Friday, August 19, 2011

The longest moped ride in history

Today I spoke to my first cousin, Botis, for the first time ever. He is George and Koula's youngest son, brother of Nicholas. Nicholas lives in the Dandenongs in Australia so we see him all the time, but Botis lives in Houston, Texas and I've never had the opportunity to meet him. George, Koula and I just concluded a Skype video call with Botis and his young son Nicholas - how surreal it is to be able to communicate through a computer from one side of the world to the other...

We are about to head off to Dad's neighbour's place for drinks, about 300 steps up the hill. They have a beautiful terrace overlooking the whole of Myrina and the sea. The sun will be setting and I'm sure we will soon be witnessing the best view in Limnos.

Today we had a relaxing day of easy walking, swimming and lazing at the beach, to try and reshape our flattened bums from the longest ride on a moped ever achieved by anyone in the universe. We rode from the far southwest point of the island to the far northeast point, a diagonal line across Limnos, reaching the little fishing village of Plaka, not to be confused with the market area of Athens (or any of the other thousands of towns across Greece bearing the same name).

We feared the worst on our way to Plaka, anticipating getting lost, running out of petrol, or the moped just completely blowing up (it has been making a variety of unidentified noises since we hired it), but were very pleased to see the sign "Welcom to Plaka" as we rolled into the quiet little narrow-laned village. Beyond Plaka is the road to the end of the island which takes you a further two kilometres through rural pastures to the Port of Plaka and a small beach. Chickens, geese and goats inhabit the whole area between Plaka and the port and are commonly seen crossing the roads in hordes.

With relief, we dismounted the bike and walked around the port to stretch our legs and take some photos. It was incredibly quiet, with just the whistle of the wind through the fishing boat masts. No one was out fishing, the fish are all gone. Piles of fishing nets lay dry and dormant in the boats, the fisherman now working on the farms.

Honey, cheese and wine are some of the industries still thriving on Limnos, and in the long grasses where the chickens roam, you will see colourful rows of farmer's bee hives.

The north east part of Limnos seemed greener than the rest of the island, perhaps because the landscape is more flat and conducive to growing crops. There are also the wetlands of Lake Aliki and the Asprolimni salt lakes in this area, visited by flocks of flamingos in October and November.

On our way back we stopped at Kotsinas for lunch. The bronze statue of Maroula, the last 'Amazon' of Lemnos, stands proudly at the fortress of Kotsinas. Maroula was the legendary successful defender of Kotsinas Castle against the Turks in the Middle Ages, bravely using a stick to kill the warriors that killed her father.

Plaka beach – the most north eastern point of the island.

Quiet port of Plaka.

Boat shed of Plaka.

Leaving Plaka.

This is not photoshopped.

Farmer's bee hives.

The inspiring statue of Maroula, Kotsinas.


Anonymous said...

I only have one question about the chickens crossing the road.... why?

Anonymous said...

Loved the Maroula pose by Lisa!
and Tony under the greek flag - you
look almost greek. x x x mum.

Lisa said...

Why did the chickens cross the road? Well they weren't really crossing - they thought it would be funny if they just stood there, each balancing on one foot, so that my photo would look photoshopped...

Mum, thanks again for all your comments. That's an olive branch I'm holding in the Maroula photo (how Greek!). There was an olive tree nearby but it took some effort to break the branch off!

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