Today it’s our turn to take it a bit easier. this doesn’t mean a lie-in – that concept isn’t part of my vocabulary. The three Grandadults are also up early and join us for breakfast in a local cafe. There are a lot of people departing from Ios today and the cafe’s by the port are full of people and their luggage piled high. Whilst at the port we see the World Champion Jet boat come in. It is still very breezy and we stop to watch it navigate the harbour wall whilst being pushed sideways. It makes it and as big a crowd of people disembark as the one that’s waiting to board.
I assume that the boat is running a little late because the staff are directing people on board with swift arm movements and shouts of “Viasou!”. The boarding crowd begins to thin and I see a young woman running towards the boat with her case dragging behind her. The member of staff is indicating for her to get on board quickly. Unfortunately she makes the school girl error of turning around to wait for her other travelling companions. By the time the she has turned back around to face the ferry, it’s back door is closing and it has already cast off and moving away from the harbour wall. This is a cautionary tale I tell the GA’s and referring to the fact that we will be catching an early ferry the following day. These high speed boats never hang around. Thankfully we will be departing on the Blue Star Chios – a larger ferry which is always my preference. The traditional ferries are usually still loading cars and lorries even after foot passengers have boarded. Always be on time for the ferry and be ready to go when you’re given the signal!
The GA’s haven’t yet decided what they are going to do today but head off to Gialos Beach as a starting point. Peter and I are going to walk to Koumbara Bay which had been pointed out to us as a nice place to visit by our host Bernice. To get there we walked along the back of Gialos Beach away from the port. Basically you just follow the road around. I also just notice that there are protected turtle eggs on Gialos Beach, something that I haven’t seen much of in the Cycladic islands.
Before we reach Koumbara Bay there is a small un-serviced beach down below that isn’t particularly busy. This beach Google Maps tells me is Tzamaria Beach. It is set in a shallow bay and it looks perfect for families. There is also a cluster of up-market looking hotels.
It’s amazing how wherever you look the Chora churches are always in view as if you serve as a reminder that you are always being watched from upon high.
We now cut across a small peninsula that brings us down to Koumbara Bay. It looks nice – quite boutique but not really my type of place – it’s a bit too perfect. Even the water is beyond turquoise! Our eye is drawn to another small peninsula at the end of the beach. Peter asks someone what this place is and he is told it is called the Pirate and is a private island (but not quite an island). I’m sure I’ve seen this private villa before when passing on a ferry and I was interested to find out more at the time. I ask Google to try and find a bit more information but Google isn’t being very co-operative!
We don’t stay for very long and head back to Gialos Beach where we spend the rest of the afternoon. Whilst there the GA’s are walking along the back of the beach and come to tell us that they are going to walk to Koumbara Bay. I don’t tell them my thoughts on it but wait to hear what they think of it when we meet up later.
So tonight is our last night on Ios and once again the tempus has verily fugited! Tonight we are headed up to Chora for our evening meal but first Peter and the GA’s head up to the churches to take in the views. I scout out somewhere to eat whilst also enjoying forty minutes of solitude which is so much needed for an introvert. We arrange to meet back up at The Nest. Google bombards me with various “top places to eat in Ios Chora”. I think ultimately I’ll just have to pluck one out randomly. I opt for Mozaik as it seems to offer a mix of traditional Greek with a range of other options that I know will be appreciated by the GA’s.
Once back at the Nest I tell them about my recommendation and that it is located across the road from what I have decided to call Old Chora. It is quite an unassuming looking place with a modern frontage but we are warmly greeted as we enter. Once the GA’s see burgers and spaghetti on the menu they make their choices very quickly. I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves! It’s a great restaurant with fabulous service. We finish off with pancakes from Nutellaria – the photo is rubbish – it’s dark and it’s a very busy and popular place.
This is it for Ios. It came and went so quickly. I hate the ‘hit and run’ approach to travel. At least we now have 5 days on Naxos which is the island that I’ve most been looking forward to showing them!