We were out for the count after an exhausting day of travelling. We knew that the forecast was for rain for the first few days here – we had been checking the week before we left England. It was raining – not spitting but heavily raining!
We needed to go back to the travel agency but we’d heard good things about the breakfast at the Albatros so we shower and get dressed and go down for breakfast.
For a small hotel the selection is good – yoghurt and fruit, hotdog sausages, bacon and scrambled egg, a selection of cold meats and cheese, an array of bakery products, juices and tea/coffee.
Everyone seems to be languishing over breakfast. The rain beats down into the pool sending three wooden ducks bouncing around in circles. No rush – the rain is enough to keep most of the guests confined to the hotel.
We decide to go out and face it – this is no way to spend your first day on holiday. We had brought some festival ponchos with us – remnants left behind in Peters hotel after Creamfields. I knew they’d come in handy! I changed into shorts as they’d be easier to dry than trousers and off we went taking a slightly different route down to the centre if Sivota. We came out close to Isabela travel agency so made this our first port of call. The lady recognises us and says that she will phone another agent to see if they have any bookings for Meteora. We wait in a anticipation.
Unfortunately nobody has booked this trip – even from Parga. Anyway she says that she will phone our hotel if any they take any bookings – she does suggest that we hire a car but I tell her that I wouldn’t drive in Greece if my life depended upon in it!
Back out into the rain – we head down to the marina. It feels as though the weather is trying to brighten up a little – but then we realise that we’ve just tempted fate! Just as we bring the cameras out from under our ponchos the sky begins to turn an ominous yellow – the yellow that thunder clouds are made of!
We had been watching the waves crashing against the south side of Agios Nicolaos – one if the three small Sivotan islands just off the coastline. Above the islands we could see clouds rolling towards us.
The wind began to pick up and lightening streaked across the sky. Before we knew it the rain began to pelt down and there was nowhere close by to shelter.
The yachts in the marina began to bob violently and making the bells clang loudly. This is about to become we a full on storm – very exciting! Eventually we are able to take shelter under the wooden canopy of a nearby restaurant.
I remember reading about a tornado that had hit the area a few months earlier – this us an area used to unpredictable weather patterns.
To see a storm like this come in so quickly was exhilarating. Not what you expect for a Greek holiday but exhilarating non the less! And what else can you do under these circumstance? Make the most of it!
The thunder just seemed to bounce between the mountains echoing loudly over Sivota village.
Like 2 drowned rats we return to the hotel for a hot shower and some dry clothes. It looks as though we are the only people to have venture outside of the hotel. Peter constructs a temporary washing line in the room.
We go down to the bar and order some bar food and wine from the limited but very much appreciated menu – a burger and a wrap. The thunder and lightening is relentless.
Most of the other guests in the hotel are Danish and have their own tour representative. As they are located in Sivota and supposedly know what’s what we asked Soren the rep if he knew if any other tours were going to Meteora. None were going that he knew of but he suggested driving. It is very well documented that I won’t drive in Greece so that was out of the question.
Maria from the hotel said that she would ring taxi that she knows and get a price. In the meantime she phones a travel agency in Parga for us to see if they have any bookings. They don’t have any at the moment but says that we need to phone back tomorrow at 12.00pm. If they do get any bookings and there are enough people we would need to go to Parga to pay for the trip in advance. Oh well – if that’s what it takes! Maria comes back with a price for a taxi of 285 euros – this is a ‘special’ price from a taxi driver friend of hers. The round trip is just short of 400 kilometres so this is a good price! The trips by coach cost about 40 euros each so this is an expensive option but one that we may have to take.
By early evening the storm has eased off and we are rewarded with a beautiful sunset that we watch from our balcony. Out in the distance we can still see flashes of lightning in the sky but no thunder so the storm must have moved out to sea. Hopefully this is the end of the rain.
The wine renders us immobile.