Laid Back in Panteli on Leros
Helle's birthday! It is another beautiful day with no clouds to blot the blue sky.
We go for a walk along the beach in Panteli. The morning is quiet. Fishermen mend their nets, and an old woman is cleaning fish from the night's catch.
We drop in at the bar where Greek men play backgammon and chat. There are some 5 metres to the sea. There's a fresh wind, but we are sheltered here.
Further down the bay, on "second row", they are building new holiday apartments. They look quite nice, but in some years tourists will probably crowd this peaceful place too, and the bar, where local men hang out all day, will become a joint for tourists that don't make a cup of coffee last for hours.
A game of backgammon ends, and one of the players go to his fishing boat moored by the pier just below. He starts the engine and sails into the marina to the side. He probably lives nearby:
"Ma', I'll just sail for a game of backgammon with the lads. You can clean the fish while I'm gone!"
Helle goes home to do a bit of washing, and I go to the Internet café to check mail. However the island has lost connection to the Internet, and all I achieve is to get hot and ready for ironing.
It is nice to sit in Platanos Square in the afternoon - in the shadow of plane trees with a glass of chilled white wine. To be honest I have no idea if the trees are really plane trees, but it adds atmosphere and fits with the town's name, Platanos.
The square is the town's beating heart. Men chat and play backgammon, folks meet and talk. Next to the door is a man with a very heavy jaw. He could be an actor who eats children in horror movies.
The bleached waitress is a style break. She flounces about in a mini shirt and tight top, but has forgotten the smile by the mirror back home.
The small square is also the centre of traffic between Platanos and Agia Marina. These streets were laid out before cars were invented, so the traffic seems pretty intense. The many scooters make sense.
Evening in Panteli Bay
The blue hour is coming to an end, and we walk from the square to Panteli Bay. Castelo on the bay's southern side turns out to be more of a café than a restaurant, but the chairs are comfortable and offer a beautiful view over the bay and its light reflections.
Birthday and all, Helle has the final say about where to eat, and we return to Psaropoula for goat. We get a table right by the sea. It doesn't matter if the table rocks a bit - you just press the legs into the sand.
For starters we share a deep fried roll of filo dough filled with spinach and feta cheese. We detect a fragrant mint flavour. Delicious!
For main course we both have goat in tomato sauce with pasta. The pasta looks like maggots. That doesn't sound appetizing, but is a fairly precise description of shape and looks. The goat has simmered for a long time and is very tender. With this the house red, water and fresh bread. Another pleasant evening in Panteli!