Tuesday 20 August 2013

Cats and donkeys

As I said in my previous post on Hydra, there is no motorised transport on the island. With the exception of the main town and the other 4-5 small settlements, there are no roads on the island, so there are two modes of transport:
water taxis, as shown above,

or donkeys and mules. These are particularly useful for moving around the island, as there are no roads, but they are also a means of transporting goods from the boats to the various cafes and restaurants which are plentiful as tourism is the island's main source of income.
On our first visit to Hydra a few years ago, Ken used to get up very early and go for walks. He told me that in the early mornings when the first boat arrived, the waterfront would be packed, literally packed with donkeys and mules laden with all the goods that the boats had brought. There is no water in Hydra, so tons and tons of bottles of water are brought to the island every day and those, together with all the food, (not much grows on the rocky hills) and everything else that is needed are transported on the backs of the donkeys to the various houses, bars and restaurants.
I took the above photograph at 11:00 as we were on our way to take a boat to go swimming, so there are very few donkeys around, as opposed to what happens in early morning. What is incredible is that you never, ever see any donkey poo - it gets swept up immediately by the owners.

Here is one boat that has been emptied, with one lone donkey waiting to be loaded up
and some of its cargo on the seafront
while two mules patiently await....
The other thing about Hydra is the cats
I don't know the history or the explanation, but they are everywhere
well-fed, well-looked after,

it's like they are the island's mascot
feeding time.

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