Monday, July 20, 2009

Visiting the Karstic spring of the Kolethra Resurgence

Weekends start with Telonius, the Robot Turtle: he will destroy you... attack! When you had had your fill of robot attack games, we got ready for the day's big adventure: going to the Kolethra resurgence, a karstic spring in Euboea.

This adventure involved, apart from a 263 km round trip (once again breaking all records for the greatest distance travelled in your life up to today) not only another trip to the beach, but also a trip on a boat, twice, across the stretch of sea called the Southern Gulf of Euboea! Mummy's friend Diamanto came along too. She hadn't seen you since you were very little in the maternity ward, so she was looking forward to it.

Here you are in the boat with a very happy Mummy. There is also a stop motion video showing you on the boat: no picture that Daddy could frame was big enough to show you and the fact that the car was on a boat.

Mummy was less happy after all the filming because with all the opening and closing of doors we woke you up and then you started complaining until we were quite close to our destination, although this was probably because you were hungry again.

Finding the spring of Kolethra was actually quite easy because Daddy's friends had given him good directions. We got there just as the cave divers were coming out of the water and were getting ready to rest. They had had a tough day and were all looking a little worse for wear, but they had made really good progress into the cave and they were happy.

This is the Kolethra resurgence.

And here is Komninos, the cave diver, resting after a tiring dive (1,000m penetration is not an easy thing, you know…), and here is the melon he cut for us together with the survey materials. Can you see the compass and underwater writing equipment?

After you had eaten, we made an al-fresco open-air nappy change in the picnic area where the people come from the local villages on Mayday to celebrate. This is where Daddy's friends the cave-divers camp out when they come to explore. Here are some photos of you with Diamanto and Mummy at the picnic area.

While we were at the picnic area, eating the tasty melon that Komninos cut for us, Mummy discovered that someone had left their hammock there unguarded. Quick as a flash, you were put into the hammock and had a really fun time swinging under the plane trees of the Kolethra spring.

After a while, Elias and Aggeliki set off for the beach at Oxylithos, and we followed them. Elias had come out of the cave first and was better rested. The area did not look too good for a swim, with plenty of reinforced concrete breakwaters rusted and with the iron bars breaking through like the original failed attempts of restoring the marblework on the Acropolis. After seeing the waters, we were convinced the place was perfect for your first dip.

We put you on your 101 Dalmations towel and had a dip in the sea, which was crystal clear and warm enough for us to enjoy it. It is very common for the waters to be clear when there is a mass of limestone behind - the underwater springs keep the waters near the beach refreshed. Daddy took the two pictures above, of you on the beach, but for the rest of the story, we have to look at photos taken by Aggeliki with her DSLR... (yes, Daddy has lens-envy).

These photos are all by Aggeliki: first, you are pulling faces in the hammock.

Next here you are with the reinforced concrete Daddy was complaining about. You are in your swimming trunks with all the happy sea creatures on them...

Here you are with Daddy, before actually getting into the sea. The bokeh is not extreme, but I think you will understand why Daddy misses his Nikon lenses.

Look! Here's Mummy and Daddy holding you just after they had put your legs into the sea. You did not complain too much, but when your bottom got wet, you gave out a little cry and Daddy took you out to dry you and get you out of your wet swimming trunks.

In this last one you are out of the sea, resting with your favourite fingers in your mouth! All ready for the journey back.

The journey back was uneventful, broken by the occasional complaint from you, but nothing too serious. We think that the problem is mainly caused by the difficulty in reaching your mouth with your hand when you are strapped into the seat.

For the record, the journey was a round trip of 263 km - more than you had travelled ever, (again)!

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