Friday 6th December 2013
Up at 5am, plane at 8, Athens airport car hire collection, remote support on my laptop in the car park before the giant 5 ½ hour expedition across the mainland. Half of it in the dark, more than 30 euros in tolls (especially that big suspension bridge across the water from Rio to Anirrio). The geo-location on Tripadvisor of the hotel we have booked didn’t match the physical reality – in fact the gas station right where the hotel should have been had not heard of it either as it was a mile away so we phoned the woman at the hotel and got him to explain his location to her so that she could drive down to collect us. We followed her up a series of hairpin bends to the Irida Hotel which has a similar spectacular aspect to the property we’re planning to look at tomorrow. In fact, we’ve just realised we can see it from our balcony – on the other side of the valley! This is exciting! A drive down into town for supplies, some wine and a pizza take-away, happy to bed sleep for 1:30am
Saturday 7th December 2013
Switching the phone on we have our viewing appointment at 9:30 and only 40mins to get there.
Walking into the property it is everything we had hoped for and more! But heart-sink, there’s already been an offer from an Israeli guy. Tony – the vendor – is keen to accept it but in talking to him it’s clear that a full price offer together with a delivered deposit and it might be ours – unless the first offer is raised to match us, that is.
Tony suggests we look at what other properties the island has offer and leads us to an estate agent in the town, “but I’ll leave the keys under the mat if you want to come back and have another look around later”. We have little motivation to explore anything else as the agent clearly agrees that this property is an excellent and un-match-able opportunity.
Some money out and a walk around the Saturday fruit and veg market and a quick explore of the nearest coast…
We return to the hotel apartment to consume the breakfast we missed before another visit to the property. Oh my god, it has a lime tree,
an orange tree and olives – how did we miss that? A conversation with the agent in the UK and an exchanged text with Tony brings an invite for a drink near his boat down in the marina.
Three beers for the boys and coffee and (non-diet – “we don’t do it”) soda for Karen. We get on very well with Tony who pays “well if you’re giving me so much money for my villas, it’s the least I can do”.
Delightfully trashy English film while trying to read the Greek sub-titles, News Quiz podcast, throat lozenge and to sleep.
Sunday 8th December 2013
Skype provides Karen the usual Sunday morning chat with her mother – albeit at 11am rather than 9am thanks to the ideal England-Greece time difference. So, to explore the island – we have to do something to avoid fixating over this property we might not win.
Island circumnavigated in about 3 hours.
Not back long as night falls and we get the call…
We’ve got the property, time to celebrate!