'It' began about two weeks ago when a heat wave coming from Northern Africa, blanketed Greece, taking temperatures in some places to new record-breaking heights.
|Hillsides are tinder right now in our area|
Then just more than a week ago, 'it' seemed as if our adopted country had gone up in flames as at one point there were more than 150 wildfires threatening historical sites, forests, agricultural land, animals, olive groves and homes.
And if that wasn't enough, three bank ATM's in our area were bombed. Yes, the blown-to-bits kind of bombed that your read about happening 'elsewhere' . . .'it' is the kind of thing you don't expect to happen in your own area.
|Burn bans are in effect every summer - simply too dry here|
Then this week - just as we had thought we might make it through this 'tinder' season with a continuous water supply-- 'it' was apparent that our reserve tank was precariously close to empty. Not a good thing with the surrounding countryside literally 'crispy dry'.
'It' -- is the reality of life. Those experiences and events, both good and bad, that can happen anywhere we live, even in The Mani, a place that most the time it feels a bit like paradise. So many of you have written asking about how we are doing and/or sending good wishes, that I am using this week's tale to update you on life in Greece:
|For days we watched firefighting efforts|
Unless you've lived on the moon or had no access to media in recent weeks you have seen the horrific images of wildfires sweeping across Greece. They are not exaggerated. It has been, and continues in some areas, to be horrific.
|Milea village in January|
|Fires in the Peloponnese - FB photo|
Residents and tourists in Gythio were evacuated Friday night. Luckily it was brought under control before reaching the village and their displacement was short.
|Gythio, Mani - photo from FB|
Sadly our Greek headlines are reporting a number of individuals have been arrested in the country and are believed to have set a number of these fires. A special prosecutor is organizing an investigation into the fires and possible arson links between them.
|Even the cats laid low during the heat of the day|
While its not completely unusual to have temperatures soar in Greece this time of year, the duration of our high temperatures sucked the life out of us. Chores and errands were done in the morning and we retreated inside to the air conditioning until sometime in the evening when we ventured out again. It is hot - very hot - in Kalamata when the temperature hits 110F.
The Attack on the ATM's
|Remains of an ATM in the Mani|
One thing that has been completely out of the ordinary this year is the recent bombings of three ATM bank machines in two nearby villages. We aren't talking a simple break and enter, but a blow-it-to-bits kind of bombing. Two ATM's were hit a few weeks ago and the third last weekend. Law enforcement is investigating and we locals are shaking our heads, as this is one of those times we'd like to say, 'never happens here'. But then it does. . . proving again that bad people do bad things everywhere, including in our slice of Greece.
|Filling our near-empty tank with water, a summer routine|
And, the Good News
|Just off the main highway near homes - last year.|
I saved the good news for last! About this time last year I wrote a post critical of both water supply and garbage disposal in our area. Trash collected by the municipality from our community dumpsters was being dumped on private land and mountains of trash had been allowed to collect there. That mountain is gone this year. The municipality stepped up to the plate and took action.
|The Green Corner - a good news happening here!|