Stormy Skies and Sleepy Cats

Half past six in the morning and dawn breaks behind St George’s church in Pedi.
The beach at Apostoli’s has been cleared to receive the first boats for haul out. In the background you can see shuttered houses, secured against the winter storms. Some property owners have special storm shutters made from sheets of painted plywood which they put in place to protect the traditional wooden shutters from the elements so that they don’t have to be repainted every year. Symi’s charming neo-classical architecture is very high maintenance.
Our cauliflower-eared ginger friend, checking out sandbox conditions.
Looking back from the path to St Nicholas beach yesterday morning, 26 October 2020. The squills have lost most of their flowers now and are mainly naked stalks.
A closer look reveals three kayaks, paddling out into the bay. Symi might not actively court adventure holidays or provide much in the way of amenities to facilitate such activities, but those who are happy to organise their own, arrive with kayaks, mountain bikes and such like. Symi’s dramatic landscape and spectacular bays and coves lend themselves to a lot more than sun-bathing.
A different ginger cat, this one with ears intact, snoozing under a rosemary bush outside the Pedi Beach hotel. The hotel is now closed, the front terrace deserted and the staff busy, packing things away, pruning tamarisk trees and securing the property for whatever the winter may toss at Symi.

Storm Circe is approaching and this is likely to be the last calm day for a while. The storm is expected to reach Symi tomorrow afternoon or evening, leading on to at least a week of unsettled weather. The clouds are already thickening and the sky is the pinkish grey that portends red rain.

Tomorrow, 28 October, is also Ochi Day, a public holiday and national day in Greece. Usually celebrated with parades around the country, this year the parades have been cancelled and the wreath-laying will be low-key. The last tavernas remaining open are expecting good lunch time trade tomorrow, if the weather holds, as families often eat out on this day. This year they will be skipping the parade and moving straight onto the lunch! Social distancing still applies, with an official limit of 6 to a table.

Dodecanese Seaways ferries have started laying on more routes to bring people from Rhodes and other islands to Panormitis monastery in the run-up to the Feast of St Michael on 8 November. Allowing groups to visit the monastery over a longer period of time makes sense in these days of social distancing, particularly as there is a limit on how many passengers ferries are allowed to carry at the moment.

Speaking of limits, the last bus out of Yialos is now 9 p.m. and on Saturday evening by 10 p.m. there was not a taxi to be found, even though there were quite a few people around. Understandable, really, as the last few times I have caught the bus at various times of the day or evening I have often been the only person or one of only a handful of passengers.

October Postcards from Symi

Carefully tethered with a bit of fishing line, this toy boat shelters among its big brothers in the ‘marina’ in Pedi.
Invisible cat. This old bruiser with his battered cauliflower ears has sired countless ginger kittens and has a territory that extends far up the Pedi valley. He appeared in this blog some months ago, snoozing on a plastic chair in a garden of prickly pears below the Alethini.
Everyone else’s smartphone moonrise photos look like moonrise photos. I never seem to get more than a dot in the night sky but you get the general idea. This was the last full moon, rising over St George’s church in Pedi. Yes, that yellow blur is the Symi bus and no, it wasn’t breaking speed records. This was a slow exposure supposedly better for photographing moons.
The tamarisk trees are flowering and the bees are loving it.
St Nicholas beach on Wednesday this week. They are systematically packing away umbrellas and sunbeds. This photograph was taken at 5 in the afternoon and much of the beach was already in shadow. Many of Symi’s beaches are east-facing and surrounded by high hills and cliffs. Even if there are still tourists around, they still close up in October as they are too shady to attract sun-loving tourists. Locals, on the other hand, appreciate the fact that the sea stays warm until Christmas and enjoy a dip after a long walk.
George’s water taxi heading back to the jetty in Pedi.
The fuel ship for the power station coming into Pedi this morning. There was an inconveniently anchored yacht in the bay so much tooting while the anxious yachtsman hastened to move his yacht out of the way.
Someone is enjoying a late break.
Others are firmly closed. Those storm shutters are unlikely to shift before May 2021.

The winter growing season has begun.

Pedi in the Poppy Season

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Even churches need spring cleaning. St George’s church in Pedi.

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Designer flocks with ear tags take the place of lawnmowers round here. Well, why waste good food?

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An orderly view.

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A disorderly view.

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The end of the road.

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Villa Jasmine, the house with the blue shutters, was a popular Symi Visitor property. You can now book through AirBnB.

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Pedi bay

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Wet lands in Pedi.

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This seasonal pond in Pedi is swarming with tadpoles. We hope that they reach maturity before the pond evaporates completely.

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Reflections

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This was supposed to be a marina in Pedi but something went a bit wrong with the dimensions so it is a haven for small boats instead. Yachts can moor on the outside. Unfortunately there are no actual shoreside facilities available as yet.

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Checking out the food chain. Pedi cats are generally very well fed, even in the winter months.