Kalymnos – It’s Good to See You Again!

My arrival on Kalymnos brought me to my fifth week of this particular journey.  However, something strange was happening.  It crept up on me out of nowhere and  it wasn’t something that I expected whilst doing the thing that I love in my beloved Greece.  Nonetheless, what I initially described as a bit of homesickness, developed into an indescribable malaise or more specifically a real bad case of the blues – hence now writing this five months after the event (the blog post is dated as August to keep it in historical order).  By the time I arrived on Kalymnos, I’d lost the will to write and even to put much effort into my photography.  Having suffered from sporadic bouts of “utter shitness” as I like to call it, before, I knew the only plan of action was to take it easy, to rest and not put pressure on myself in terms of documenting my travels.

I don’t often write notes for my blog as often the photographs can piece together a story or at least provide me with the framework of a timeline.  However, when you’re feeling a little low, the brain can go into protection mode – a sort of hibernation.  I have only just summoned up the motivation to go through my photographs today though I’m not sure how much detail I will remember of the trip.  On the plus side, I have visited Kalymnos several times before so for me this was a stroll down memory lane and although I didn’t feel in full on explorer mode, I took some solace in the fact that I’d already seen a lot of the island on previous trips.

So here goes!

I arrived at the port of Pothia on the Dodekanisos Pride.  On my very first trip to Kalymnos 18 years ago I’d stayed in Pothia whilst waiting for a connection to Astypalia.  I wasn’t impressed.  However, I wrote about this trip in my diary so I will do a Blast From the Past on this in the coming weeks.  This time I was staying in Myrties on the other side of the island, a small village overlooking the little island of Telendos. I had stayed there before so knew that this was the right location to be.

I took a taxi from the port with a very chatty taxi driver (are they ever anything else?) and we went through the usual – “Is this your first time to Kalymnos?”  After telling him that I’d been several times before – the first time some years ago he told me that the island was going to pieces.  Apparently the mayor was a good man but he hadn’t done much for the island or the people.  However, there were elections coming up and they hoped for change.  As we headed over the hill and down towards Myrties he stopped the car on the roadside and asked me if I remembered the view of the profile of the man in the mountain.  I surely did remember, though looking at it I could see one big face with lots of stubble but also a couple of smaller faces.  I never was quite sure what everyone else was seeing! 🙂

Minutes later we arrived at the Nefeli Hotel.  I’d had good feedback from clients of ours that had stayed there.  When liaising with the owners Apostolis and Stratos they’d always been so friendly and helpful that I thought that this was exactly the type of place that I wanted to stay – especially as a solo traveller.

I received a lovely warm welcome and was shown to a room on the ground floor.  It had everything that I needed.  There was a courtyard at the back which was open to the sun and a perfect place to hang washing.  Just beyond the small reception was a bar and terrace leading down to a really charming little garden that was obviously given a lot of love and attention.  I knew that this was the perfect place to unwind and relax for 5 nights.

After unpacking (a luxury whilst on the hop) I head out to explore.  The Nefeli sits on a steep street almost opposite a church with an attractive bell tower. At the top of the street is the main road that connects the towns along the West coast of the island and at the bottom are a couple of hotels and taverna’s that overlook the bay.  If you follow the road down and to the left it will take you past a small marina and then the village of Melitsachas – but I’m jumping ahead here.  Right now I’m heading off to the jetty where the water taxi’s depart for Telendos – just a five minute walk away.

The water taxi’s depart every thirty minutes until around midnight but the view of the sun setting over Telendos can be admired much better from where I am.  Families begin to gather on the beach, bringing with them chairs, blankets and small picnics.  I’ve left my beach chair at the hotel so head into one of the beach side taverna’s to eat.  Taverna Stallas luckily had a free table offering unfettered views across the bay and the most spectacular sunset – probably not done justice by my photographs.  This is the perfect end to the day.

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