November 2005

November 2005

Introduction

Introduction, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Welcome to Greece!
It certainly has been a busy summer here in Corfu. The weather has been perfect, the taverna busy and the island thriving. It's a few months since our last newsletter, so this month's, like the grape harvest, is a bumper one. Yammas!!!

Round the Island

Round the Island, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Since the beginning of October, Ron and I have been out and about with the camera to update the Corfu Travel Guide with new photos and info.

We thought we knew the island quite well until we started our research. Of course, we are familiar with the North East Coast but as we travelled around we got quite a few surprises.

Round the Island, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

In Roda, Ron decided to have a haircut. Not speaking much Greek he asked for 'ligo' ... and came out with a crew cut! Oh well, at least he won't need another one til about February!!!

Round the Island, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

So, with the wind in our hair (!) and a spring in our step, off we set ...
If you are a regular visitor to Corfu but have only really stayed on the NE Coast, with a quick visit to the West for a sandy beach, then next time you come why not venture a little further? South of Benitses and towards Lefkimmi the island landscape gradually turns to a much more rural setting and ladies on donkeys are a regular sight!

Round the Island, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel
Go back in time

Lefkimmi itself is a quiet little 'town' where the men congregate at the kafenion in the square to drink their coffee and watch the world go by. When we stopped to take their photo they were delighted and were anxious to know if it was 'endaxi'.

Round the Island, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

One main street runs through the town, with one or two branches off. It won't take you long to wander through and there are quite a few picturesque churches to photograph too.

Round the Island, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

About 2kms away is the satellite village of Potamos with it's riverside cafes and tavernas. The little fishing boats bob on the water and we spent a while just sitting (eating a crepe - Ron) and being soothed by the water. The bridge is quite a bottleneck for traffic and that in itself was interesting to watch, especially when a vegetable seller stopped in the middle of the road to sell his wares from the back of his pick-up truck!

Round the Island, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Did you know that there is also a port at Lefkimmi? It's about 2kms from the town and ferries ply their way across to the mainland six times a day in the summer and less frequently in the winter.

Lake Korission

It is in this part of the island that Lake Korission is situated. This artificial lagoon was created by the Venetians who built a reinforced channel from the sea and flooded existing marshlands. A haven for many speicies of wild birds on their anuual migration and a great place for bird-watchers!

Round the Island, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

The bays around this area range from the mile-long sandy beaches of Issos, Ag Georgios and Ag Mattheos to sleepy little fishing harbours such as Boukaris and Petriti, hardly touched by tourism, yet alive with traditional tavernas and cafes.

Round the Island, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

It takes about two hours to get from the north of the island down to Lefkimmi but once past the airport and Messongi the roads become quieter and you can relax and go at your own pace, enjoying the changing landscape. So,during your next holiday, if you can stir yourself from your sunbed go south and sample 'real Corfu'!

Gone Fishing!

Gone Fishing!, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

A meal at Taverna Agni, is a holiday experience to be savoured. Many though, while enjoying a long lazy seafood meze, will be forgiven for underestimating the work that goes on in the 'background'. To provide an insight, I joined Alex and Theo on a daily fishing trip!

Gone Fishing!, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel Gone Fishing!, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Kouloura is a small fishing harbour. From above, it looks like a Shepherd's ‘crook’, protecting the local fishing boats moored inside, tethered to the harbour wall. During the summer months, the thick harbour wall seems unnecessary, but the locals will tell you stories of winter tempests that make the wall seem insufficient! Overlooking the harbour stands an impressive Venetian tollhouse, keeping watchful eye on the boats bobbing gently in the evening swell.

Gone Fishing!, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Theo and I drove down the twisting lane to Kouloura. Without forward planning, the Venetians had failed to make space for modern day parking! So, like those who had arrived before us, we abandoned our truck at the bottom in typical Greek style. Anyone wishing to leave in a hurry would have to wait!
Dotted between the traditional fishing boats were a few sleek modern craft with overpowered engines. Theo’s fishing boat was not one of those, but rather a hand crafted wooded vessel. Heaps of nets around the boat made it sit heavy in the water. We waited for Alex to join us and then with a few turns on the starter motor the engine thumped into life.

Gone Fishing!, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel Gone Fishing!, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

The sun was setting as we motored out of the harbour and ‘boys’ settled into a well-rehearsed and slick routine.
With Alex ‘driving’, Theo gently ‘fed’ out the nets. Lead weights at the bottom sinking the net quickly, whereas floats on the top held them up. In turn 6 heaps of nets were cast, along the bays towards Kassiopi.
Two hours later, and under the cover of darkness, the final net had been used and we started to head back to the harbour. Suddenly we realised how cool the mid October evening was. In the distance the glow of the Kalamari lamps guided us home.

Gone Fishing!, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel Gone Fishing!, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

This fishing lark all seemed quite easy. Nothing really to it.
I am not very good in the morning, especially without my morning cup of tea. The alarm was bleeping and it was five thirty. I decided fishing wasn’t for me and I went back to sleep! However, I had made a promise to help and Eleni my wife was going to ensure that I kept that promise! She goaded me out of the bed!
It was still dark when we returned to the harbour. This time, it was very damp and Alex even later. By the look of him, he had spent most of the night in a Kassiopi club

Gone Fishing!, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

The ancient diesel engine coughed into life and we were off. The nets had to be lifted before daylight, else predatory fish would eat the precious catch for breakfast! The hydraulic wheels at the front of the boat are used to pull in the nets.

Gone Fishing!, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel Gone Fishing!, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

We motored to Agni and the morning was spent cleaning the nets of fish and carefully repacking them onto the boat, ready for the next evening. My 'work' was done and from now on I think I'll stick to serving the fish and leave the catching of it to the 'professionals'!

Gone Fishing!, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

end of column


Agni Travel

Villa Emilios, Vingla above Kalami, Agni Travel, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel
You deserve a perfect holiday!

With so many pressures in our lives and so little time for our loved ones, vacations are becoming more and more important for ‘quality time’ together.

Agni Travel, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Agni Travel is an independent holiday company that offers ‘tourist sensitive’ accommodation along the North East coast of Corfu and is run by Taverna Agni.
An exciting and varied selection of properties are available. Luxury properties with private pools, ‘quaint’ Greek houses and apartments, ensure that all budgets are accommodated. With over 50 properties to choose from for Summer 2006, why not support an independent travel company and give Agni Travel a try this year? <

Agni Travel Features:

Fly from any airport (we can help you find flights, or find your own)
Flexible arrival days for most properties
Prices per property, not per person.
Detailed local knowledge (to help you select the right property for your holiday)
Full holiday support services: car hire with detailed driving instructions or airport taxi transfer, welcome hamper on arrival, full representative and assistance services, local email/fax service.
Persephone; Emilios; Kaminaki Villas; Theophilos

Agni Travel, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel
Kaminaki Villas

http://www.agni-travel-corfu.com/properties_with_pools/kaminaki_villas.asp

Agni Travel, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel
Villa Persephone

http://www.agni-travel-corfu.com/properties_with_pools/persephone.asp

Agni Travel, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel
Villa Emilios

http://www.agni-travel-corfu.com/properties_with_pools/emilios.asp

Theophilos 2, St Stephanos, Agni Travel, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel
Theophilos - St Stefanos

http://www.agni-travel-corfu.com/villas_and_houses/theophilos_2.asp

Animal Welfare in Agni

Animal Welfare in Agni, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

The issue of Animal Welfare has cropped up quite often during the last few weeks on the Agni message boards. Last year we did say that one of the message board moderators was trying to do something about this issue. Well things have progressed since then and we can now say that we have made big progress as we are in the process of setting up a fund to help more animals.

Animal Welfare in Agni, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel
Neutering Programme

Last year one of the cats from Agni Bay was neutered with our help. Many people visited last summer and saw the cheeky little cat that was always around the beach, looking much healthier than most of the other cats and not run down with feeding kittens. We told people she had been neutered, this apparently encouraged others to want to help neuter some of the other cats and give them a better chance of survival. We have received donations from several people already this year to neuter more cats and we have just neutered another three females from Agni Bay.

Animal Welfare in Agni, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel
Sponsor a Cat

Anyone who would like to donate to the fund will be able to via the website, when we have the payment system in operation, and anyone wishing to ‘sponsor’ a cat with the full amount to neuter it, will be able to. We will select a cat for you which we feel is suitable and well enough to undergo the operation, take photos for you and keep you informed of her progress and you can chose her name. Then on your next visit to Agni, or your favourite resort, you can meet up with your little cat and know that you helped her to still be there. Most of the cats in Agni will have been done this year, but we can move on to other areas where we know there are big problems. We are also giving preference to the females, as it is those whose health suffers most and who inevitably die during the winter, generally a long slow hungry death.

Animal Welfare in Agni, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel

We want to ask visitors to donate money to try to CURE the cat situation rather than making it worse, by coming on holiday, allowing the cats into the apartments, feeding them with expensive cat food (which they are not used to and is often too rich for them) and then going off home, leaving them to breed and produce even more kittens, with not a thought to what happens to them when this time of year arrives and suddenly there entire food supply has gone!!!
Today alone we saw three cats dead in the roads, little kittens wander up to the roads, looking for food, having spent all summer down at the beaches, they are not familiar with traffic and are easily run over.

Local help needed

Part of the donation for the ‘sponsor’ cat goes towards some food for them during the winter months, but we will need someone in other areas during the winter time who would be prepared to put a little food out for them, if anyone is living here and would be willing to help, we would love to hear from you. Leave a post on the message boards and we will make contact with you, or if you know of any Greek person that would help us, please post something on their behalf.
We would like to point out that there are Greek people involved in the rescue and that anyone who knows of any Greek people that would like to be involved we would like to hear from them. Many of the Greeks living here would love to do something towards this problem but many of them simply cannot afford to pay for cat neutering or even for the amount of food required to feed them all during winter

Dogs need help too!

We have up to now only mentioned the cats, but work does also take place to help the dogs. Their situation is a little different and their neutering is normally done through rescue centres. There are people here on the Island that care for stray dogs until they can be taken into the Rescue Centre where they are neutered and moved on to Centres in Europe where proper homes are found for them. We will do what we can to help any dog that you know is neglected or abandoned, which we have also done in the past, but this all costs money and for dogs it is even more expensive.

Animal Welfare in Agni, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel
Website Link

A link will be added to the Agni website very shortly for the animal welfare website, where we will give more details of the cats we have already neutered, what is happening from time to time and how you can help.
Look out on the Agni website for more information soon on how you can donate and help a cause which is always under discussion.

Book Review

Book Review, November 2005, Newsletters, Agni Travel
To Walk in Blue Light by Philip Wickham

You may recognise the cover of this book as it is a photo of the Taverna Agni jetty!
The story is of a journey of enlightenment. 84 year-old Thomas Waterford has decided the time has come to reveal the terms of his inheritance to his three sons and daughter at his villa in Italy. For health reasons, Thomas himself has to journey overland and asks his youngest son James to travel with him. Unknown to his other sons and daughter, Thomas has a secret agenda and as he and James set out, the heirs and their respective partners arrive in Italy expecting to meet with their father. The following morning three letters are delivered to the villa, the contents of which are to have a devastating and life-changing effect on the family.

The storyline of this little book is original and the inclusion of references to Corfu will make it interesting to anyone who knows the island. I felt that the characters could have been developed more fully and the plot expanded - Barbara Taylor-Bradford would have made a 900 page saga out of it - but it is nevertheless a good read with a poignant ending.

end of column