So yesterday, while we were waiting for our mate Aris, to come so that we could check into our place for the remainder of our stay in Santorini, we met this Canadian couple, Pamela and Graeme, who told us that we should go for a hike up the mountain.
Our accommodation is situated between ancient Fira, and this wicked little beach in front of us.
Ancient Fira is right at the top of the mountain, and there is a nice little valley-ish spot between the old city and another mountain right next to it. You can also take a bit of a funky walk, to go up, through this old shrine, which has a cave right next to it, where water would run through, and supply the town with clean water.
Not too bad.
We figure that today, that is what we are going to do with our time.
We chuck on our packs.
Throw on the shorts and shirts and off we go.
We begin walking, and yet again, our bodies take little mercy in reminding us that since November, we have hardly done any working out. We have done a lot of walking, but walking doesn’t really count when you wanna stay in shape.
Lazy > Stay in shape
We get to the edge of Kamari, at the foot of the mountain. There are two options for us. One is the old old road which is largely for cars, and zig zags all the way from the foot of the mountain to the top. This, however doesn’t take us up past the shrine, so we spot another smaller footpath which leads just off to the side of the other road, which seems to take you up to the shrine.
We figure that the worst that could go wrong, is that we have a to back-track, so off we go.
We are about to begin the hike, and we see a sign that says something about rock climbing in Greek, with an obvious picture of a rock climber on it. We both stop and look at each other, and begin to question our decisions. We do the “young traveller” thing, where you just ignore the local’s advice and do your own thing anyway.
Only a couple meters up the track, the path stops.
There has been some kinda rockfall or something, and the path has been wiped out, but there really seems to be no other way to get up to this shrine. We stop for a minute, and see all these metal loops anchored into the rock beside us. So, this actually is a rock climbing path that Bec and I have found ourselves on, but we decide to “forge” our own path(ish). We see a little way ahead of us that the path continued, so we straddle across a few rocks and do the hop back onto the path.
We keep stopping to admire the view below us.
We even went as far as actually stopping for a “couples” shot.
How cute are we?
Nah legit tho.
Here’s the proof:
Told ya that we stopped for a couples photo, and you didn’t believe me.
I even got Bec to stop and pretend like I didn’t make her stop for a photo.
Don’t believe me?
Here’s the proof:
Look at that… Stitched you up twice in one blog post.
This is just too easy mate.
I even got Bec to walk ahead of me, so that I could take a picture of her pretending to look like the walk was a little tiresome.
Don’t believe me?
Heres the proof:
They don’t call me Billy, The Provider of Proof for nothing **
We keep walking, and only a couple hundred metres away, there is this road tantalising and teasing us and looking all sleek and smooth, winding up the side of the mountain, while we walk up this path most likely used by stray dogs and the like. I’m making it sound worse than it is though. I still intentionally choose to take the ratty paths, cos that is what is going to make the better stories. At least that way I write about more crap.
We get to the foot of the shrine, and there is this absolutely wicked view of the town below us, and the endless ocean meeting the land all before our eyes. I can’t understand what it is, but there is something about wanting to see things from above and being on high places that as people, I think we all innately love. Just being up on the mountain top and having everything below you and being able to see as far as the atmosphere would let you.
Its really breathtaking, and I know that this still is really a piddly mountain. I’d love to climb a mammoth mountain. I’ve no doubt that we would climb a big mountain at some point in our trip, but I’ll let you know when that happens.
We climb to the shrine, and find ourselves in what looks like an white Greek terrace, built out of the side of the Mountain. We are curious about the cave, so we go to have a look. There is this ratty old iron bar gate which is slightly open, just inside the mouth of the cave. Its the sort of thing that you would expect to see on Descent or The Hills Have Eyes. You walk into the cave, and the loss of light is unreal. Literally in the space of a couple meters, it is so dark that you can hardly see. It is genuinely surprising. My eyes still take ages to adjust to the light, and it seems as though it just wont adjust at all.
Its just in the in-between stage, where it is too light for your eyes to adjust to the dark, but you go from having bulk like a couple metres back, to having to push my camera to it’s maximum limits to be able to even take a photo. Its crazy town! We hang around and reign in our imaginations of deformed human cave-mutants attacking us from the dark. We wanna taste the water, but the green algae doesn’t seem so tasty. We leave the cave and all it’s bats and deformities and there are bells hung up in the trees, just begging to be rung.
They got rung.
I rang them.
Didn’t feel bad.
I am sure that the locals are accustomed to this whole saga happening every single day. “Another friggin tourist”.
Yes, that is me.
I rang the bell. Dunno what it means, or which mythical creature it summons, but it only made noise for me. Nothing mind blowing.
We walk from the shrine to the top of the mountain, where the old city is. We knew we had to buy tickets, but we only have card. The chick isn’t having a bar of it. They literally have no power up there, which I fund hard to believe, so they don’t have any credit card facilities. She just shrugs her shoulders, and looks at us funny. I can’t be assed trying to get in any longer, and there doesn’t seem to be any easy way to jump fences or anything, so we resort to plan B, which is having lunch on the mountain.
We find a nice little rock and unfold our towel, which is just a makeshift picnic blanket. We bust open a bottle of wine, devour cheese and crackers and spend the next hour or so just chatting, laughing and hanging out with each other, taking in the view of the next town over the mountain. Its a beautiful sight. The mountain is this beige colour, littered with green shrubbery and plants scattered on the hillside.
We sit in the least uncomfortable position we can find on this rock, and then decide about 15 mins later that it is still not as comfortable.
Its so funny, its always these moments that I don’t understand. I mean, we do so much life outside of these moments where we just stop and have lunch together, but it is usually in the times where we find some time to just stop and take in our time together is where we really build relationship and grow closer as a couple.
Its crazy that the most important times are the smallest amounts of times that we spend together.
A good little lesson, I say.
We wrap up our lunch and make our way back to the hotel. This time, we head down along the road, and the turns seems endless and once we have passed one turn, another is just about to greet us only a couple metres down the path. What would probably only be a couple hundred metres from top to bottom, turns into a good km or so with the twists and turns in the road. I am convinced that it is easier to walk up a hill than to walk down a hill.
We get back home, open the doors to our balcony, get very naked and jump into bed to design our house. We just chill and spend the rest of the afternoon designing our dream home, made of shipping containers.
A semi-uneventful day, but a good day all the same.
Come back for the next story,
** nobody has ever actually called me “Billy, The Provider of Proof”