi is not a port of entry for non-Greek yachts so even if sailing between Greece and Turkey were to resume, it would have to be through Rhodes.
Katsaras in Pedi has been open for a while, as you will have gathered from previous blog posts, and the sunbeds are also out at St Nicholas, even though the water taxi is not running as yet. Apostoli’s is now making the transition from boatyard to waterfront taverna. The last of the caiques is in the water and the bobcat is landscaping the beach. The chairs and tables are getting a lick of paint and the sunbeds are ready to roll.
The Pedi Beach hotel is still pretty much deserted although I saw a pink bathing costume hanging out to dry from one of the umbrellas (sorry, no photo, my batteries were flat).
The general trend at the moment is that the old people head for the sea early – 7 a.m. or thereabouts – and time their walk back up the hill before the heat nails them to the tarmac. From about 4 p.m. on wards the younger locals make for the water – parents with small children, groups of teenagers, local teachers and so on. In the middle of the day it is just far too hot at the moment for anyone to move. Temperatures are in the 40s and only the cicadas are busy.
There is some anxiety on the island at the moment. In the usual state of Covid-induced paranoia, the news that two Greek-Americans who managed to get to Karpathos in June became ill with Covid-19 after their arrival, infected several relatives before they themselves were isolated in hospital in Crete and resulted in an entire village being put into lockdown has not gone down well. This was followed a few days later by the news that of the 9 new cases of Covid-19 announced yesterday, 7 of them were tourist arrivals from abroad, and the land border with Serbia has been closed due to an increase of cases there.
Meanwhile, as I write this, my laptop has just pinged a notification that will bring joy to the hearts of any readers from the UK who have flights booked for this month.
Good luck! Who knows what tomorrow will bring?