Santorini: Day 4 – 05.09.14…………….Are we nearly at the top?
Activity day number one had finally arrived. The walk up the mountain to Ancient Thira, then down to Perissa and onwards to the Iliada Hotel in Perivolos had been planned the evening before with meticulous precision. We’d need to go early to beat the heat of the sun and we had a plan. Maice had set the alarm for 6am, we’d get up, pack our little knapsacks and as we’d miss breakfast we planned to buy a giant donut on the way as means of a high energy breakfast. The reality was that as per recent performance, Maice had not understood the time difference here in Santorini and set the alarm for 7am. It was only on vacating the bathroom having carried out her morning ablutions that she was reminded of her inabilities to set an alarm and the morning appeared to be not getting off to a good start.
To make up the time we speeded up our ‘getting ready’ routine but to no avail as we realised that important items had not been packed into our knapsacks. Forty minutes after our estimated departure time we finally vacated the room and thus began our adventure up the mountain. We stopped off at the the donut shop where, in her best efforts to practice her Greek, Angela engaged the donut man in conversation, telling him of our intention to walk up the mountain. ‘Need to get up early to do that’ he said, as if we didn’t already know that! If only he knew the efforts we’d gone to to even get to the donut shop! With donut in hand we, the intrepid explorers started the ascent of Santorini’s equivalent to Mount Everest. Hot and sweaty we tackled the 1:10 gradient and made it to the summit, or so we thought, for there was an extra bit of the mountain to climb if we wanted to get to the ruins at Ancient Thira. All our aches and pains disippataed as the tremendous views from the roof of the mountain emerged as we stood and drank in the spectacle that was Mother Nature. The heat intensifed as we made our way through what was once the grand amphitheater and through old family dwellings and exhausted we made our way to the little caravan where we stocked up on water. Suddenly, Donkey man appeared with two mules, a donkey and a dog and thoughts turned to the film Two Mules for Sister Mary. Had prayers been answered and the mules had been brought up to carry us, two exhausted travellers down the mountain. Alas, it was not to be, so heavy footed, we descended the mountain in the heat of the day and walked into Perissa.
We made it along the promenade to the Veggera Hotel and enjoyed a well deserved frappe and watched the world go by. An hour later we were sitting beside the pool at the Iliada Hotel drinking beer, where Angela was berated by the family for not staying in touch. ‘Best Rep we’ve ever had’ they said on more than one occasion, a phrase which Angela, annoyingly kept repeating to Maice. After much face pulling and coochy-cooing with Odysseus, the family’s three month old baby, it was time to depart. A stop off for a salad and a couple of beers to quieten our rumbling stomachs, we two weary adventurers made it into Perissa just in time to see the water taxi rounding the mountain to Kamari.
Finding a place on the baking hot sand to rest our weary bodies we waited for the water taxi to return. It was at this point that we were exposed to ‘sandalgate’. Not one, but both sets of the sandals we were wearing had disintegrated making walking very uncomfortable and in Maices case, very noisy. What made it worse was that Maice had bought her sandals only days before the holiday! Would the sandals last out until the end of the holiday? Only time would tell!
The water taxi experience passed surprisingly smoothly and we finally made it back to the Avra Hotel at 5pm. Phew, what a day and it still wasn’t over. A much needed siesta was called for in the coolness of our now fully operational air-conditioned room and we collapsed, exhausted onto our beds. An hour had passed when we suddenly realised it was G&T o’clock so sprang into action, mixed our favourite drink, sat on the balcony and continued our game of rummy. After an exceptionally high scoring round in which Maice took the overall lead we got ourselves ready and set off in search of supper. Earlier, we’d admired a lovely looking restaurant with nice green tables and chairs called Nichteri, also named after a bottle of wine, so given this criteria we felt obliged to give it a go. The menu was rather limited so we ordered dips, risotto and grilled calamari. Not to be caught out with ordering too much wine again we ordered a small carafe of house wine, or so we thought. Well imagine our surprise when a large carafe appeared on the table. Apparently they don’t do half carafes! Honest! After a conflab over our large carafe of wine we came to the conclusion that in future we would scrutinise the menu before setting foot into a restaurant instead of going on looks alone! As it was the food was delicious and the wine went down surprisingly well!
On our way back to the hotel we purchased two tickets for the White Door Theatre Company the following evening to see the Greek Wedding Show in Fira after which we strolled back to the hotel, switched on the air-con and sunk into our beds, both of us hoping for a really good nights sleep…….
Καλή νύχτα ….