We were very excited to see our family coming to stay and for an extra bonus we had arranged a parcel to arrive at the same time. So I thought I would run through the traumas of shopping whilst living on a boat.
Because we don’t have an address a lot of the time, as we are constantly moving, we don’t arrange many parcels to come. During the winter we stay in one place for three months so we can arrange the odd parcel or two but we are still finding it a tricky business.
As my son had booked a house for a week, we thought it would be a good opportunity to send a box to the house during his stay. We find the average parcel takes two weeks to get from the UK to Greece. We tend to order things when we see them and have the sent to my son in the UK, then when we have enough for a box, and a suitable address to send it to, we have it all packed up and put on a courier. We had planned this parcel to arrive on the same day as Dominic arrived. So we were doubly excited.
We were getting a little twitchy because we hadn’t been able to see any progress with the parcel tracking for over a week. I thought it was probably due to the fact that once it changes to a Greek courier the tracking might not continue. It wasn’t until the parcel didn’t arrive by it’s proposed day that I realised something might be amiss.
The courier we had booked with gave us the usual 2 week wait rubbish whilst they investigated and I paced up and down until I thought of a more suitable plan. (Waiting is not really my greatest forte). I decided I would find my parcel myself.
I looked up the couriers that were used in Greece and rang various numbers until I found one that eventually went through to a real person and then a real person that spoke English. In actual fact it wasn’t to difficult and within three or four hours I found the parcel in Skiathos, a nearby island who had decided to hold onto it because it didn’t have a contact telephone number on it so they didn’t want to risk putting it on the ferry with no one to meet it.
She agreed to put it on the next ferry over to Alonissos and we said we would meet it there. We watched the ferry come in and waited for people to drive and walk off. Then we saw someone carrying a parcel. Dominic and I rushed over to where he had emerged with the parcel to find a pile of parcels waiting for their owners. But alas, our parcel wasn’t there.
I found a lady handing out parcels and explained our situation. Then a man came over to me and said, I have your parcel come with me. I must have looked doubtful because he turned and said, I am Swedish and I have your parcel. Ok I questioned to myself, does being Swedish mean you know what you are talking about? But I wasn’t in a position to argue with him so we followed him out of the ferry back onto land. He said you wait by the cafe over there and I bring your parcel. I tried to explain that he didn’t know what my parcel looked like or who it was addressed to, but he kept repeating … I know, I have your parcel.
So we waited!
We watched this man then undo the ropes to let the ferry continue it’s journey as we imagined it carrying my parcel onwards to another island.
He then started heading towards a van so we followed him. Sure enough, he opened his van and handed us our parcel! He then insisted on cutting out the label leaving our box with a gaping hole but we had at last got it! Hurray!
At last we had found the parcel and managed to get it delivered to the right island.
We had a celebration back on the boat as we undid our treasures.
Paul was eagerly awaiting his new solar controller and I was excited to get some comfortable water shoes and a few new clothes and of course my new camera.
So what do you think was in our box? The list went something like this:
1 x new camera, camera case, 1 memory card and 1 tripod
1 x Victron solar controller, a remote display and network cabling
1 x endoscope (for tank inspections and working in hard to get to locations on the boat)
1 x toothbrush USB charger
Various clothes for me including 3 jumpers for the winter
2 x head torches as our old ones had given up the ghost
1 x iPad holder
1 pair of beach shoes
A new CF card for the chart plotter
USB box fan
Various reading and long distance glasses for Paul
We were over the moon with our early Christmas box, even if it did require a little extra work to find it.
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