We were sad to have to bid farewell to Siobhan the next morning who was off back to Istanbul on business. Later that morning though we were off to the Greek Island of Simi so spirits were high, this was also new territory for Jamie and Liz.
It would be the longest sail we would embark on our trip and so we eagerly got under way, surely this was the best chance of catching a fish as well …. Out went the lines, the bearing was set and everyone relaxed into the journey which would have to be undertaken by motor as the little wind there was was hitting us head on.
Candice’s grandfather was Greek and she was to be the first member of her family to step foot on Greek soil as Nick had been born in South Africa so it was quite a poignant moment for her and as the island loomed even nearer we crossed the marine border between the two countries/continents and the Turkish flag was lowered and replaced by the Greek one as is de rigueur.
Jamie also appeared to get quite excited as we started to approach the island and he seemed to have something on his mind as he scanned the horizon with his binoculars…
Apologies but it had to done ;o)
Simi looked quite different to anything we had seen in Turkey with many coloured pastel and white houses giving it a toy town look from a distance. The water seemed to be even clearer and there were fish darting round us while we were swimming. I had made a burley/chum bag out of some plastic mosquito net and rope and filled it with stale bread and whenever we stopped that was lowered over the side of the boat to try and attract fish which had some limited success but now the fish were sweeping up the bits of bread round our feet. I took the rest of the afternoon to teach J+L how to fish for these small bait fish with some fine monofilament, little floats and some tiny little spade end hooks baited with small pieces of bread that were pretty tricky to tie but well worth the effort. Success !! Jamie caught the first of these small fish after an hour or so of trying and the plan was to get a number more no we had it sussed and get enough for a modest meal. However Millie had other plans and even though the fish was secreted away in a bucket with a lid she still managed to extract ‘her’ meal, survival of the fittest won through in that round but I think from here on in Millie may not have first dibs on all fish that get landed.
After the afternoons excitement it was time for a beer and so to Simi…
We walked for about 4o minutes mostly uphill to cross over the saddle in the hill to get to Simi town itself which was thirsty work so it was with great relief that we literally stumbled on this café in an amazing setting which had probably the brain numbingly coldest and best tasting beer we’d had so far. In hindsight we should have probably stayed here for the evening as it was pretty authentic without a day tripper in sight.
However the town of Simi had its own charm as well and after a bit more of an orientation exercise i.e. drinking more beer we decided to go and have dinner. The restaurant we chose was recommended to us by an Australian waitress who said she had eaten there recently and it was fantastic. Well if she’d eaten there on her wages then I’m a Monkey’s uncle – more like she‘d directed so many tourists there that the manager had given her a freebie!
It was very contemporary and that was reflected in the price, but apart from the chef’s propensity for dousing everything in foam it was pretty special and worth the money and it’s not every day we have dinner J+L. Here is my starter which was raw shrimps with garlic flowers.