The northerly autumn winds begun caressing Ikaria this morning. The sun is still strong, but you know that it is not going to last long. Colours of the season started showing themselves on the trees at higher altitudes. It is the best time of the Aegean.
The first activity of the day was a leisurely hike. After covering my feet with band-aid – I am kinda starting to see the wisdom in socks with sandals thing, but not in this lifetime – I decided to take the dirt roads going up from Kampos. It was not going to be anything difficult like yesterday’s, just a few hours of sightseeing really.
The roads gently ascend the hills passing by farms and vineyards. After a few dead ends, I seem to have found my way. In any case, if you get really lost lost, just walk down till you meet the sea, not that hard.
As the altitude increased, bushes and olive trees left the scene to pine forest. At the end, I reached my destination point: Thoktistis Monastery. It is really a small monastery this one, but sitting on top of the mountain, the view is well worth the climb. There is a small church at the very entrance with your typical Greek icons and what not. As you climb a bit more though, you come across another tiny church which drops your jaw. Imagine that there’s this big rock on the ground, then they built block walls on it, and then using what mythical creature god knows, they placed a gigantic rock on top of it all to serve as a roof. Walking around the church, you realise that the roof bit is actually a massive rock cantilevering out of the mountain. They just built a block wall in between the two rocks. Okay, now it makes sense. It’s a tiny tiny church by the way, the door is barely a meter high or so, you really need to bend down to get in.
On the way back, I opted to walk on the main road going down back to Kampos. And in the afternoon, my first stop was Kampos beach! Remember the Greek tourism advertisement photos, with beautiful sandy beach and umbrellas made from dried palm branches and turquoise sea? That must have been shot at Kampos. And this being outside the high season, there were just two other people besides me. Oh life sucks sometimes 🙂.
After beach time, it’s food time. So I headed to Evdilos, the second biggest town and the main tourist centre of the island. It’s a cute, your typical blue and white Greek island town. There are sandy beaches nearby (Kampos is only a mile away), there’s good food, good people. Nothing overly exiting, but a lot of peaceful beauty.
So that’s day 4 in a nutshell. I am going to post this right now, because I am invited out by my new Greek friends tonight. Tonight’s menu: beer and laughter. Kalispera.