The Keri Caves by Speed Boat. It is all Greek to me 7. Zante 2015.

Keri Caves Zante

It has taken some time , but this is my final post on my recent trip to Zante, Greece. I have already posted-

It is all Greek to me 1 – Zante Dawn

It is all Greek to me 2 – Jump in the Pool

It is all Greek to me 3 – Banana Beach

It is all Greek to me 4 – Pedalos and Planes

It is all Greek to me 5 – Things we saw in the Sea

It is all Greek to me 6 -Things we saw on the Reef

It was a great holiday, as you can see from the posts above, but I have left the best until last Keri Caves.

Kapetanios Bretania

One of the best ways you can see Keri Caves in Zante is by chartering a speedboat. We chartered two, one with a local pilot so we knew where to go, and one piloted by Mark Crimmings from our party (or as the official pilot called him Kapetanios Bretania).

The last journey of Katetanios Bretania

I was on the official pilot’s boat. He knew the caves so well, zooming in and then back throttling so that we stopped inches from the cave walls.

Cave Exploring

It was really thrilling and the caves are fantastic.

Keri Caves

The water is so blue against the white rocks.

Cave Zante

We anchored up on a shingle bank and explored those blue bays a bit more. The water is really salty which gives you great buoyancy but makes it difficult to dive deep because of the pressure of that denser water.

DimExcuses Snorkel

Here I am, doing the Nirvana Nevermind cover again…

DimExcuses Nevermind

…and Sharon giving the thumbs up.

Sharon Keri Caves

We did actually see some fish after we finished messing around.

Keri Caves Fish

A load of the Saddled Seabream we saw in the earlier post. They seem little bothered by us splashing by.

Saddled Seabream

We only had a short dip as there was still a lot to see on our boat trip.

Keri Caves Boat Trip

You can get up really close to the cave walls with these small speed boats.

DimExcuse Zante

Plenty of caves to explore…

Keri Caves

…and sunny sea to sail…

Danielle Keri Caves

…nipping in and out of the Keri Caves.

Keri Caves Zante

From the Keri Caves it was then a short speedboat trip to Turtle Island. It even looks like a turtle!

Turtle Island

Once on Turtle Island, landing is a bit of a challenge, but we got there in the end.

Turtle Island Ahoy!

Forget the Caretta Caretta turtles on Turtle Island, it has a floating ice-cream van!

Turtle Island Ice Cream Boat

The obligatory beach selfie.

DimExcuses Turtle Beach Selfie

Some arty driftwood shots.

Driftwood Turtle Beach

I guess everything bleaches white in this sun eventually.

Bleached white driftwood.

Sightseeing done it was time to return our speedboats to their moorings and wave goodbye to our guide.

Dolphin Speed Boats

What a great way to end the DimExcuses Greek Odyssey with such a fantastic boat trip.  So there it is my final photos from Zante, Greece, basically it was all Greek to me, DimExcuses.

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Things we saw on the reef. It is all Greek to me 6. Zante 2015.

Thornback Ray

Continuing with my photos from my recent trip to Zante Greece, and the last post showing what we saw in the sea, here is what we saw once we discover the reef on the tip of Kalamaki Beach. Below I think is a Peacock Wrasse.

Peacock Wrasse

Here is a Goby and his friend. You can see these back home rock pooling at Pobbles Bay, Gower.

Goby

Another Peacock Wrasse. These fish would literally be all Greek to me, but again I am using Rob Jones’ “Mediterranean Species for Divers, Fisherman & Snorkelers”. That is not a typo it does say fisherman not fishermen, lost in translation I think.

Peacock Wrasse Zante

I think this tranquil Wrasse didn’t know what to make of me.

DimExcuses Snorkel

Or Sharon for that matter.

Sharon

Next we spotted these two. A striped Grund on the left and possibly a Brown Wrasse on the right.

Fish Zante

Here they are from another angle.

Striped Grund

Joined by another Striped Grund.

Zante Fish

Can you spot the Striped Sea Bream in this one. Quite good at camouflage this species.

Under the Sea, Zante

Here is a better look at them.

Striped Sea Bream

There was no shortage of these or the various Wrasses.

Sea Bream

This reef was plentiful with small fish.

More Sea Bream

Another Peacock Wrasse (Thalassoma Pavo according to Rob’s guide).

Peacock Wrasse

I think this plain little chap is a Common Sea Bream (Pagrus Pagrus).

Fish

But where there is small fish the bigger fish can’t be far behind. Which is wear I made this most significant spot of the trip, a Thornback Ray.

Thornback Ray Zante

I saw him, he saw me…but wasn’t sure if I saw him so tried to blend into the seaweed.

Thornback ray hiding in seaweed

He was very wary of me, and me wary of him as he was a ray, but he didn’t seem aggressive and we parted company friends after these photos.

DimExcuses Thornback Ray

Finally swimming back in from the reef you see some more small fish in the shallows sifting through the sand and gravel.  Generally brave little Striped Sea Bream that don’t seem wary of all the human swimmers at all.

Shallow Striped Sea Bream

So that is what we saw on the reef and with the help of this guide it is not all Greek to me for once. Which leaves just one set of photos from Zante to post, the speed boat trip, DimExcuses.

Things we saw in the sea. It is all Greek to me 5. Zante 2015

Underwater Cave

I still have four sets of photos to share from my recent trip to Zante, Greece, as part of my its all Greek to me series. I promised you some underwater wildlife in my last post. So this is a collection of fish I managed to photograph while snorkeling. Once I get through these photos it will be back to beaches and bulldogs as normal.

Zante Snorkeling

These fish species definitely are all Greek to me, but luckily I have borrowed Bridgend Countryside Management Officer Rob Jones’ Mediterranean Species Guide which tells me above are Saddled Seabream. I photographed some of us humans too. #UnderwaterSelfie

Underwater DimExcuses

Lewis had an underwater selfie stick, what is the world coming to?

Lewis Selfie Stick

Anyway, back to the wildlife. Quite a shoal here.

Zante Fish

Off they go…

…they must have seen Lewis…

Lewis

…or me! Quite impression of the Nirvana Nevermind Baby.

DimExcuses submerged

But don’t worry there are plenty more fish in the sea, this time baby Barracuda by the surface.

Baby Barracuda

This is a black-tailed Wrasse I think.

Black-tailed Wrasse

Great clear shot of a Saddled Seabream.

Saddled Seabream

Quite happy in the diffused sea sunlight.

Saddled Seabream

Some sort of Wrasse below.

Wrasse

Any identification help will be welcomed.

Wrasse swimming

A small Hermit Crab coming out to say hello.

Hermit Crab

A black tailed something, again it is all Greek to me.

Sun Speckled

This guy is a bit more distinctive, a striped Seabream I think.

Underwater Zante

Oh and a lesser spotted Lewis!

Look who popped up!

So that is what we saw in the sea. A few days later we found a reef and my next post will be what we saw there, and I promise you some even more interesting species, DimExcuses.

 

Pedalos and planes. It is all Greek to me 4. Zante 2015

Pedalos Zante

I am still getting through my photos from Zante, Greece.  You can read these earlier posts by clicking the links below:

It is all Greek to me 1, Zante Dawn.

It is all Greek to me 2, Jump in the pool.

It is all Greek to me 3, Banana Beach.

DimExcuses Zante

I still have a load of photos to go. These are taken on Kalamaki Beach when we hired some pedalos.

Kalamaki Beach

As mentioned in the Zante Dawn post, this beach is just before where the planes land, so you often see them flying overhead.

Kalamaki Plane

It is quite surreal as you pedal about and dive in the water to see the planes soaring over you so close.

Plane & Pedalo

I wonder if they could look down and see us snorkeling by our pedallo?

Plane Zante

Snorkeling here is great fun, but you won’t see much in this bay at this time of year, unless you come down really early and catch the turtles hatching.

Underwater Zante

I am sure in this photo Sharon is trying to run me over with the pedalo. It makes for one of my most unusual selfies! That look on my face is all about being twice out of my depth and the camera I am holding doesn’t float!

In water selfie

Sharon insisted on a pedalo with a sun shade, probably wise in this sun.

Parasol Pedalo

We let the kids with us roast in the sun.

Pedalo Zante 2015

Snorkeling done and all pedaled out, it was time to try out the beach bar on Kalamaki Beach…

Kalamaki Beach Bar

…and catch one last plane shot.

Plane Kalamaki

This Mediterranean life was starting to suit me.

DimExcuses Beach Life

Next we went and snorkeled in some more wildlife populated parts of the coast, but that is a whole different post that I will upload soon, DimExcuses.

 

Banana Beach, Greece, DimExcuses Beach Guide. It is all Greek to me 3. Zante 2015.

Banana Beach Zante

This is my third post in my it is all Greek to me series, documenting my recent time on the Ionian island Zakynthos otherwise known as Zante, Greece. You can read posts one (Dawn Rocks) and two (Jump in the Pool) here.

Casa Playa Banana Beach

Banana Beach is the first international beach to feature in my DimExcuses beach guides.

Banana Beach

Banana Beach is to the north of the island in a traditionally Greek village called Vassilikos. You need to get the free bus that collects from the tourist centers of Kalamaki and Laganas, which then takes you on a secluded road cutting through a pine forest before taking you straight to Casa Playa, the large beach bar that dominates Banana Beach.

Casa Playa

Banana Beach is 12 kilometers from the airport and 10 kilometers from Zante Town. It is a blue flag standard beach, described as having “golden silky sand that is certain to deliver that relaxing paradise you’ve been dreaming about” by Casa Playa Beach Bar.

Palm Beach Zante Style

They don’t exaggerate, it is fantastic, total luxury. The bars plays the best blissed out Ibiza tunes over the boardwalk keeping your feet off the hot white sand. You can then rent a sunbed under a straw sunshade as you order cocktails via waiter service. Or you could just go the whole hog and get a four poster double sunbed!

Banana Beach Sunbed

The sea is the closest the Mediterranean comes to surf with a tiny swell making bathing fun. Banana Beach is water sports central and you can end up doing all sorts of crazy things tied to the back of a speed boat. We risked spinal injury in a big rubber ring, but walked away laughing.

Surf Zante

The water is very clear on the whole of Zante, but it was even clearer at Banana Beach.

Banana Beach from the Sea

This Beach is all about the luxury laze. It is a far cry from the wind swept Gower walks Molly, Sharon and I usually get up to, though Sharon wasn’t complaining.

Sharon Banana Beach

Casa Playa is the perfect dream bar, and provides showers and toilets, so no need to worry about any alfresco rest stops.  I could stay there all day and time flies when you are relaxing, but the return bus pick up is 4 pm.

Boardwalk

I could get used to this luxury lifestyle.

DimExcuses Banana Beach

Danielle I think was starting to call it her spiritual home.

Danielle Banana Beach

I love the orange sunbeds under the straw sunshades.

Banana Beach Sunbeds

I loved this beach and its Casa Playa beach bar.

Casa Playa

Pure chilled out luxury. It was the real highlight of our trip, which was literally all Greek to me, DimExcuses.

Jump in the Pool! Zante 2015. It is all Greek to me 2.

Jump in the pool Zante 2015

So there I was in the middle of the Mediterranean. I had seen the sunrise on the beach (It is all Greek to me 1), and I was signed up for two weeks sun & snorkeling with friends in Zante, Greece.

Swim Zante

We were staying in Hotel Denny’s Inn, which was a great Hotel, with a nice restaurant, lovely bar, fantastic staff, but most importantly an awesome pool.

Denny's Inn Pool

The pool was essential as temperatures were rising to 35C in the shade. It was suggested ‘in that case you should try and stay out of the shade’.

DimExcuses on Tour

A cooling dip was needed on the hour every hour, and this pool even had a deep end (As demonstrated by Lewis here). You don’t see that in UK hotel pools much anymore.

Lewis of the Deep

I was amazed by these little birds that were always dipping in the water and pottering around us at the edge of the pool.

Pool Birds

They had plans to eat the insects that had plans to eat me, so welcome pool buddies.

Dipping

More nature and tourism together.

Pool Buddies

I also saw a lot of bats at night, unusually close to the sea, probably due to the unlimited mosquito food source.

Zante Birds

Our party was a little less tranquil around the pool.

Ready to launch

With the lads making the most of Denny’s Inn keeping the pool stocked up with inflatables.

Zante 2015

Charge!

Charge

Sharon and I took a shades on underwater selfie amidst the shenanigans.

Underwater Shades On Selfie

It was a lovely pool and a good base for the rest of my Greece adventures, where I saw more wildlife than just the pool birds…

Zante Birds

I have some more Zante posts to come, but basically it is all Greek to me, DimExcuses.

Dawn Rocks! Zante, 2015. It is all Greek to me 1.

Zante Dawn

So there I was, deep in the Mediterranean enjoying the morning sunrise and examining the geology. The #Mentro21 project to surf 21 times this year was going so well a month ago, and then I developed a large abscess under my arm (go to @DimExcuses twitter for the gory detail). A trip to A&E and some emergency surgery under a general aesthetic, I was left with a big hole under my arm that would need weeks of healing, and definitely no surfing (DimSurfing).

Sunrise Zante

So it was rather lucky that we were set for two weeks R&R in Zante, Greece, for our friends Nic and Mark to renew their wedding vows.

Empty Zante Beach

Sun, sand and cocktails by the pool was just what the doctor ordered.

Zante Landing

We stayed in Kalamaki, right by Zakynthos airport, where the planes land close over the beach. Really close over the beach.

Fly Zante

I could watch the in flight movie as this one passed.

Beach Plane

Sunrises and planes aside, the reason I was on the beach was because people had been telling me about a glass like rock formation in the bay. I was brought a piece back and identified it as Muscovite Mica. Mica is usually the little reflective bits that but the sparkle in Granite Worktops.

Muscovite Mica by the Sea

To see it in a large crystal outcrop would be quite interesting for a Geologist like me. Note the water bottle for scale, always a Geologist.

Muscovite Mica

There were some other striking rock formations…

Greek Rock Formation

…and also the shear awe that people can be so ignorant to the hazard of this potential rockfall. I saw some people lying under it for shade!

Potential Rockfall

The Zante coast is so very picturesque.

Pedalo Dawn

It really does have a bit of an edge on Wales in terms of sun and warm weather, and has a rather awesome sideline in turtle conservation.  They fence the nests off like this to protect the hatch-lings.

Turtle Nest

Great to see nature and tourism developing side by side, the tagline for these pedalos was ‘Rent a Pedalo, see a Turtle’.

Pedalo Dawn

A great morning and a good start to the holiday.  I have four more posts from Zante, and it is all Greek to me, DimExcuses.