Karpathos, Greece (Κάρπαθος, Ελλάδα)26 July 2016
Waking up early in order to squeeze in a morning swim, we frolicked in the waters of Kira Panagia one last time before having to drive to Karpathos town to be cooped up in a ferry for hours on the way to the island of Rhodes.
Rhodes, Greece (Ρόδος, Ελλάδα)
Upon arriving in the port of Rhodes Town, we zoomed down the east coast to the village of Masari, where we would be accommodating for the duration of our stay on the island. Masari was in close proximity to a popular Rhodes destination: Lindos, known for its ancient acropolis. Luckily our village was a little bit inland from the coast, so it was one of the few places on the island that wasn't overrun with tourists. We waited in front of the church for our AirBNB host, who rocked up a few minutes later on a scooter, wearing nothing but pink shorts, jandals and his reading glasses. After leading us to the house he gave us a quick tour, speaking very quickly and enthusiastically. He told us the opening hours of the bakery down the road, and advised us not to eat out in Lindos.
Spending a relaxing afternoon reading and surfing the internet in our new house, we were keen to go out for dinner and stretch our legs. Before we left, we had an aperitif of a sweet pink Vin de Liqueur, which was insanely moreish.
Heeding the advice given to us, we avoided Lindos and instead drove to a waterfront town that was still touristy, bus less so: Haraki. With quite a few options for tavernas, we wandered up and down the beachfront until we were happy with our choice. The hummus was so delicious that we ordered a second plate of it, but a less successful dish was that of the "horta", aka boiled greens. I thought that perhaps there would be a bit more to it than simply boiling greenery, but that is exactly what it was. Oh well. The horta experience won't stop me trying new things! Alongside that amazing hummus, the highlight of the evening was the restaurant's view out over Haraki Bay, with lights shimmering on the water and a clifftop castle illuminated in the distance. As we had just popped out for dinner, we didn't think to bring cameras so were unable to capture the moment.
27 July 2016
Revelling in the possibility of going for a swim before breakfast, we drove a short way to a beach near Masari that was recommended by our AirBNB host. Largely deserted, apart from us there were only a few locals around. Two elderly women bobbed, up to their necks in the sea, and conversed with each other loudly in Greek the whole time we were there. It seemed like a good morning routine.
Requiring sustenance for a long day ahead, we visited the local bakery and purchased a loaf. Right after leaving, we decided we should also try a small sweet roll, so returned for one of those. The baker was friendly, and popped a sesame covered mini baguette into our bag for free! That sesame baguette was one of the tastiest breads I've had, so we made sure to get more of them on future visits. That guy knows how to keep the customers coming back time and time again!
We began our exploration of Rhodes by driving south along the coast, and found that everywhere we went was inundated by tourists and things that tourists might want: massive hotels, sleazy restaurants, and stores selling nothing but 'authentic' pottery (artisanal, if you will). Frankly, this revelation was mildly shocking after Karpathos and unwelcome. For the entire time we stayed on Rhodes, I held onto a glimmer of hope that we would find somewhere (a beach, a village, an archaeological site) that wasn't awash with tourists aside from our lovely Masari.
From there we carried on, our bellies crying out for nourishment. Following the advice of Lonely Planet, we stopped in Kamiros Skala, where the harbour was described as "very picturesque". This is the harbour that passenger ferries depart to Halki. Quite frankly, it wasn't at all picturesque. Sure, it was slightly nicer than a standard port, but it was really nothing to write home about and certainly nothing to warrant a photograph, which in my opinion is the definition of "very picturesque". However, we did find a taverna in which to quell our tummy rumbles and look out over the so-called "very picturesque" harbour. The area around the harbour was so much less than picturesque, with dilapidated greenhouses scattered around, their white plastic roofs torn and waving morosely in the breeze. How do you expect to grow tomatoes with shredded greenhouses?
On the road we took back to our accommodation, turning inland from Kamiros Skala, François noticed a sign reading "Ancient Kamiros" and followed it on a whim. The site cost €6 to enter, but we had been so disappointed with Rhodes so far we figured we couldn't be let down much more.
The peeling walls were an easy target for graffiti artists, some of who took the opportunity to aim a dig at Nazism.
Swim, rosé, sleep. The End.
Today's post was almost called: 'Convalescing in Post-Apocalyptia'