We left Lakka and headed just 11 miles across to the mainland to reminisce. We anchored in a sheltered inlet below the Neilson Hotel where we had ended our first holiday together in 2013, a flotilla in the Ionian. The scene was a little different as, due to Covid, the Hotel was closed and we were totally alone at anchor until a Catamaran joined us later that evening. We spent a relaxing afternoon swimming and also walked in to the village of Sivota Murtos closeby. The scenery is stunning and the hotel boasts the most amazing views over towards Paxos and up towards Corfu. When we were here in 2013 with Alison & Neil, the water was awash with small sailing dinghies and windsurfers and families enjoying themselves on the beach.
The following day we left our anchorage and motor sailed 25 miles to Corfu. Corfu spent many years under Venetian, French & British rule and its cultural heritage reflects this. It was united with Greece in 1864. Corfu Town has two imposing Venetian Castles and many other historical monuments. Corfu town is the capital of the Island and has beautiful cobblestone streets and pastel coloured architecture. There is also a wonderful park area, Spianada, close to the venetian castle where cricket is regularly played. The sport was imported to Corfu by the British and the first teams in the island were created after the departure of the British shortly after 1864. The Hellenic Cricket Federation was founded in 1996, the only Greek sport federation that is not based in Athens.
Passing the Venetian Fortress in Corfu Town on our way to Gouvia Marina
We took a berth in Gouvia Marina, the first Marina we had visited since leaving Sicily and spent 4 nights here. There are a number of options as far as marinas in Corfu but Gouvia was the most sheltered at the time we arrived there. We hired a car and explored this lovely island. I am sure as with many other areas we have visited this year, our experience would have been very different if Covid had not been around. The towns and villages, beaches and tavernas were practically deserted! We enjoyed our time on the Island and would return next year for a longer stay and to explore the beaches and coves around the coast.
On the 7th October we left Corfu and made a ‘dash’ back towards the Southern Ionian in readiness for our liftout. A twelve hour sail of 66 miles back to the anchorage off Preveza. We arrived at 21.45, in the dark, so the anchorage was our safest bet as we knew the area well. We moved to the town quay early the next day. Amanda & Jonnie had been sailing in different directions since Alistair’s birthday but they were also heading for Preveza Quay on their way to Vonitsa and then North to Corfu. We spent the evening with them on Infinite Blue and they departed the following morning. We were to see them again in Cardiff later in the year.
We spent 3 nights in Preveza before returning through the Lefkas Canal to spend our last few days in the South Ionian. We were hoping to meet up with Anthea & Paul again before we left and they had offered to take some of our belongings back to Pembrokeshire for us when they returned in their Motorhome in 2 weeks time. Money Penny was fully ‘loaded’ as every time we return we seem bring more clothes and other items back with us! Whilst in Preveza we had had a major clear out before filling a case to return home and also heading for the local charity shop.
Entering the Lefkas Canal from the North We were astounded by the numbers of shoes we found onboard!!!!!!