- Monday 29th – to Hydra
Our last night in our little cave house. I have a double door onto the patio and I can open the top part (like a horse door but smaller) and leave it open all night. So I can listen to the sea, the wind in the wires of the windmill but very little else. It’s truly a magic place to stay.Breakfast on the terrace is lovely especially as the waiter now knows us and brings our coffee in large mugs with extra hot milk on the side. It’s sad to be leaving but Hydra awaits.Hydra is a small car-free island recommended by my Sydney friend Kerrie. She and her husband sail over here and she told me it was a charming little island and isn’t far back to Athens. Everyone we’ve told about going to Hydra has told us it lovely so we can’t wait to get there.It was all fine timing to leave Oia, taxi to the airport, and then from Athens on to to Piraeus port. But with the luck of the Irish we did it. Connections! Our taxi driver in Oia recommended his friend in Athens. So remembering my good experience in a similar situation in Sicily serval years ago, trusted we would be looked after and not ripped off.And it was magic. We landed early, and everything went like clockwork so thanks to our taxi driver Archimedes (or something like that) we are sitting on the 2pm fast ferry to Hydra and will be met by a donkey to transport our bags to the hotel we are staying in. Fingers crossed its as good as it sounds.15 mins later ………Fingers crossed we get there. After stopping at Poros, a really green island, we rather regretted not getting off – for 5 mins later there were scenes reminiscent of Titanic without the band. But there is a crazy show on TV where the contestants are dancing in front of a weather map in short swirly dresses. The hydrocat swooping and rolling and its like being on a roller coaster (still is! Writing this is taking my mind off the dipping and rolling) a lady opposite me is vomiting into a bag and people are gasping ooh! arrh! at regular intervals. Ride em cowboy! A man who seems to know about the boat said the driver is going too fast for the current between islands. Where are the pirates when you need them! Aaarrrggghh!At first I was joking about us being able to swim the rest of the way but now it’s looking likely – and I haven’t got my fins on! Makes the plane ride, in the wind, more like a walk in the park. Steve is probably thinking I’m exaggerating but I’m ………….. Well maybe a little. It’s starting to settle and I can’t wait for my fourth form of transport today – a donkey ride.
A few streets later we found a linen shop and after much ducking in and out of dressing rooms, sharing clothes and giving Very Honest opinions of how fetching we looked, Jill bought a blue/white linen top and I bought a very blue asymmetrical top and a burnt orange linen dress! Well done us.
We enjoyed a wedding conducted on a little rocky outcrop, saw some local little girls playing with their Barbie dolls, dogs sleeping in door ways, the rich and maybe famous sitting in cafes drinking wine, and others enjoying a Greek style passeggiata. Lovely scene
Our last day (and night) of Swimtrek
A big swim (3km) including some great caves
|… to here …|
|Sarah, Jill and Fran in fetching pink caps|
|… via here …|
|…. Pause here …|
A smaller swim (2km) to finish off
|Sarah’s 30th birthday map|
|… the last leg|
“Presentation Ceremony” and final dinner
|Our guides, Ricky and Emma – well done!|
Great night last night on this gorgeous little island Koufonissi.. The little restuarant in a laneway back from the small port was really very good. The lamb! The salads! All delicious.
It was all drama though, with Tracey (another pink group member) really not well and had to see a doctor in town. Ricky, our lovely guide, took her and had to make a decision about what to do. She has some health problems and really needs to see a specialist. Poor lady has been trying to cope (and swimming quite well) but it really has to be dealt with. We the pink group members will miss her. Her friend Maryanne has stayed as travel insurance wouldn’t cover her leaving.
After dinner some of the group headed home – sensible people – and others went to a nearby bar for one last drink. It belonged to a man we met on the beach this afternoon – nude – who was introduced to us as Arki’s brother! Turns out he is not Arkie’s brother but another very smooth talking Greek man. You know the type – beachy leathery, longish hair in a ponytail, think they are God’s gift to women. Lots of fun!
The next morning we were slow to start. Tracey had left on the ferry at 6am and there was much discussion on where the swim would be. I decided it was too windy for me, and Jill agreed, so here we are doing our blog while the others are off sailing and swimming. Might regret it, but a day off from those distances is a treat …
We are having the afternoon off as a group. So a nice lunch coming up and an afternoon siesta.
Steve and the swimmers had a very rough, windy passage under sail back across to the Eastern coast of Naxos to find a sheltered swim. It worked well – about 3 km in the warmest and bluest of waters doing a coastal passage which was just great. More high speed, spray and sailing back to port for the siesta!
Alas, no photos!
We loaded Ari’s boat carefully – he is very strict on this boat – then we motored over to another island, stopped along the coast and swam from there, finishing with a small crossing. We swam up to the most beautiful sandy beach had morning tea and walked to our hotel. Lovely morning swim.
Back to the beach for a coffee before the bus arrived to drive us back.
It was fairly rough and choppy as we started out and by the end we earned our lunch. We must have swum at least 4 or more km. not a bad effort for the first day. I fell a lot more confident this year, knowing I can keep going – something I wasnt sure of last year..
Well the swim has started! We walked down to the beach, a rocky walk mostly down hill! Wasn’t looking forward to the uphill with my so knee!
Then the challenge starts. We swam out and around a small island, across to a headland, along the headland and into another gorgeous bay, around the bay and along the coast till we reached a little blue and white church. So picturesque. Then across the bay to reach Arki’ s boat.
Now I haven’t mentioned Arki. He is Greek, tried to be charming, and owns the yacht that swim trek use for its week long treks. We had heard he was particular – he is ridiculously so! A we climbed the ladder to get on his boat he hoses you down practically orders you along in how to move and where to sit. A little over the top in my opinion.