Kamini April Fool? Kamini April Fool?
Who wants to go for a walk? Unanimous yes. Quandary in the port: left to Vichos, right to Hydra town, or a dip in the harbor. Happy Spring all.
Kamini April Fool?
Kamini April Fool?
Romantic August Kamini Sunset Romantic August Kamini Sunset
  But the flip side of our photographic flags a fluttering in the breeze is that with temperatures in the mid 30,s  hot wind can cause deadly wildfires. (As poor Greece has already experienced recently)Please be extra vigilant and always carry water on walks, ...
Romantic August Kamini Sunset
Romantic August Kamini Sunset
Hydra Revisited Hydra Revisited
Honoured to be included. Latest Hydra Book
Hydra Revisited
Hydra Revisited
Okay who’s next ??? Okay who’s next ???
Easy livin’ August was fun, y’all come back soon y’hear. So that is August in Kamini is almost done and dusted, who’s up for September? We are going to win this season, albeit on marginal points. Happy Fall y’All, still standing KC staf ...
Okay who's next ???
Okay who’s next ???
Not Kamini’s Baby Beach Not Kamini’s Baby Beach
We have heard rumblings about August “Baby Beach” being a tad crowded. Try China for fun bathing then. Surfs Up
Not Kamini's Baby Beach
Not Kamini’s Baby Beach
Mid Summer Kamini night Wild Life Mid Summer Kamini night Wild Life
Godzilla snail caught crossing our terrace. Scary nightlife to be avoided in our valley. The height of the season and it’s all happening in our quite village. Even the Paparazzi couldn’t catch these guys. Rare dangerous night stalking leopard toad.
Mid Summer Kamini night Wild Life
Mid Summer Kamini night Wild Life
Kamini’s Kodylenia Restaurant – 1985 Kamini’s Kodylenia Restaurant – 1985
We took this from Mavro Maties taverna, (the large yellow and red landmark structure in Kamini harbour), closed some decades now. Could not imagine the changes to come in our little village. Always tranquil, beautiful and has remained unspoiled over the years despit ...
Kamini's Kodylenia Restaurant - 1985
Kamini’s Kodylenia Restaurant – 1985
Kamini Takes Centre Stage Kamini Takes Centre Stage
Credit photo Brian Sidaway Or should we say builds a stage. An attractive addition to our valley, creative masons expanded the stone rain channel to include an outdoor theatre. Very nicely done, we don’t know who or what is going to be starring in our new amph ...
Kamini Takes Centre Stage
Kamini Takes Centre Stage
Merry Grumble Merry Grumble
KC wishes all and sundry a healthy happy 2017 With Love from us, no offence!!
Merry Grumble
Merry Grumble
All Roads Lead To….. All Roads Lead To…..
They went thatta-way…!! Not so long ago, the island erected road signs designed to stop visitors from getting lost or confused. I was particularly pleased with the one in Kamini Harbour. Being Irish and all, it seemed normal; some newcomers however still ask m ...
All Roads Lead To.....
All Roads Lead To…..

Mutters & Musings

The Fourth World?

Inmates of the Rock have, on occasion, frustrated with bureaucratic delays and lack of amenities, been overheard to call our island, in jest, the “fourth world.”

Plastic bag in the wind in Kamini Hydra

But here’s a thought: even in Uganda, plastic bags have been outlawed. In fact, someone caught selling plastic bags could face a US$20,000 fine. Imagine trying to enforce that law here!

Some countries, in an effort to encourage reduced plastic usage, ask consumers to pay for shopping bags. Others have banned plastic bags altogether and use only paper containers, whereas shoppers in some societies have become accustomed taking their own carriers when visiting supermarkets.

Apart from toxic waste, plastic is probably one of the most resilient scourges of our environment, considering that this skoopethia (rubbish) takes approximately two thousand years to decompose.

Whilst our ecofriendly little island’s environmental consciousness has improved in recent years, we still have a long way to go when it comes to recycling anything, never mind coming up with ideas for reducing our use of plastic.

Plastic shopping bags are given out for even the smallest purchases, and they are so prolifically used that they find their way all over the countryside. Witness the lost bags waving from fences or trapped in tree branches along our otherwise pristine coastal paths.

There may be no immediate way to solve this particular form of pollution, but there are some simple ways in which we can work to limit this problem:

  1. Reuse your bags: take them with you when you go shopping. The shop owners appreciate this (as it saves them the expense of dishing out new ones), and bags can be used several times over. Better yet, take your own cloth bag with you to the shops: they hold more and are easier to carry anyway.
  2. If one were to carry an extra plastic bag on trips to and from town, it might serve as a useful receptacle for the ubiquitous ice cream and candy bar wrappers and discarded beverage containers littering our streets (usually within sight, if not tossing distance, of a Demos bin).
  3. This may seem a little alien to some, but in other parts of the world, dog owners use plastic bags, glovelike, to pick up doggie-doo. Indeed, many countries will fine pooch owners if they don’t scoop up said poop. Many of us let our dogs run around unaccompanied, meaning we aren’t there when they make their deposits. Having a bag handy on trips to and from home, we can, however, pick up any such unsightly piles in the vicinities in which our dogs roam. There’s usually a Demos bin nearby, obviating the need to carry the package with us for long.
  4. Use the bags as rubbish-bin liners instead of buying more plastic bags to collect waste.

Of course, it would be ridiculous to suggest that no one ever take another plastic bag home from a shop or that everyone carry them around picking up trash and poop all day long. As with conserving energy and water, however, small changes in habit can make a noticable difference.

Aliens in Kamini?

The strange, almost haunting noise that reverberates periodically, day or night, through Kamini valley has apparently had locals perplexed for the past couple of years—a sound so unlike the familiar braying donkeys, crowing roosters, yapping dogs, and yowling cats that it has caused many to wonder as to its source.

Ostriches in Kamini

I was sitting on our terrace recently with a local mate, Pavlos, over morning coffee when it happened again.

It’s a din difficult to describe, perhaps like some deep-based, demented didgeridoo or a beast from a foreign jungle, but certainly not like anything native to our island.

“What is that?” he asked.

“You don’t know?” I answered, surprised that he didn’t as locals know just about everything that occurs in our little valley. “My dear fellow, it’s the call of a horny ostrich.”

In a field behind Sotiris’s mansion situated at the back of our gorge is a small flock of these enormous, flightless African birds. Some people keep canaries, others parrots, but Sotiris’s pets are a little more exotic.

“The male ostrich is an enthusiastic courter and announces his desire vocally enough for all to hear,” I explained.

Pavlos chuckled. “Well, that solves a mystery many of us have been wondering about for years.”

Fire on Hydra!

The fires are out, but the debate continues…


Fire approaching Kamini

It was our plan to present things in humorous light, articles that would show the lighter side of life on our little Rock. But there is nothing funny about this: in fact, even any humor in the initial rhubarb in which conspiracy theorists claimed that one of the contestants in the ongoing mayoral dispute of 2006/2007 was to blame has paled with the smoke-screened sun.

Fires above Hydra town

Yes, our duelling “mayors” were in Athens in court on July 25 (our future-former-post-almost mayors), and the rumor that one of their “henchmen” had deliberately set the Mandraki dump alight in order to embarrass the other is now yesterday’s bad joke.

Fire encroaches upon Hydra town

Our poor island has never seen the likes of this fire: neither the great fire of ’85 in which three brave volunteers died nor the three-day blaze in ’87 subdued Hydra like this.

It’s akin to a war zone. Helicopters, fire planes, and the navy have shown unbelievable skill and courage in fighting this blaze from dawn till dusk for two days now.

Helicopter bringing water around Kamini

Our headline could have been anything from “Fire Fight for Survival” to “Brave Pilots Fly Every Daylight Hour to Save the Town.” But we have simply called this one “Shame.” Shame, because this should not have happened, and it’s about time we stood up and said so.

Fire raging behind Hydra town

It could well be diplomatically correct to point out that with literally hundreds of wildfires raging across the country as a direct result of record-breaking heat wave temperatures, this was an inevitable result and yet further proof that this global warming stuff is for real. But the truth is that our island is on fire because of a simple lack of foresight, which is a polite way of saying stupidity.

It’s not like we didn’t have fair warning or time to plan for this disaster, as both previous serious fires started at the garbage dump, and already this summer two minor fires were extinguished in the same location.

Fire early day two from a boat

So why shame? We are not experts in municipal economics, but it doesn’t take much logic to understand that the cost of the capsized and unsuccessful Miaoulis fireworks boat could have saved us from this.

How? A pump and/or small reservoir at the “skoopethia” landfill could have stopped the fire in its tracks long before it spread. Now, our beautiful isle looks like it has been blitzed. In a way it has, and the cost cannot be tallied in terms of cash loss.

Plane fighting fire behind town

Why does it always take a disaster to make folks shout for what is right? In their efforts to gain favour with the popular vote, our “authorities” have advocated such wonderful schemes as paving and illuminating a road to Vlichos, spending thousands on the placement of pretty little benches and other artistic paraphernalia to enhance Hydra’s unique landscape. Grand ideas to be sure, but shouldn’t somebody have reserved just a few coins for the unattractive but practical project of ensuring that the repetitive source of fire could be combated before it became an island emergency?

It is too easy with hindsight to point fingers and lay blame, but come on chaps …

Plane going into the smoke

One would assume that now, maybe, something will be done to prevent such a catastrophe from occurring in future. But then, we said that in ’85, and again in’87, and heard it murmured about after several small-fire near misses subsequently.

Helicopter picking up water

In closing … absolute kudos to and admiration for the firefighting pilots and volunteers who have fought so desperately to save our island from total incineration.

Perhaps now, with Mr. Anastopoulos’s uncontested reinstatement as mayor, we can focus on serious matters.

David and Jennifer took the following pictures of the fire’s aftermath
during a boat trip around the island.

An entire valley destroyed on the back of Hydra Island
An entire valley destroyed on the back of Hydra Island

The new forest destroyed

The new forest destroyed

Beautiful Limonitze bay blackened

Beautiful Limonitze bay blackened

More evidence of devastation on the back of the island

More evidence of devastation on the back of the island

Fire devastation down to the water’s edge

Fire devastation down to the water's edge

A coastal chaple saved

A coastal chaple saved

A coastal home destroyed

Thanks to Jan McGiffin for sharing her photos from the days of the fires and from a hike to Episcopi showing the aftermath.

Fire on approach to Hydra town seen from Kamini

Fire on approach to Hydra town seen from Kamini

Fire bombing over Hydra as seen from Kamini

Fire bombing over Hydra as seen from Kamini

Night fires in Mandraki seen from Kamini

Night fires in Mandraki seen from Kamini

Night fires heading toward Vlichos and Episcopi seen from Kamini

Night fires heading toward Vlichos and Episcopi seen from Kamini

Fire devastation along the coast of Hydra island

Fire devastation along the coast of Hydra island

Fire devastation around an inland chapel

Fire devastation around an inland cottage

Fire damage right up to the door

Fire damage right up to the door


Most Successful Miaoulis Ever!

Turkish Flagship Turns Turtle before Hydra's Miaoulis Festivities

Turkish Fleet Sinks before the Engagement

Within minutes of news getting out of the pyrotechnic flagship’s keeling over on June 23, 2007, a number of conspiracy theories erupted:

  • There was an altercation with a speeding water taxi.
  • An unexpected and isolated squall caused the “main event” to capsize.
  • The ex/current/former/future mayor sent a secret underwater demolition squad to scuttle the boat.
  • The ex/current/former/future mayor had an oar in its sinking in order to frame the ex/current/former/future mayor.
  • The boat purchased was so rotten with woodworm that even the fisherman who sold it was surprised to see it float in the first place.
  • The Militant Albanian Liberation Army, in coalition with the Kamini Anarchists (MALA/KA), had infiltrated the pyrotechnic preparations, upsetting the ballast and ensuring the flagship would turn turtle (motives remain mysterious).
  • And then … there’s the CIA

Of course, a skeptical few believed it was simply an unfortunate accident.

The Show Must Go On

All joking aside, organizers and Hydriotes are to be commended for producing a spectacular show and fireworks display for Hydra’s major annual festival in the face of such adversity. Bravo!

I know I know that face …

Kosta SimitisRecently, I was sitting with a mate in Xristina’s taverna, one of our four summertime Kamini dining establishments (in winter it’s down to one), when a pair of middle-aged couples wandered into the local and sat down. I recognized the one of the gents; he had a familiar, friendly face, and I felt I had known him for years. (Out of context, whether socially or not in their shops, it is often difficult to place locals’ faces).

So, I nodded, smiled, and doffed my hat. He smiled and nodded back. My friend, a swarthy local builder, Pavlos, was grinning.“Do you know who that is?” he asked.

“No,” I said innocently. “I know him, though. Does he have a house or gold shop here”?

“Oxi,” laughed Pavlos. “That is Kosta Simitis, our last prime minister.”

Ah, yes, the man who managed to get Greece on the euro in time, amongst a host of other legacies the country now enjoys.

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