As part of European Tour 2016 Edition, we are spending three glorious weeks on the Greek island Karpathos. This is the first in a series of post about island life, or at least as we experience, in our not-quite-tourists-but-not-quite-native way of doing it. I hope you enjoy
In Greece, it never rains in the summer. In fact, the modern Greek word for summer καλοκαίρι literally means “good weather”. All that fabulous sunshine comes with a price. You need to be aware of your fresh water usage, because you’re not going to get anything raining down from the sky for several months. The islands get their ground water supplies in the winter, so every year we hope for a wet one to replenish our beloved island. Some winters, unfortunately, are rather dry, leaving the locals, and the somewhat locals like us, to feel the pain in the summer when the municipal authorities shut off the water at some unknown time during the day and then turn it back on sometime the next day at an equally unpredictable hour. Tourists staying in hotels or holiday apartments, of course, never have the water turned off. But that’s another topic all together.
To deal with the possibility of water getting cut off, Karpathian houses in Pigadia are equipped with big water deposits on the roof. Think of it as a reservoir to collect water whenever the municipal water is turned on so there is something available if/when the water gets turned off. Long story short, when you are staying in a house, you do your best to use water sparingly, because the last thing you want is to run out before you got a chance to rinse the shampoo out of your hair, which has happened in ours. Not to me or the Vachette, fortunately. Washing her hair is a torturous experience as it is. I don’t need any other complications. But I digress.
One thing about this water, it’s not potable. To get potable fresh water, you go to the βρύσι, or in English, “spring” or “faucet”. Like in Athens at the ruin sites, these spring/faucet things are easy to find throughout the island. In fact, there are two of them with two-minute walks from our house. Here is a picture of the more attractive of the two.
Another necessity that can be in scarce supply on the island is gas. Yesterday we had to go to four gas stations before we could find one that still had some gas for sale. We only put 20 euros’ worth in the tank. On a side note, Mr. Mad Cow got to have the same conversation about how he was related to Karpathos at each one. So at least that was entertaining. Fortunately, the gas tanker came in today, so everyone should be able to fill up again.