We have exciting news, after 7 years on the Greek island of Rhodes we are on the move. On Monday August 3rd we are leaving on a ferry at 5pm from Rhodes harbour and heading for Spain. We will be travelling in a van with 3 cats, 2 dogs and as many of our personal belongings as we can.
This decision has been coming for a long time. For the last couple of years while my husband has been working away in Scotland the flight prices have spiralled. At Christmas this year it cost over £800 to come home for a week.
When COVID arrived our plans were all put on hold and cancelled. He was stuck in Scotland while I was here on the island. We took on a new puppy, Otis, a beautiful and feisty little Greek Shepherd dog who is growing at an alarming rate. I planted vegetables, learned to make feta, made lots of jam and preserved lots of tomatoes.
Then last week the flights opened up from the UK and an opportunity arose. We purchased a van on another island and were able to get it here. The last 10 days have a been a whirlwind of packing, sorting, throwing away, giving away and selling. After 7 years we had collected far too much stuff!
A few things are being stored and a second trip will need to happen soon. We had a farewell BBQ with our a neighbours and a few close friends on the nearest beach. In times of COVID big parties and goodbyes are not possible.
We have had a wonderful 7 years on Rhodes. It’s not always been easy, but that is island life, the things people take for granted elsewhere can be more difficult. Water from the tap can’t be drunk in our village so for years I’ve been filling up at the village spring. I will miss that delicious spring water. I won’t miss the electricity cuts during storms but I will miss the amazing storms we have.
Mainly we will miss the good friends and neighbours we have made. We have really been made to feel a part of the community here
The journey ahead is not one we are taking lightly, though with Brexit and COVID we are making a run for it while we can. I will need time to set up in Spain and we need the borders open to drive the animals through.
Aslan has been prowling around even more over the last few days, this is his third country and he’s now an old cat, he is keeping an eye on all the other animals and has seemed reasonably happy that his box has been in the van for a few days now. Though he has attacked a few ankles in recent days and may be the hardest to handle on the trip
Impy has been staying close to home, prowling around the pieces stored and generally talking lots. He has enjoyed being a Greek cat, he fits in with everyone and will hopefully do the same in Spain. Though he may be a noisy one on the journey.
Chui is as chilled out as ever, the first to take a harness I’m hoping he will be the easiest to handle. His claws have been cut and he wasn’t too happy staying in the house last night but along with others he is secure in his box now.
Apollo is the grandad of all, the old man is only happy where we are and loves riding in the car. He will miss his friends here especially the vet Marionos who has been so good to him over the years. In preparation for the trip he has had extra baths and been on antibiotics so that he is as fit as he can be at 13yrs old.
Otis is just excited by the world at just over 4 months he’s blundering puppy who is still learning. We have no idea how the dogs will handle the steps on the ferry as we have so little of them here. But he is a quick learner and I’m sure wherever we are he will be happy.
The adventure ahead is exciting, we will take the ferry to Pireaus overnight tonight. Tomorrow morning we will be on the mainland and drive across to Patras. From there we take another ferry to Ancona arriving there late on Wednesday. We will then make our way across Italy for a ferry late on Thursday which 20 hours later will arrive in Barcelona. The final leg will be a drive down to Andalusia with a stop overnight along the way.
This will not be a trip like any other. With masks required everywhere we go it is very unlikely we will be making friends along the way. Social distancing has changed our world for now but if you see us on the way, wave or honk your horn.
It is unlikely that I’ll be able to get onto the blog before we arrive but our social media accounts will give you an idea of the trip. This has been written quickly as it’s now nearly midday and the ferry leaves at 5pm. We are nearly ready to start up and leave.
Goodbye Rhodes it’s been an amazing home for the last 7 years, there will be many tears as we leave. The next adventure is just beginning. The 2 of us over 50 with 3 cats and 2 dogs on going from Greece to Spain during a pandemic. What could go wrong!