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Journey to the South of Corfu

Wed, 6th Jun 2012

Almost an hour and a half from our mountainside house, the remote south of the island is somewhere that we really do not often visit. For work it is a different matter and we make the journey south several times a month to look at new houses, take photographs, and show clients the properties of their choice. Yesterday evening, however, partly in honour of the full moon, but mostly following the insistence of a great friend, we set off at about 6.30 p.m. to drive south in search of - Flamingos!

We had been told several weeks ago that there were flamingos in the salt flats at Alykes, Lefkimmi and had vaguely planned to go down to take a look, and then at the weekend our friend phoned and said "Have you been yet?" so we abandoned the ironing, dusting and website updating (me) and the watering, strimming and linguistics research (husband) and set off south.

It is a long way, and the road is bumpy - especially on the southbound side of the coastal stretch from Perama to Moraitika - it's obviously been dug up numerous times for underground pipes to be laid. Eventually, moving inland, the road becomes worthy of it's rather grand name "National Road to Lefkimmi" and there was hardly any traffic as we sped ever further south.

The salt flats - now abandoned - have obviously become home to several species of bird and as we wandered along a narrow strip of muddy sand we had to negotiate a path through little nests of eggs just lying on the ground with no protection at all. In the water and above us in the sky were numerous Stilts calling a warning so we presume that the eggs belonged to them. Just as we were beginning to think that the flamingos had moved elsewhere, and just as the sand was beginning to feel a little too soft and muddy to walk on safely, there in front of us we saw them. There must have been about 10, and I had to use the zoom lens on the camera to take photos, but it was a wonderful sight and totally justified the long drive.

On the way homeward, with perfect timing and a load of luck, we drove through Benitses just as the huge full moon was rising above the mainland mountains across the sea. A perfect end to our journey south.