Dates: 09/07/09 – 09/10/09
Distance: 42 nm
Sailed from: Nisís Petalas
Gyatso and crew were encrusted with salt spray by the time we arrived in Patras at 7:30 this evening. We spent the latter part of the day beating into 25-30 knots of wind with gusts to 35 and passing thunderstorms. The conditions didn’t quite match the forecast, but we’ve learned that anything can happen out here. We found a good visitors dock in the marina and after getting tied-up, we ate a light snack and relaxed in the cockpit — too tired to wash down the boat.
A British couple on a neighboring boat returned shortly after we arrived. They complained of a long day of struggling with trains and buses to make a visit to Olympia and referred to Patras as “ghastly.” Patras is the largest city in the Peloponnese with a population of over 100,000 people and not much tourism. Even though our ever-positive travel guide refers to Patras as “not the most compelling destination,” we were amazed by the number of people out late on a Monday night. All of the quayside bars and restaurants were packed. Perhaps this is what our guidebook meant by “vibrant café scene helped by 40,000 university students.” Couples and families strolled along the water.
We ventured out the next day to see what the town was like for ourselves, but since Lisa sprained her ankle the other day, we didn’t get very far. We did find a traditional bakery and a wine shop selling local wine just across the street. We also found a nice taverna serving tasty squid, but that’s as far as we got. Mt. Olympus will have to wait for a future visit.
On the other side of us was a British-Greek couple and a friend who came aboard for drinks one evening during our stay. We talked until the early morning hours and received some tips on places we planned to visit, since they were headed west and had up-to-date information. It didn’t hurt that they run a Greek villa rental company.
We departed on 10 September and passed under the Rio-Andiro suspension bridge that links Peloponnese to mainland Greece.