Tuesday, December 25, 2007

18th October, 2007

Travel day back to Piraeus and Athens, but that is not until 5.30 pm. Now 8.30 am. Now I really know what Island Living means - Pizza for breakfast! Wake up, Oahu, and get with the trend! Meanwhile the New Tour Guide plots today's spin. She seems to have settled for a place described as lunar, which means featureless, colorless, and lifeless!

Well, we might as well see stuff around the island - we have a car. Tempting though it is to return straight to Paleohori and swim. Breakfast pizza is not my style. Yoghurt, honey and grapes, and half a small pear. Then a little flaky pastry, a boiled egg, and some kind of flaky bread stick circle. Well, the egg might be for later. Our destination is Sarakiniko where there is a tiny beach but most of it is white rocks from which you jump into deep water!! Sounds like me....

Sun screen today - I am a bit burned from yesterday. Not too badly, but I don't need any more. Island living also means ten hours of sleep every night. No later than ten o'clock to sleep, and up at eight. I could get used to it. This is our last day of island living, and it is memorable, delightful.

5.30 and we are on the ferry waiting to sail for Piraeus via Sifnos and Serifos. M has just terrified me by noting that we have many more museums to do and many more museum steps!!

Today we set out for Mandrakia then Sarakiniko. Apparently Michael the Navigator and Greek Scholar thinks that the greek ╬┤ is NOT a d (as in Man╬┤rakia) so we didn't take that road. We found ourselves at Sarakiniko which was fine by me. It was spectacular. Very light with the sunshine reflecting off the white rocks. Brilliant blue water and skies. Caves carved into the hillsides, linking up inside as far as we could see (which wasn't far as we had no light with us.) We took slides, rather than digitals, so I've linked to a few representative images instead.

I got into my togs. Nobody else around at all. There was a LOT of litter on the little beach, which is really a small cove, which we collected and binned. Our bit for the environment. I waded out and swam. Alas I had trodden in some oily gunk and it got all over my hands and feet. I felt like one of those poor birds caught in an oil slick. Perhaps it came from the wrecked ship just around the corner. It looked like it had been there rusting away for thirty years. I swam - it was superb to have the whole place to ourselves. While swimming, the ocean was mine, looking out at rocky outcrops and islands in the distance while surrounded by those brilliant white sculpted rocks. I put my shoes on (Tevas) and went walkabout. Found a natural rock arch. The sea had done its fair share of rock carving too, and as the waves rushed under me into the rock caverns it made deep whoomping sounds. How glorious! Another swim, this time in my shoes. I hadn't done that before and found them quite buoyant and surprisingly pleasant to swim in. Back to the car - some people came (two couples) and so it was too crowded for us!! We retraced our steps and found Mandrakia. It is a tiny village perched on the cliff. Boatsheds with brightly painted doors were carved into the rock below. Boats bobbing. A tiny church. A dozen cats. A couple of people. We returned to our little car and drove, trusting to my stinks (instincts..) and before too long found ourselves back on the Big Road (private joke..) again, leading down to Adamas. I returned to the Hotel while Michael returned the car and bought great hunks of pizza for lunch. I had a shower and tried to scrub off the oil. Sand and a stick strigil had some effect but soap and hot water were better. Foot tapping then began and we sat around waiting for our departure.

Highspeed 3 is just now getting ready to shove off.

Nautical things are happening and the engine is hammering. The hawser is hawsering. Etc.

While K natated I sat in the shade and read a book. When two other couples came around noon it was time to escape the crowd. We are in motion. The day has been warm - say 24 C without a breath of wind.

10.15 and we landed. Tony was waiting for us (how wonderful) and drove us back to the Hotel Adrian. Room 105. Our bags were still here. Athens is certainly bigger than Adamas! Milos has under 5,000 people on it. I heard that a German couple were on Milos looking for real estate, a retirement option. Not for me! Give me Newtown any day. Milos is lovely, but remote. And nothing but Greek food. Everything has gone so smoothly, a testament to the Great Organiser.

8530 steps. Back on known ground, the Hotel Adrian. Reunited with our luggage.

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