If you haven’t sailed in Greece, you may not have heard of this island not far from Kea. It is barren, seemingly with its largest crop being dry stone walls circling the countryside. As you sail into Loutra, a small but wonderful village with a small town quay. We are wedged between a handsome motor boat, with a Vespa on board and the famous yacht Felipa, sailed by Helmut, Peter, Peter and crew. Just meters from the quay in two directions are beautiful swimming beaches, one with tavernas on the sand.
The crew from Yacht Felipa, were all Greek Gods, but currently reside in England and Austria. They were terribly good at having a party, teasing everyone and staying up for the World Cup Soccer into the wee hours. In winter, they are Norse gods because they spend their time skiing. Helmut was very generous in sharing some beautiful Austrian ham, sharing his precious photos of his new granddaughter, obviously a little goddess and conversation with us. We all met for dinner at separate tables at Sofrano Yachting Club, where many songs were sung about Alice.
Wednesday morning found us in a car, going up to Chora, a lovely village. We wandered for an hour on a street running parallel to our parked car but you could never find an exit to the main street. We retraced our steps and came upon a wizened old woman in full black regalia, who gave me quite a lecture because we think I said ‘Kalispera’ too early. When I repeated ‘Yasus’, she gave me a pinch on the cheek and sent us on our way.
We visited Merikha and then wandered up to Driopis, which according to Heikell is like time travelling to the 1950’s. We made our way towards Kolona, the road was amazing and we made it to O. Apokriosis only because Stephen has thousands of miles of Aussie bush bashing under his belt. We could see the sand bar at Kolona.
When Heikell called the island barren,we can confirm its browness, but it is known for its cheeses, honey and figs. What amazed me is all the dry creek ravines are full of wild oleander, which normally would like dry feet but prosper in the creeks, which see so little moisture. Come for the beaches or the food but nothing beats the Greek hospitality.