Carnival is Back and Busier than Ever!

So another month has flown by and time is moving too fast for me to fit everything in that I want to do!  Something is going to have to give…

Kalyves Carnival

Kalyves Carnival

The Carnival in Kalyves was so packed with people that we hardly got a chance to meet up with other friends.  It was extremely windy, which actually spoilt the experience.  There was so much going on.. with food and drink stalls dotted everywhere and tables and chairs all over the pavements.  The music, blasting out of huge speakers everywhere, was cool and funky but way too loud and I wasn’t impressed with any of the floats, although the covid one was amusing.

Debbie, Lisa & me at Kalyves Carnival

Debbie, Lisa & me at Kalyves Carnival

Many locals dressed up and it was a great day for ‘people watching’.  I don’t think the town of Kalyves has ever seen so many people thronging its streets, as the Greeks were determined to party after being denied their carnival for the past 3 years.  Despite the negatives, we enjoyed the spectacles and the atmosphere, which was difficult to capture in photos, due to the sheer volume of people.

Agios Apostoli Crete

Walking from one beach to the next at Agios Apostoli

The prevailing clement weather this March has been great for beachcombing and walking days.  Lisa, Debbie and I have visited Agios Apostoli – an area of several beautiful sandy beaches situated not far from Chania town.  Once we’d parked up it was easy to walk from beach to beach.  One stretch took us over the top of some rugged coastline, where we came across a shack and small cave that someone called home.  It was so hot and sunny that it felt like May or June – not March!  There were many local Greeks spending the day on the beach, swimming in the sea and drinking at the beach tavernas. The whole area had a real holiday atmosphere!  To be honest I knew we would find very little in the way of seashells or sea treasures in Agios Apostoli, but we had talked of visiting the area in winter many times and finally decided to visit.

Shack on te beach at Agios Apostoli

Home to someone – the shack near one of the beaches at Agios Apostoli

We also visited Frangokastello and explored at least 3 beaches along that coastline.  Sadly I have noticed a change over the years and did not find many of the shells I use for my ‘turtle flippers’.  Over 10 years ago I would fill my bag with this particular seashell but for some reason the sea is just not giving them up at Frangokastello anymore.  Or maybe we just haven’t been there on the right days.  Luckily I can find my ‘turtle flippers’ along other coastlines and this is just as well because the ‘Baby Turtles Race for Life’ Seashell Mosaic Collage is still my best seller year on year.

One of the beaches we explored on the coast of Frangkastello

One of the beaches we explored on the coast of Frangkastello and where we enjoyed our picnic.

Yet it was another gorgeous day with a lovely picnic on one of the beaches, lots of healthy sea air and wonderful exercise.  These are all the reasons and more – why I love my beachcombing days, whether we find lots or not.

However a recent trip to Falassarna made up for the lack of shell finds at Frangokastello.  I love Falassarna’s beautiful sandy beaches and they never disappoint when it comes to finding a huge variety of the beautiful tiny seashells, so many of which I use in my Seashell Mosaic Collages.

Beautiful unspoilt Falassarna

Beautiful unspoilt Falassarna

This past month I have enjoyed many more walks including a strenuous climb up a gorge in the Drapanos area with the Happy Wanderers.

Climbing the gorge at Drapanos

Climbing the gorge at Drapanos

Always amazed when I come across another area of coastline I’ve never seen before, this walk started out from Drapanos village on a long road winding all the way down to the sea.  From there we clambered up this rocky gorge, frequently reduced to all fours.  Niall kindly offered me his spare hiking pole and this turned out to be a great help!

Walking the gorge at Drapanos

Taking a quick break and a much needed drink!

The lunch at the main taverna in Drapanos afterwards was superb!  And I can’t remember the name of it!  We were treated to such a variety of local fish and meat dishes as well as local wine aplenty… and all for just 15 Euros.  I didn’t have to eat another thing for the rest of the day, as is usual after a Sunday walk.

Another walk with the Happy Wanderers started in the pretty little village of Douliana and covered the villages of Gavalochori, Almyrida and Aspro via donkey tracks and quiet roads, with some steep uphill climbs.  We walked for around 5 hours before ending back in Douliana for another lovely lunch in Heliostasi taverna, where coincidentally I’d had dinner the night before!  I had been out with a friend for the evening to listen to the ‘Mellow Vibes’ who were playing there that night.

Pink Flamingos in Seashell Mosaic Collage Painting - 30 x 50cms available to purchase from Etsy

Replacing the Pink Flamingos in Seashell Mosaic Collage Painting – 30 x 50cms. Sold from my Etsy shop.

When I’m not beachcombing or walking, I am working on my art and still there are not enough hours to replace all the artworks I sold last summer.  Each artwork takes many hours to create and I enjoy every one of them!  But something has to give and for the sake of maintaining more balance in my life…I can only produce so much… and that has to be enough.  I have about another month to concentrate on building my stock before I start selling again in May.  Also I have booked to go back to the UK at the end of May for 2 weeks.  With Easter looming and many social events planned.. it’s looking like April is going to be a busy month too.