Monthly Archives: November 2017

Our Lesbian House

Well, it took us enough time to write up the Central American trip so we’re really behind on what we’ve been doing the rest of 2017.  We have, in fact, been very busy.  We blogged about our trip to Akyaka and our travels since then (apart from a brief trip to see family in the UK) have been in Greece.

There was a plan to look around with a view to buying a property in Greece at some point in the next two years.  We ended up putting in an offer on the first place we saw.  That was back in June when we went to Lesvos for Ashley’s birthday.  We spent some time looking around the Island on our own and attempted to contact a number of Estate Agents.  Only one of whom got back to us.  She took us to see two properties.  One of which we liked a lot.  We went back to our studio apartment in Skala Kallonis, then off to the bar to talk about it.  We decided we liked the place too much to let it go.  So, the next morning, we put in an offer.  The vendor (a very pleasant retired teacher living in Yorkshire) said she would accept that if we would also pay towards her expenses.  This came down to well within the maximum we had agreed between ourselves so…

We bought a house in Greece.

The house is in Parakila – a village with a population of about 2000.  It has a couple of bakers and a couple of general stores and a supermarket, a petrol station a bar and a taverna.  It has two churches (one of which is very old and one of which is modern).  The old one is right opposite our house so there is little chance of sleeping late in the morning – the bells start at 7 a.m.  It is 11 Km from Kalloni which has a far wider array of shops including butchers, cheese shops and really big supermarkets.

The house has a lot of land – probably the best part of half an acre – on two terraces.  It has vines in the front garden and bitter oranges and sweet oranges and a pomegranate tree.  It also has a dead goat (under an apple tree).  And it has an amazing view…

When the moon is full it turns the entire bay into silver.  And there is very little light pollution so, when the sky is clear, you can see the milky way and thousands upon thousands of stars.

Back to Valladolid

RioLagartosSunset

That picture is not of Valladolid at all – it’s Rio Lagartos but I forgot to put it into the last post.  Here is another one:

RioLagartos1

So, it was with considerable reluctance that we left Rio Lagartos.  We got a bus or two to Valladolid because the run from Valladolid to Cancun is very quick and easy.  We do like Valladolid anyway so it was there that we spent our last night in Central America.

We got there quite early in the afternoon so decided to take a colletivo out to the Mayan site of Ek Balam.  Now, Ek Balam is quite odd.  There is a cenote nearby which has been developed as some kind of adventure playground or sports centre so there were a lot of tourists there with their kids.  Some of them wandered across to the archaeological site though many did not.

Ek Balam, like so many sites, is dramatically situated.  Brilliant views from the tops of the buildings.  It also has a couple of very (some might say over) restored reliefs.  Oh and at least two lovely ball courts.

Back in Valladolid we had a pleasant meal and, next morning headed to Cancun, the airport, the plane and cold and rainy London town.

Rio Lagartos

Flamingo1

Rio Lagartos is really all about the birds.  It’s a small fishing village in a quiet location, with a few hotels and restaurants.  Day trippers come in from all around to hire a boatmen to take them out to see the flamingos.  You really do need to AdolescentBrownPelicanhire a boat to get to see the flamingos.  All the way along the estuary we saw ospreys flying overhead.  And, of course, crocodiles (the Spanish invaders made a mistake as Rio Lagartos is not a river and contains crocodiles, not alligators).  Just strolling by the harbour we saw two kinds of pelicans (brown and white), including this youngster who had bitten off more than it could chew.  Apparently the fish do go down eventually!  There are royal terns all over the boats and cormorants everywhere.

One bar/restaurant where we took to hanging out feeds the humming birds which can be seen coming and going whilst the humans enjoy a beer.  Sadly none of the many photos we took of the hummingbirds came out very well.  It was a very relaxing few days at the end of our trip and the birding was wonderful.

Merida

MeridaHotel1

Our next stop was Merida.  Where we stayed in the Grand Hotel.  It was very grand and had a chandelier in the bathroom.  It wasn’t particularly expensive but it was highly atmospheric and full of interesting antiques.

Merida is a lively city and there is always something to do.  We booked ourselves onto a guided tour to Uxmal because it is quite difficult to reach independently.  We nearly didn’t go – we had been before and it was not on our ‘essentials’ list.  The site, however, is one of the most spectacular in Mexico.  There were a lot more tourists there than we saw last time we visited (when we had the place pretty much to ourselves) but the reliefs are amazing.  And we saw a great many iguanas.  Oh, and just look at that ball court!

The trip to Uxmal included a stop at a nearby site, Kabah, which was quieter (apart from a local school group) and interesting.

Uxmal-near

 

We experimented further with Margaritas, finding those in Merida much more to our taste and we were fortunate in that our trip coincided with some kind of festival which included a demonstration of Poc ta Poc – the modern incarnation of the Mayan ball game.  There was commentary and explanation in Spanish and English.  And, for some parts of the demonstration, they set the ball on fire.

All in all we were glad to have had time to revisit Merida.