Greek Sailing Odyssey Day 15: Lipso - Leros / by Honza Cervenka

I was woken by a very strong gust of wind that got through a small ventilation opening in my cabin--made a huge squeek!  Once we all got a bite to eat for breakfast, we went for a long walk around the south-east part of the island--a bay on the other side of the island was our ultimate destination.  Once we stepped off the boat, my dad my day lost a hat in a particularly powerful gust of wind.  Not the best way to start the walk!  In Greece, you do really want to do your best to hold on to a hat; it's often the only thing saving you from being burned alive under the ever-beating sun.  But it was not lost for good:  It turned out that Lisa had lost a shoe last night as it fell into the sea, but she managed to find a corner in the harbour where the currents and waves converged, waited for the shoe to do-si-do there and simply fished it out.  We decided to do the same--by the time we're back from the walk the hat should be ready to be salvaged!

The walk was so pleasant--most of it was through a road that went through wonderful nature.  We could see old fields on both sides of the rolling hills.  The bay, our destination, was very photogenic: we could see Samos and other small islands; even Turkey dimly appeared on the horizon!  

 The windy road

The windy road

 A church on the other side of the bay.

A church on the other side of the bay.

 What a vista:  Can you see Turkey at the horizon?

What a vista:  Can you see Turkey at the horizon?

Once we made it back to the village, we came to the waste-recollection corner and indeed--there it was (covered in debris): 

 Now let's see--who can find the hat?

Now let's see--who can find the hat?

Once the hat returned to its rightful owner, Maurizio and Lisa went shopping and me and my dad went to check out a church nearby.

Greece-Lipso-Church-Honza-Cervenka

We left the harbour soon after noon and headed to Leros.  About an hour into the journey we decided go for a swim; we didn't have that much distance to cover, the wind was solid and in our favour, so why not take a siesta!  We anchored south of Arkhangelos--an islet north of Leros--at about 2:15pm and swam for about an hour.  There were a few other sailboats and a motored yacht as well--Maurizio tells me it's a popular destination for many tourist ships.

 Not too shabby for a swim!

Not too shabby for a swim!

The rest of the sail was ideal--we had constant wind and calm sea all the way to Lakki, our destination.   Lakki was built by Mussolini when he tried to Italianize the Dodecanese islands.  Its original name was Portolago and it was built in what Mussolini considered to be a model fascist style--full of order, symmetry and boulevards.  Once we got in, we noticed that a part of it was in fact a marina, which is essentially an upscale harbour with a bunch of added amenities like a shower, wifi, electricity etc.  All for a charge of course!  But right next to it was a regular harbour so we moored on the cheap.  The other side of the bay had a huge dry dock full of sailboats; it looked like an eerie metallic forest.

Once we settled in, we went for a long walk to reach Platanos, the capital of the island.  Platanos was about 4km away from Lakki on a windy coastal road heading steadily upwards.  At the heart of the town lies a gigantic Byzantine fortress which later became a strongholdof the famous Order of St. John. 

 Lakki with the fortress in the distance

Lakki with the fortress in the distance

 view from the road

view from the road

 Getting closer!

Getting closer!

 A wonderful bay on the way to the fortress

A wonderful bay on the way to the fortress

 Windmills next to the fortress

Windmills next to the fortress

Once in Platanos, Maurizio and Lisa decided to go all the way up to the fortress (another kilometre at least and very steep), but me and my dad decided to instead explore Platanos itself and head for the fortress next morning.  But to end on a romantic note--what a view!

Greece-Leros-Sunset-Couple-Honza-Cervenka

Moored in Lakki (Leros) at 6:15pm. Traveled 31.4 km/17 nm in 5 hrs.  See map for the route sailed during the Odyssey and click here for more posts from the Greek Sailing Odyssey.

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