Friday, January 12, 2018
When Jinhee and Megan disappear the pictures stop coming fast and furious. I am terrible at taking pictures and have no new pictures in the last two days. So I will add in some at the end from prior activities. [Featured photo is Sunrise over Kythnos as we departed on Monday morning]
I have spent the time over the last couple of days cleaning, cycling and running errands. The cleaning goes without saying, although it is worth noting that cleaning a boat is much more difficult than your average house, both inside and out. Jinhee and I cleaned the outside after our return from Kythnos, so there was no more to be done there, but in the last few days before Jinhee and Megan departed, we kind of let things slip, so the boat needed some attention. There are many angles and levels on most boats and Home Free is no different. Here is the pilot house for instance. Notice all the ledges and grates, and levels . . . Its a bit like that everywhere.
When trying to be tourists, it is hard to get in the time to go for long bike rides. The weather here is great, but the heat of the day is typically from 11am until 4pm or so. While the sun is up around 7:45 and goes down around 5:30, I don’t want to be on a bike at sunset with these traffic conditions and then getting dressed for the different temperatures on a single ride is also hard, so I try to catch the 3-4 Celsius range in the warmth of the day.
So yesterday I went out for a ‘long’ bike ride, but really my primary objective was to find a bike shop to service my worn out brakes. I succeeded admirably, but it took time off of the potential ride. My brakes are now awesome again (they just needed adjusting) and it only cost me five euros.
Today was a bit better. My goal today was 100km, and it was impacted by my continuing effort on paperwork which I will describe shortly. In the end I did the 100km despite leaving later than planned and having a few stomach issues on the road, as well as some navigational issues. The good news is that I succeeded in finding over 1000m of climbing and who can complain when riding four hours outdoors in January! Nice.
Before I left though I thought it wise to make another attempt to get my Greek Visa sorted out and so went to the building that supposedly housed the appropriate agency. I may have mentioned in a prior post that I am trying to find this location, and I have to say I was exactly in the right spot each time, but there is NO identification for the office. I did climb some stairs to see if I was missing something and that’s when I figured it out!! There was a guy standing on the landing between the 2nd and 3rd floor handing out little flyers for the passport photo business down the hall. A sure sign that you are in a Passport office.
[This was a much longer post before my computer ate it and refused to spit it back out. Internet problems again I think. I am going to type a much shorter version of the missing bits below].
There are two rooms one completely empty, the other mostly empty and nothing to indicate that this was a passport/immigration office. I chose room 2 because there were two people sitting around and that seemed odd. There was yet another door that I needed to go through however and that took some time to figure out (with the help of someone who had been there before). The lady in front of me in the next room looked like a lawyer. Ms. Nikola is a lawyer and took the time to explain things to me. It was apparently unusual for her to work with people entering the country with a type ‘D’ visa (a financially independent visitor) and spent a lot of time explaining the requirements for people with other visa types until she saw the Type ‘D’ (in Greek, I had no idea). Her assistance still saved me time and frustration and was so greatly appreciated. The upshot, I had a 50/50 chance on the room and I got the wrong room. The other room . . . they don’t open on Friday. I had an 80% chance on that one and missed it. This is why I don’t buy lottery tickets.
I went to a new store (beside the passport office), Jumbo. It is an upscale Dollarama and purchased all sorts of useful things like butane, cheap rope lights that I can rip apart and stuff! My last attempt was much longer and funnier.
Tomorrow I am expecting a rainy day so my bilge issues will get my attention because a working bilge pump is necessary to prevent the boat sinking. I consider this an important characteristic of any boat I choose to stay on, or leave alone for long periods of time.
And here are some pictures to make up for the shortened prose.