Well, Greece IS the word.
Everyone we have met so far has been the epitome (Greek word, I believe!) of helpfulness and friendliness.
I am not intending any hyperbole (Greek word!) when I say that all of the people we have met have been a delight.
I can site at least three examples.
First, was with the delightful and verbose Stavros of Manitsas Marine, who was arranging for the replacement of our mast spreaders. We took advantage of his address and ordered some essential boat items from our marine suppliers in Germany – an order that would take a maximum of nine days. We waited patiently but by the 27th July we were resigned to leaving it behind. DHL could still not give a firm idea of when it would be delivered, even though it was apparently in Kavala some 20km away. We needed to depart as the winds were favourable and we had a long way to go.
We set off for Thassos Island about 20miles away after a very productive beach clean, up operation (200 litres of rubbish plus about 20 polystyrene boxes). We arrived at Limenaria where we discovered a huge marina development was still underway. We counted 14 trucks, diggers, steam rollers, etc., standing idle on the half-finished quay. Anyway I digress. In the morning we planned to leave early so Ian was up at 0530h to do his engine checks. He discovered a bilge full of water and coolant. Not good.
We called our friend Stavros at Manitsas Marine. He gave us the number of a mechanic in Kavala. He put us in touch with a mechanic on the island. An hour later, Georgio arrived. He contacted a friend who came to the boat on Saturday and spent four hours fixing new core plugs to the engine block. He charged us 60 Euros. All of this involved numerous calls to Theo the mechanic in Kavala who acted as translator. What a star.
Second, Stavros was concerned because we asked him if he had any of the core plugs we needed. He didn’t have any in stock but said he would go into Kavala and buy some for us and not only that he would bring them to Thassos as he was coming that afternoon by boat with his family. He also said that our parcel had arrived and he would bring that too – which he did at 2030h at night. How incredibly kind!
Thirdly, we were keen to go to the Nestos gorge to do the river trip but car hire was very expensive in Kavala so we decided we would have to go by bus. We found it difficult to suss out where the buses stopped and how we would get to the little village where the tour started. We rang Helen at www.riverland.gr and she offered to call the various bus companies to find out the score. She rang us back in 20 minutes with all the details we needed to know. Not only that, she agreed that they would drive down to the main road and pick us up at the bus stop and drop us back there after the trip.
Once again, above and beyond!!
I met a lovely lady in Limnos who was down at the quay to drum up business for her laundry service. (Vicky at FAME laundry 6936815902 2254024727 10 Euros for a 6KG load.)
She was handing out cards to boat owners and chatting. Just as she was talking to some people about when to pick up their laundry she accidently dropped her car key, house keys and business keys into the sea! Nightmare! But she responded to this problem by saying, ‘If that is the bad thing that is supposed to happen to me today then I will accept it. It is certainly not the worst that could happen!’
Such a positive and optimistic attitude. I liked her immediately and quickly offered Ian’s services to dive down and retrieve the keys. She said that wasn’t necessary as her brother is a diver and would come to find them and her husband was already on his way with spare keys!
So, plenty of reasons to be cheerful in Greece.