We all sleep in a little bit today. Peter and I are up first (not surprisingly) and we get the breakfast preparations underway.
We lay out a small feast on the table on our terrace and move the chairs from their terrace onto ours. It’s a great set up that we have here and very convenient for an extended family stay.
The wind has calmed down overnight but by checking a yachting app I can see that it is due to pick up again this afternoon. Because of this the GA’s decide to go the plunge pool on the other side of the port. I’m not going to lie – I’m a little bit nervous about this. At least when they are on the beach they are in sight. I make sure they are all factored up and take bottles of water with them. I know that it is a popular spot with families so there will be people around should anything happen. For God’s sake woman! The two eldest are 17 and 18 years of age with jobs and/or a place a university!
Peter is going to walk to the beaches that lay to the East of Alopronia. I wish I could join him but it is too hot. I would never usually choose to be in Greece in mid season – I’m definitely a Spring and Autumn kind of gal!
I’m going to chill on the terrace again today. In addition to this I need to indulge myself as an introvert with a little spell of solitude to refresh and recharge my batteries.
Today the Dionisios Solomos makes an appearance. Call me sad but I can sit and watch ferries come and go all day. It’s in my blood you see – coming from a line of mariners and master mariners and of course, being born in the port of Dover has left its indelible stamp on me.
As a child the house we lived in was below Dover Castle and a short walk to the beach. My best friends Jimmy and Danny lived in the end house at the end of our street. I only have snapshots of memory from this period but I do remember their father, a fisherman sitting in the front garden mending his nets. In my head he was heavily bearded, wore an aran jumper, fisherman’s cap and smoked a pipe however, I think that memory is somewhat embellished.
They had a dog called Dolly (or was that their nan’s name? I’m not sure), a scruffy mutt of a thing that had a litter of puppies as bedraggled as their mother. I remember pestering my parents for one of the puppies and when the whining (from me) got too much they gave in. The little white puppy came to live with us and we called her Pooch (and that’s definitely true!).
Pooch got to the age where we could take her for walks, firstly along the cliffs towards the castle. One day we took her to the beach – a big step for a little puppy. She was let off her lead to explore the rock pools and to get used to the shingle underfoot. Her eyes however, were set firmly on the sea. Without any warning she made a leap for it. She didn’t even take tentative steps into the water but leapt straight into the oncoming waves. She swam instinctively but in one direction only – towards Calais! Of course she didn’t make it very far but at one point we didn’t think that she’d come back. That was the beginning of it for Pooch. We’d come down to the kitchen most mornings to find that she’d escaped from the house. The first time we searched the local neighbourhood for her but we eventually found her on the beach and there again every time after.
Shortly after this my father’s factory in Dover burnt down. We all went to watch it crumble and collapse from outside the factory gates. For the life of me I can’t image why we went to see this spectacle but we did and this single event is the reason why we were to be uprooted and moved to the North West of England. My father had a new assignment. He was a chief engineer – a job that had taken him all of the world. The move away from the sea to a landlocked village in Cheshire must have been as difficult for him as it was for my mother – both keen sailors.
I remember vividly the catamaran that he had built himself (just one of many cats and yacht’s he’d built over the years) sitting in our new front garden looking lost and forlorn. Apart from one outing that I remember to Abersoch, the boat never sailed with our family again. My father passed away shortly after, leaving my mother in a strange village with three young children – my sister just 18 months of age. These are the cards that life deals us.
Anyway, Pooch. We just couldn’t take her away from the sea. Our next door neighbour kindly offered to take her on so she was able to stay close to the beach and continue the life of the salty old sea dog that I hope she became.
The point I make is that like Pooch, the sea is in my blood and I forever have a longing for it. When it is in touching distance I feel at peace, like I’m home.
Peter returns from his walk to the Eastern beaches exhausted and exhilarated – exhausterated in fact! He tells me that the walk was quite a challenge. He took the path behind Ostria Studios and followed it eastwards until he met the road leading out of Alopronia. Looking at the map it’s a kind of hairpin road which becomes steep terrain giving views across inner Alopronia. Eventually the road descends into Dialiskari Beach which he says was almost deserted. It is set in a secluded bay that is sheltered from the wind. Close by is the small church of Agios Nikolaos. Dialiskari shows on Google Maps as a nudist beach but there is only one swimmer there and apparently ‘con costume da bagno!’
There is no direct road to the next beach – the only road is the one that he has just taken to Dialiskari. To get to Agios Giorgios Peter had to climb and sometimes scrambled up a steep incline. Along the way he has views over a beautiful cove (no name on Google Maps) with perfect turquoise waters. Eventually he is able to join another road which initially takes him away from Agios Giorgios (another hair pin road) and then finally descends towards the beach. This beach, Peter tells me is a bit more organised with sunbeds and also a small cantina and a small church by the same name.
Instead of taking the road back Peter makes his way across rocky terrain as close to the coast as he can – not the easiest of walks he tells me but a shorter route than the road.
Later that afternoon everyone has returned to the apartments and are showered and changed (eventually).
We are going to go up to Chora again but this time a little earlier giving us time to explore the village before dinner. As we exit the bus we stop to read the menu at Sellada. The lady from the restaurant comes to talk to us and let us know the type of food that they do. They have a whole array of pasta dishes, plus burgers and Mexican burrito’s. I think the GA’s are sold on this immediately. She tells me that they open at 7pm which gives us plenty of time to look around Chora.
Up the steps by the church and through the alleyway way go. Once in the main square of Chora we all go off in different directions. I suspect the GA’s are busy chasing cats for their Instagram and Peter is heaven’s knows where.
I just pick an alleyway and follow it in an upwards direction. Soon I find myself at the top of the village by the windmills set on the edge of the cliff. This gives a perfect vantage point in which to view the sunset and neighbouring islands. It is a little early for the sunset but the view from up here is quite spectacular.
After a mooch around the alleyways I realise the family are by now starving so venture back towards the square to round everyone up.
I ask everyone where they want to eat and there is a majority vote by the GA’s to eat at Sellada at the entrance to the village. I don’t think that this would be my first choice but it’s their holiday so go with the flow.
It’s a nice place that also has sunset views. It begins to fill up with several groups of Italians all dressed up to the nines – nay – more like high fashion. I feel as though I’ve stumbled into a White Party but didn’t get the memo! Very stylish – effortlessly so and it makes me in my Birkenstock sandals and baggy summer dress feel like a frump! The staff all speak Italian so I assume this is a regular haunt for the group or a destination for an Italian tour operator. Excellent taste all round.
For dinner we order an Italian platter which included frittata, aubergine dip, hummus a selection of hard cheeses and a chilli jam . We also had bruschetta and plenty of garlic bread. For the main course Peter had a seafood pasta dish and I had the penne arrabiata. Maddox and Ebonee have the burger and Macy the burrito. It was all beautifully presented – in keeping with their other clientele! The sunset comes and goes as do we.
As it’s our last night on this delightful little island I suggest that we go back into the main square and seek out somewhere for ice cream. The GA’s reminder me of a time that we went out on a car trip and chanted “We want ice cream, We want ice cream” all the way home. At the time there was 4 out of the 5 siblings with me so what could I do but relent. (Grandma’s can do that right?) Anyway, the suggestion as you can image was well received.
We find a really lovely place called Anemelo just off the main square. There are tables in a narrow alleyway but it also advertises a roof terrace which seems to promise something delightful. A narrow metal spiral staircase takes us up to a charming little terrace lit by fairly lights and has views over to the sea and up to the monastery.
The GA’s have the Anemelo special which is a selection of 4 different flavoured ice creams with syrup, biscuit crumb and nuts. Peter has a Raki and I have a warm and spicy Rakamelo. Another lovely end to a great day on Sikinos! Again sorry for the grainy images.
Tomorrow morning we leave for Ios. The ferry departs at 10.40 so we need to leave the apartments by 9.30am. From what I’ve seen so far, getting up early isn’t one of the kids’ favourite things to do. I urge them to set their alarms for 8.00am and to make sure that they are all packed and ready before they go to bed. I’m not holding my breath!