Mediterranean Cleanup in Andros

This week started with catching up with friends for a beach clean. One of the ladies I worked with in October at Clean Green Andros is working with a non-profit called Enaleia. The organisation has been organising a series of beach cleans in Andros.

The cleans have been part of a wider project, The Mediterranean Cleanup, which is being run in association with WWF Greece. They aim to reduce the amount of plastic in the sea by working with fishermen in Italy and Greece.

The fishermen help clear plastic like this by bringing their fishing plastic back with them each time and by handing over their nets at the end of the season. Helping with the beach cleaning by transporting the rubbish to special bins that are taken off the island helps the fishers earn another form of income.

Because of overfishing, fishermen are being asked to look at alternatives like this and fishing tourism. They can earn more money while at the same time allowing fish populations to grow back.

Anyway, a group of us met at the beach to clear the rubbish and bag it up for Mr Giannis the fisherman. The waterline was mostly clear. Just one section at the end had garnered more waste. Other than that, it was mostly in the bushes at the back. Litter comes in off the sea and dries out. Then when it’s light, it gets blown into the gorse and stays there.

We found a ridiculous amount of plastic water bottles in one area, as well as the other usual things like plastic bags, coffee cups, lighters and shoes. We bagged it all up and then attached it to a buoy that Giannis pulled over to the boat.

When all the bags were loaded up, the taverna opened up to give us some snacks before we finished with a dip in the sea.

Life Admin

On Monday, I popped to Andros Chora, the island’s capital. I got a free cake when I went to the livestock place to get some cat litter, as it was the owner’s birthday!

Less excitingly, I needed to collect a form from the tax office for my accountant. If you didn’t know, there’s a huge amount of bureaucracy in Greece, even more than when I lived in Spain. There are all sorts of rules you could never guess and it’s all so long-winded. Wish me luck!

Writing and Nature

The rest of this week I’ve just been writing and writing and writing. I’m so grateful to have a quiet spot in the countryside to do it. The cats still are, too. And I’m right next to a river, so I saw a heron on the road this week.

I also saw a pine marten for the first time. I’ve heard plenty and had the pleasure of their skat and destruction on many a morning, but I’ve never actually seen one. I have to say they’re very cute for such vicious little creatures.

Anyhoo, new posts out for you this week are:

Fira to Oia Hike – Walk the Santorini Caldera for Outstanding Views which I’ve finally got out after starting in February, and this one about the Santorini animal welfare shelter.

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Suzie Young

Suzie writes informative posts for solo, nervous or first-time travellers to Greece, Turkey and other countries on her 50-before-50 bucket list. She became a Greek resident in 2020 and intends to visit every inhabited island (13 down!).

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