A Greek Odyssey – day 10

Jumping off an elepant

In our original plans, we were going to stay on Kimilos but circumstance (cost & convenience) mitigated against it, but after our trip to the island yesterday, we enjoyed it so much we decided to return today.

One of the places we looked at staying on the island was a refurbished and re-purposed fisherman’s shed on the beach, now called the “Elephant House”, named after the “Elephant rock” in the bay. It transpires that we spent much of yesterday staring at the rock, but neither of us spotted an elephant, but today, with our eyes better attuned we made out first the trunk, and then the body and legs, of an “elephant” across the bay from where we had set up station on the beach.

In fact, unbeknown to me, earlier this morning I had swam across to the rock (having first ventured all the way to the back of “my cave” – I was feeling brave, and encountered no monsters of the deep, only interesting rock formations and a beach at the back of the cave), scrambled on to its lower ledges and jumped and dived into the perfect, crystal clear water below.

Another day of fun in the sun and sea.

A Greek Odyssey – day 9

Kimolos calling – a mini-hop

Today we did a “mini-hop” taking the ferry from Milos to neighbouring Kimolos, and back again. To make the journey we had to get the bus to Pollonia on the north-east tip of Milos, then take a ferry across to Kimolos. We were foot passengers, but the ferry also took cars and motorbikes, but it was a much more sedate affair – both whilst loading and sailing – than our Seajets ferry from Santorini.

On arrival in Kimolos we gathered our bearings and walked up to the Chora (a chora is the main village on a Greek island) and Kimolos’ chora was as pretty as any we have seen. In some areas, behind the whitewashed facade, the buildings were tumbling down, long abandoned as locals will have left the island, but elsewhere the buildings were in good repair and typically charming, an example of the tourist dollar doing some good – we both fell in love with Kimolos and may well return at some point in the future – it will be interesting to see how the island develops, but for now it is perfect.

On our way up to the Chora we spied a lot of cacti, and then noticed it growing wild as far as the eye could see. It seemed to be a theme on the island and we spoke – well gestured – with a lovely old local man who spoke no English (and I (as of now, but have resolved to correct this) speak no Greek) who, I think, grows the cacti, and they use them on the island as an antiseptic when you have a cut but, like many plant growers the world over, he was lamenting a lack of rain. At least I think that is what he said! Anyway, he was a smiley, happy man, and all the locals we encountered seemed happy and friendly.

After a while exploring the Chora …

… we headed back down the hill to the beach (rema beach) in the cove next to the port, and it is a new favourite of mine, eclipsing the moon beach of yesterday. The water was turquoise and crystal clear, and the beach fringed by colourful fisherman caves carved into the rock. Some are still untouched, other than by sea, wind and sun, but a handful have been renovated into small air b’n’b accommodation.

I went for a little explore around the bay, and wondered if it would be possible to jump of this bridge:

… it wasn’t (the water wasn’t deep enough for a safe jump from that height) so instead I swam under the bridge and discovered a sea cave that extended for, say, 20 metres, under the cliff face, the roof of the cave getting ever lower, but never reaching the level of the water. Although the sea in the bay was calm, there was the odd gentle wave and the noise – the boom – as they bounced off the back wall of the cave was something to hear. I will confess, on my first exploration, as the sunlight diminished and darkness developed as I got further and further into the cave, I heard the boom of a wave against the wall and I saw the swell begin to return in my direction, I did allow my imagination to create a leviathan stirring, a kraken awakening, and swimming swiftly from the gloom to take me, the latest foolhardy soul to venture into its realm, as its prey. I beat a hasty exit, pleased to emerge into the glorious sunshine. (Later in the day, having rationalised the sounds and sights of the cave, I headed back in to conquer my fears. I am here, writing this blog, so, for today, at least, rational thought has won over myth and mystery.)

After a wonderful and relaxing day (other than encounters – real or otherwise – with creatures from the deep) we caught the ferry back to Milos, having found a new favourite place.

(For info, the ferry runs from Pollonia on Milos to Psathi on Kimolos, taking about 25 minutes to make the crossing, which cost 2.80 euros each, one way, as foot passengers. I don’t know the cost of a car, but think it was less than 5 euros. The ferries ran fairly regularly, with a hiatus in the afternoon. The ferry timetable can be found here: https://kimolos-link.gr/en/dromologia-osia-methodia/ )