Loitering in Lavrio

After another lovely weekend in Sounion, the 12th and 13th, relaxing and swimming, we decided to move to Lavrio. It is only 30 minutes from Olympic so we could nip round there as soon as the watermaker was ready.

Lavrio itself doesn’t have much going for it really. It is a large port with the town quay, fishing harbour and some marina style pontoons in the northern part of the harbour. It is also a charter base and so on Friday and Saturday is rammed full.

Lavrio has been inhabited forever, but it’s historical sites are all to do with mining and mineral exports in the late 19th and the 20th centuries. The town is a mix of dilapidated, run down buildings, cheek by jowl with more modern ones, and many of those deserted. It has an old fish market surrounded by restaurants and the harbour front has plenty of pleasant tavernas, which give way to more old warehouses as you get to the fishing harbour.

During the day it is relatively quiet, but then it is the height of summer and very warm. It gets more lively in the evening, a little too lively when the nearby nightclub is in session. There are also the youngsters ‘cruising’ in their cars, music blaring, and the small motorcycles without silencers giving them a noise to weight ration of a large Harley. But it also has 3 or 4 supermarkets, a chandlery, and a Jumbo (like a Wilkinson on steroids). Laviro is pleasant enough, 1/5 of the price of Olympic and a good place to buy provisions.

The water maker was ready for reinstallation and testing on Wednesday so we left Lavrio in the morning having spoken with the Port Authority and reserved a berth to return to. We spent the day in Olympic and although the watermaker was now working (part of the pump had jammed) it still wouldn’t maker fresh water. The system pressure exceeded tolerances and this apparently was because the membranes were not letting enough water through; the first guy must have used Bostick as a flushing agent. So, with our watermaker back on board and full water tanks we returned to Lavrio, this time to wait out the Meltemi again.

But some good news is we met another English couple while we were here; Brian and Clare in their Lagoon 380 “Why Not J”. We had a couple of evenings chatting over wine and nibbles but come Friday morning they were told, quite brusquely, they had to leave to make way for the returning charter boats. And not just leave the quay, leave Lavrio as there were no free moorings at all. This was the problem we’d encountered on our first attempt to get in here. So they moved off to Sounion and we stayed to finish off our shopping and passage planning.

We plan to leave here early on Sunday morning and head directly for Crete before the Meltami returns on Wednesday. It is about a 180 mile, or 36 hour passage and we are due there on Monday evening.

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