Living off the Land

It is a bright sunny day on Symi. Only a few ragged clouds linger and the Poseidon’s last round the island trip of the year should be a good one, even if the breeze is a bit on the chilly side. The long range forecast is clear and mild with predominantly northerly winds so it will be quite cool in the shade and in the evenings with heavy dew. Symi received about 65 mm of rain over a period of about 10 days so the summer drought has well and truly broken. Little whiskers of green grass are appearing along the verges and on the terraces and the first lupin seeds are punching their way through the clay. In the evenings ghostly figures armed with torches and plastic bags flit across the moonlit hillsides, gathering snails. The season for living off the land has begun.

The first ferns reappearing after the rain.

Down in the harbour there are not many people about. With few visitors staying on the island and very limited numbers of day trippers coming over from Rhodes the island is slowing down. The significant drop off in the number of boats serving the island has also had an impact on late season tourism. The Proteus is no longer running because it failed to have its government subsidy renewed and without financial assistance ANES cannot afford to run the boat. The Symi II is doing scheduled runs at weekends which appear on the website, as do the trips over the Panormitis festival period. The Symi II has been over a couple of times this week doing excursions from Rhodes but as these are not scheduled trips and are dependent on there being enough people to justify the journey this cannot be counted upon as a means of getting on and off the island. Dodecanese Seaways have put up their schedule as far as 15 November but at time of writing there is still a lot of uncertainty concerning the island’s ferry connections for this winter.

I shall be away on leave until 10 November but will endeavour to post a blog from Rhodes on Monday. There may, however, be a guest appearance or two so don’t go away.



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About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.

Adriana Shum

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