This past Monday, I set out in my kayak to go from Marathi Beach to Stavros Beach. Both of these are on the Akrotiri Peninsula on the northwestern part of the island of Crete. It was to be my longest paddle yet and the first time I’ve not had to go out and turn around and come back to the same launch point. There was only one good place to stop along the way – in fact, it was a really nice, secluded beach accessible only by boat. The only problem is that once you get around the most eastern point on the peninsula, you get the pleasure of smelling what I can only express as a highly concentrated geep (goat/sheep) urine/feces smell. No joke! It just so happened that the little beach I stopped at must be somewhere near Ground Zero. So, while I did hang out there for a few minutes, I didn’t linger as long as I would have had the wonderful aroma not been there.
After that, it was a long paddle around to Stavros. The scenery was gorgeous and being pretty much the only one out there (other than the odd fishing boat) was very nice – though being a beginning paddler, it is nice to know folks are around in case you get into trouble. Fortunately, I didn’t have any problems and just enjoyed the morning. I only wish I had actually eaten something before starting out – my energy was definitely waning there at the end.
On Memorial Day the boys and I took a trip to Gramvousa & Balos. Our friend Silvia invited us to go with her, her kids, and her house guest Katie. Our friends Richard and Melanie went too and were so kind to drive us. Unfortunately, Matt had to stay home and work on a school paper. The good thing is… he had the peace and quite necessary to get it done.
After waiting nearly an hour (or more?) the ferry left the port. It was incredibly slow, as compared to our last ferry ride to Santorini. After an hour of boating the island of Gramvousa was in sight. We saw an awesome castle on the hill top, overlooking a sunken pirate ship. The beach was beautiful and we were so glad to have brought our water shoes. Melanie, Richard, and Katie hiked to the castle while Silvia and I stayed on the beach with the kiddos. Gavin discovered some sea anemones living on rocks. They were so cool and sucked to our fingers. That was before we realized that we were probably being stung. Continue reading
While Matt was having fun with our good friends Harry & Kristie in Virginia Beach, I took advantage of my time alone. My friend Melanie and I took a morning hike. Melanie invited me over for breakfast and we had fresh orange juice, coffee, and yummy Greek yogurt with honey.
Then we headed out to the trail head. We started at Gouverneto and hiked down through a small gorge and finished out to a cove. It was getting quite warm and Melanie went for a swim. I just stuck my toes in the water and checked out the sea life.
In the midst of our hike, we ran into two American college backpackers who were way too hopeful in waiting for a local bus to pick them up. So we took them into the closest town (Chorafakia) and checked on the bus schedule for them. I hope they made it!
It was a really nice hike. Not very long and not exactly challenging. It is a perfect hike for the morning before heading to the beach.
All right, so you’re probably wondering what a Photoblog is anyways. I’ve basically set up a separate site where I can post the photos I’ve taken that I like the best. I wanted to have something completely separate from this blog so that the photos could just speak for themselves. Well, that’s the idea anyways. Besides, I’m a geek and I like to play with new stuff!
For those interested in checking it out, here’s the link: www.thebarkersworld.com/photoblog. You can also get there by clicking the link titled “Matt’s Photoblog” at the top of this page.
I’ve already posted my first photo so go check it out! I’m hoping to add at least one a week (hopefully more), but we’ll see how it goes.
I’ve always loved the photos that are mostly black and white with only a touch of color. I decided to give it a shot myself. Here is my first attempt at this technique:
Hi everybody! For those that don’t know, I am really interested in photography. I haven’t really spent a lot of time figuring out the ins and outs of the subject, though. Hopefully that will start to change for me, starting today. I have been playing around a lot with some pretty good Photoshop filters (currently I am only using Photoshop Elements 4.0) that can really bring out the artistic touch in photographs. While there are some that are fortunate enough to have the skill to take original photographs with the same quality, others of us have to get by with a little bit of image manipulation until we have the time to actually work on our photography skills. Really, it is just each individual’s own perception of images, isn’t it? What looks good to someone doesn’t necessarily look good to you, right?
Well, without dragging this out too much longer, I just wanted to show off my first attempt at applying filters to some of the shots that I have. While the pictures look pretty good in there original format, they can definitely use a little attention to really bring out what I was originally hoping to capture. The shot below is the original photo taking during our trip to Scotland in 2003:
And now with some filtering with Photoshop:
Well, hopefully this will just be the first of many as I try to improve my photography and digital imaging skills. Hope you like it!