About This Blog

Memories of my travels between 1972 and 1982

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

July 27th: Sivota on Lefkas in Greece

On July 27th 1972 I was in Sivota on the Greek island of Lefkas.

Sivota in 1972: picture by Pete Brown, in my possession
I was driving the Land-Rover around Greece with Hilkka, looking for nice spots to stay and pass a final month before entering Turkey for the drive east.  At Kalambaka we had picked up a hitchhiker, an Australian dentist called Pete, and he stayed with us a while.  We crossed the Katara Pass to Metsovo and Ioannina, and then we went on to Dodona to visit the ruins of the oracle.  This area was full of a party of French people driving Citroen Traction Avants; there must have been sixty or seventy of them spread out over a wide area.  Finally we hit on Lefkas as an island we could drive on to and ended up at the little village of Sivota where we asked to pitch our tent near the water's edge and were welcomed.  By chance we found there Vasilis, a Greek Australian passing the summer back home while his family tried to find him a wife.  He became our host and we were able to offer transport to him or his family and friends.  I remember taking Vasilis on a tour of villages; the main purpose was to go to Madorochoria so that he could check out, incognito in the Land-Rover, a girl his family was proposing for him.

On this day we took another man from Sivota, Iannis, and his family to visit his mother in Poros, a pure white little town built on a low cliff above the sea some miles to the north.  We were served baklava and ouzo in the house, went to a cafe to buy some ingredients for lunch and then went to the beach for a swim.  Lunch was chicken and chips and salad.  After coffee on the balcony we split up:  Hilkka went with the women on a house to house social call while I took a stroll with Pete over the hill above the town; I remember coming back and standing by the church eating russet pears which were just getting soft.  A perfect day in a town unused to foreigners.

There was a little cafe on the waterfront in Sivota where we took coffee and wine, and a taverna a little way apart which catered to the yachters who liked to hitch up here and were the only form of tourism.  The villagers were genuinely sad I think when we left.  The women came to visit us bearing gifts including  a huge bottle of olive oil for sunbathing.  They also took us to pick a large bag of rigani (wild oregano) which caused the odd moment of consternation at customs checks in the following months.

Sivota in 2007:  Picture by H.P.Burger,  CC

View Sivota in a larger map

No comments:

Post a Comment