Santorini – This Is How You Cross An Island

So, we wake up and it’s our last day in Fira.

We originally only booked two nights in Fira, cos we wanted to hook in with couch surfers or HelpXers or something. We tried hitting them up the other night, but it pretty much didn’t work out because not so many people use Couch Surfing on Santorini, and HelpX needed a little more then we were offering.

We didn’t have to be out of our place till midday, so Bec sorted us out with another score on the other side of the Island. Being that we can’t find anyone to surf with, or to Help with, we just booked a dirt cheap room for around $20 AUD/night. I mean, we are already well over budget from other parts of the trip, but this was as good as we could get. Being that we have already spent a bit of time in the centre of the island, we are keen to see the other side of the Island.

The other really cool thing is that since we are in off-peak time, there is hardly anyone around. When we were looking online, we read review after review where people were saying how packed it was and how insane it is to do anything in Santorini.

to-kamari-1

Not for us.

We pretty much own this place.

With our new place booked and ready to go, we grab our bags and head off. We are standing outside and I chuck on my big pack, and go to put on my small backpack on my front, but then Bec just gives me the most sassy “Ahhh nah nah nah”, and then takes my small pack off me, and gives be her big pack to carry.

Then it clicks…

Last night we were playing cards, and to up the stakes, we decided to bet something. The hard part when you are married, however, is that you can’t really bet money, cos both your money goes to the same causes. So, what we decided to do was to wager that the loser carries both the big packs the next day.

The thing is, either way, I cant win.

I know that Greeks are the “Be the man” kinda guys, so if they see Bec carrying all the packs, then I’m gonna look like a tosser, but if I’m carrying the packs, then I am the one who has lost, so I either lose privately, or look like a knob publicly. I would have preferred to just carry the bags than look like a knob, and luckily, that is what happened.

Bec made sure of it.

We have to walk a couple minutes from our place to the bus stop the our favourite coffee shop. Bec needs a hand momentarily, so I, with both the big packs, take both the small packs and the shopping bag, and tell Bec that she needs to take a photo. Just as I am loaded up with all the bags, these two lads ride past us, and casually say “Very good, my friend”, almost like I was just put to the test by the godfather and was accepted into a brotherhood or something.

to-kamari-2

This only validates my point about not letting the mrs carry all the stuff.

We go get our coffees and chill out. We know that it is a Monday, and we saw that the busses come pretty frequently the other day, so we should be good. Bec is in the bakery/cafe, and all our stuff is outside. I spot this guy in the corner of the cafe that I recognise from the ferry the other day. I shift all our stuff to the inside area and slip my camera between our two bags on the table. There is no one else in the indoor section, so I figure the stuff should be safe, plus I am only going to be a few seconds anyway.

I run inside and check to see what is going on, give Bec my wallet and come back out to our gear. As I come around the corner, I go to grab my gear and move them back outside. Just as I go to pick up the camera and the bags, I look over to the bloke I recognised, and he just casually gives me this odd kinda look. I do the “curious” head tilt, and he just gives me this saucy wink.

I am super confused.

I know that he saw me on the boat, cos there was this moment of weird eye contact. I’m sure he’s not hitting on me though.

Doesn’t matter.

I’m out of his league anyway.

Then it clicks. He was watching my camera for me. He wasn’t giving me the “you got a pretty mouf” wink, it was a “Bruh. I got you. You do you. I got your gear on lock”. After realising this, I lifted my camera in a sign of appreciation and gave him a nod. I wasn’t going to give him a wink just in case, but I still recognised that he was being a lad.

to-kamari-3

I quickly fill Bec in on the wink situation as we sit down with our coffees and food to wait for the bus. It’s still going to be a good hour or so, so we decide to just and play cards for a while. The hour passes and we decide to head down to the bus shelter so that we don’t miss the bus. We get there, and we wait.

And then wait.

And then wait more.

And then a couple rock up who are waiting for the bus too. We get talking with them and it turns out that it is actually a public holiday today. That makes sense, but we have been waiting for an hour and a half in total. Not ideal.

to-kamari-4

We get talking with them, but the lack words we both know in one common language aren’t really getting us anywhere, so we kinda just call it quits. They wait another half hour (we’re up to 2 hours now), and they end up getting hold of one of their mates to come pick them up. This is really not a good sign. We end up hanging around at this friggin bus station for the next 20 mins. So far, we have roughly racked up 2 hours, 20 mins. It’s a public holiday today, which means that the bus schedules are different, but there is literally no possible way to find out when they are coming instead.

Its just a matter of rolling the dice.

We pile onto the bus, and make our way to Kamari. We get to the stop, and everyone jumps off, but in a twist of fate, our bus driver some how knew we needed to go further, so he tells us to stay on the bus till the next stop. We just go along with it, and the mad dog that he is, just saved us a good 10 mins of walking with our gargantuan packs. Super legend.

The place we are staying is a little hidden place in the middle of two other buildings, and the apartments are actually above other cafes and restaurants.

We spend the next 20 mins finding our place, and finally Bec spots the sign hidden away on the corner of the building. Not the usual place to put signage. We head up stairs, and the office which is meant to be open, isn’t open. There are two numbers to call instead, and an email address. We can’t really do anything other than email the guy because our phones don’t work, and we’re not about to go and buy sim cards at each and every country we visit.

Luckily for us, there is wifi.

This means that we can send the guy an email, and maybe find something that we can call him using VOIP.

We connect to the wifi all good.

Unluckily for us, the wifi actually isn’t connected to the internet. So, we can connect to the network, but the network isn’t connected to the internet. Not ideal. Bec decides to try using Whatsapp, incase he is on Whatsapp and we can get in touch with him that way instead. She spends the next 20-30 mins walking toward the beach looking for somewhere that has wifi we can use. Being that it is off season, there aren’t many places open. So, I end up leaving our stuff at the apartments and following her down to see where things are at.

As I get down, she is on her way up, and she had to go down and ask a bar around 200m away if there was wifi available, so she jumped on the wifi, and sent a message and email to the owner. So, since we told the guy that we were coming in the late arvo, we decide to start watching a movie on my lappy until he arrives. We get about another 30 mins into the movie and I decide that I am just going to use the bar’s phone to call the guy.

I head down there, and ask George to use his phone.

He’s a lad and dials the number and everything for me. I get on the phone to Aris and let him know that we have booked into one of his apartments.

Being that it is a public holiday, he hasn’t even got around to checking his bookings for the day, and asks me whether we booked through Airbnb, Hotelworld or some other booking company, and the one we booked through was actually some other website. One I had hardly heard about.

He tells us that he is going to be about half an hour, so I make my way back to continue the movie.  As I come back from the phone call, Bec is talking with this Canadian couple, who literally had the exact same experience. Once you get hold of the guy, he is a legend but getting hold of him is a mission.

We realise that this is more common than we were hoping.

Finally, Aris, our host arrives, and he checks us in. We have literally spent the entire day going from one accommodation to the other. This place is way quieter, and we can see the beach from where we are, so we are glad to have made the move anyway. Being that things took so long to work out, he just bumped us up to a nicer room.

Don’t know whether it was intentional, but we certainly didn’t pay for it.

to-kamari-5

We dump our stuff, and we are in need to getting our and away from our bags for a little while. Just to feel free for an hour or so would serve us just fine.

We head down to the beach, and the evening is creeping in slowly.

to-kamari-6

We just hang out on the beach and chat and take photos of each other doing random stuff. Being that the beach is made of smooth river-like stones, I picked them up and began skimming stones across the sea with various degrees of success. Every now and then, I would let go of an absolute pearler, this would fly across the water, collecting 7 or more hops along the way.

to-kamari-9

However, each time it wouldn’t skip nicely, all I could remember was being in New Zealand with Damo, and I just in no way could match the amount of skips he could do with his rocks. I still remember sitting there and analysing his method.

to-kamari-8

I still can’t get it quite right every time.

Damo can though.

Bastard.

I decided to take a break from the stone skimming just laid down on the beach.

to-kamari-10

For fun, Bec started picking up rocks and seeing how many she could stack on top of each other…

…on my face.

to-kamari-12

The rocks, however, are more like oversized pebbles, and what is more odd is that the whole beach is made of them. The beach is kinda made in stages. There are bands that are bands that are made of really tiny rocks, and then there will be an entire section of the beach made of rocks that are about 10x bigger, and then it will go back to the small pebbles, before turning into plain black sand.

I have literally never seen anything like this before.

So, Bec begins stacking, and the trick to the stacking relies just as much on the stacker, as the person that you are stacking on top of. I literally wasn’t able to move a muscle. She would say or do something, and initially, I would want to laugh, but I would have to bit my tongue or the rocks would end up falling on my face.

My glasses became more of a means of protection, than a way to actually improve my eyesight.

Bec gets a total of 6 stones stacked on top of each other. My turn comes around, and the rules are that I have to use the same stones. I have no idea how she did it, but I can only find a way to get to 5 stones high.

to-kamari-13

That is is.

Nothing that I do is getting me any higher, and after the stones tumbling one too many times, we decide to call it a day, so that people don’t think Bec is the victim of domestic abuse or something. We finish exploring the beach and head up to this cave-like structure which has been carved out of the rock wall. We stop to take in where we really are, and that we are on the other side of the world, on a Greek island.

to-kamari-16

Now that we are on this trip, it feels so natural, but go back a year or two, and the idea of being on the other side of the world seemed so absurd to us both.

We head back home and to the centre of town to grab some groceries. We find ourselves a little stray. He just kinda follows up home, and we keep whistling for him whenever he lingers too far back. He makes us feel good about ourselves. Just wants to hang out with us for no other reason than he wants to hang out with us.

to-kamari-14

We head to bed and get really prepared to a late start tomorrow.

This is what we are about.

Despite the run around, we both still feel like we have had a pretty decent day.

to-kamari-17

Come back for the next story,

Billy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s