Olive Groves

Coming out of the Hotel Grand Nefeli and turning right takes you onto the main road running straight up into Vassiliki, It’s around 8 am and there is little traffic. I pass a few pedestrians and cyclists, a motor scooter, the odd car. Dusty road, early morning.

A small river runs down from the mountains on the left, crossed by a road bridge. Just before it I take the left turn into the minor road leading into the Olive groves. Fields of Olive trees and some other vegetable agriculture line both sides. The road undulates but generally follows a slight upward incline rising up into the foothills. Wild flowers grow in the hedgerow and pretty butterflies flit amongst them. It’s hot but not unpleasantly so. I run steadily taking in the scenary and looking out for remembered landmarks. After about a mile I pass the gates to the Olive processing plant. At this time of year its quiet but in the Autumn it will be busy as the farmers bring in their annual olive harvest loads onto wagons towed by lafge and ancient tractors. At just over two miles the road begins a steep winding rise and I stop and turn to run back. In the past I have carried on, but it a hard climb which goes on, and its steep enough to make running back down difficult. I used to try circular routes on farm tracks but ended up getting lost in the groves and going much further than intended so I prefer to stick on the main route. Back on the main road I turn left towards Vass and then take a side road back down to the beach, then back to the hotel. About 5 miles in total and a good workout.

In the afternoon I windsurf a bit. A Greek guy called Nick runs a windsurf hire place right opposite the hotel. In the past I have always sailed with Club Vass who are based in the mid part of the bay. They have great instructors and tuition, but we are out of sync with the groups which run from Monday to Saturday and asking around it appears the wind has not been good. Very frustrating to hire out kit for a week and get no wind! Nick offers me a very good deal and I decide it will be much easier to sail with him. The kit is a bit scruffy but there is a good enough selection of boards and sails and the whole setup is very informal. I take out and play around in a light and variable wind,  Its nice to be back out on the water.

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