My last few days on Kalymnos were very relaxed – no bus journey’s or trips over to Telendos – just a couple of days spent chilling in and around Myrties.
One day I walked to Melitsachas beach and then I had a little amble around Melitsachas Marina on the way back.
The rest of the day was spent on the beach at Myrties where I had a light lunch and then as early evening arrived, families arrived bit by bit, settling down on blankets in small groups to watch the sun set. At this point I was feeling quite homesick and had already taken the decision not to travel to Syros and then home from Athens. I ditched my flight ticket an bought another from Kos departing a week earlier than planned.
For my last meal on Kalymnos I went to the Smuggler Cott just a one minute walk from the Nefeli. Service and the food was very good – I opted for sweet Romano peppers stuffed with feta cheese to start and beef stifado for my main meal. I was even able to get a seat with a nice view out to Telendos.
The following morning Apostilis had arranged for a taxi to pick me up at 8.30am to take me to Pothia for the boat to Mastichari on Kos. A mist had descended upon the island though not as dramatic as the one that had smothered the island at the beginning of the week – the taxi driver had shown me a photo of it when he picked me up from the port. On that particular day all that could be seen was the highest peak of the island. Today however, there was a mere halo ring of mist – interesting nonetheless.
The time has come to say goodbye to Apostilis and family. I have loved my time here so much and have been made to feel so welcome. As I hand over the keys to my room, Apostilis gives me a small package and tells me it is a little something to remember them by. I’m very touched by the gesture.
The taxi driver arrives and we head off to the port. He is very chatty and tells me that I ate at his restaurant the night before – he is the owner of the Smugglers Cott. He tries to remember what I ate and with a little help he recalls my meal. Just as we arrive at the port he asks me to excuse him whilst he picks up a coffee from a cafe that we pass. He tells me it is for the captain of my ship and it will be a benefit to everyone if he has his morning dose of caffeine!
I queue for my ticket at one of the small booths by the port – the boat departing to Mastichari is the Kalymnos Dolphin. I just have time to take a few snaps of the port area before we set off on the 30 minute journey. It was at this very spot 18 years ago that I last saw dolphins (wild and in Greece that is). I was travelling to Astypalea and 3 of them swam under the boat just as it left the port. As much as I really want to see them again, those elusive sea creatures are doing their best to remain invisible to me!
Farewell Kalymnos – it’s been wonderful visiting you again!
The Kalymnos Dolphin arrives at the small harbour of Mastichari and I check the location of my accommodation on Google maps. I have just one night here before catching my flight home to the UK. I’d booked a small hotel called Ilios and Irene which seemed to be a short walk from the port. It did take a bit longer than I’d envisaged but being weighed down with my luggage didn’t help. I’m glad Apostilis had relieved me of my beach chair before I left Kalymnos!
I get a really warm welcome from the staff here. My room isn’t quite ready so they invite me to sit and have a pastry and cup of tea whilst I wait. 20 minutes later I am shown to my room on the first floor. It is a large apartment with two bedrooms and a small kitchen and a patio area at the front and the back. The back patio area looks over a field and it’s all very peaceful.
Although Mastichari itself isn’t the prettiest of town’s I’m looking forward to getting out to explore. After offloading my luggage in the room I head back towards the port. There really isn’t much to see but there is certainly a good selection of taverna’s along the front.
I then follow the path along to Mastichari Beach which really is quite spectacular. There is a long stretch of powder fine white sand beach with powerful rolling waves that creates the perfect conditions for the surfing schools located there. It is a well organised beach with lifeguards patrolling the area. The colours are just amazing!
Later that evening I take a slightly different route to Mastichari Beach by cutting behind the shops across the main road and clambering over the sand dunes. I decide to eat at Akrogialli which got very good reviews on Tripadvisor. This is just the perfect place to sit to watch the sun set.
After the meal I head on back to Ilios and Irene and as I pass the school on the main street I can see that a festival is taking place with food and drink and groups of people in costume doing the local dances. I perch myself on the periphery of the festivities to watch for a while. This is a nice end to my trip.
The following morning I ask Socrates to book a taxi for the airport for me. I go back to Mastichari Beach for a last walk around in the morning sun – grabbing a bougatsa for breakfast from the bakery as I pass.
This really is a fabulous beach. Watching the large waves roll in in invigorating but alas it is time for me to go.
The taxi arrives on time – it only takes about 15 minutes to get to the airport and costs 18€. However, there is a large queue outside departures and we are herded into cattle pens which filter us into the terminal building. There are problems with the check in desks and some of the computers don’t appear to be working. It’s horrendous actually but I just remind myself that I will soon be home.
The flight itself was fine – you know what you’re getting with a Thomas Cook flight (or did!). As we take off from Kos I watch the birdseye view of the islands that I had visited over the last 5 weeks from the window – I can clearly identify them by their shape – Kalymnos, Leros and Lipsi. Patmos and lobster shaped Fourni. From here I can see the ridge that divides the North and South of Ikaria and on.
It is a shame that I’d lost my travelling mojo during this trip and had to cut it short. I just hadn’t felt right for the last couple of weeks and could only really describe it as homesickness though knew it was something more than that. I’d got an inkling that something was amiss with my family – though none of them had said anything to me whilst I was away – however, you can’t fool a mother’s instinct. There was something, which my eldest son told me about when he picked me up from the airport and this is why I knew it was right to come home. No matter how much we love travelling and exploring new places, sometimes, home is just the right place to be.