We are awoken by the sound of a loud clattering as the wind batters the chairs on the terrace. The Meltemi is at full pelt at the moment. Margarita had told us that this strong wind that blows across the Aegean has been here for 15 weeks which is very unusual. It wasn’t like this the year before.
As we are staying in apartments, Peter and I need to think about feeding these hungry teenagers at breakfast. Our first stop is the supermarket to stock up on a few basics. We come away 2 bags of shopping which includes essentials such as washing powder. I’d already warned the GA’s that there won’t be any washing machine’s on this trip – they’d be responsible for washing their own clothes by hand! “Oh what joy!” they chorused. Not! We have everything that we need for a day or two!
I’d forgotten what it was like catering for a gang of people (and I a mother of 4!) but Peter and I go into auto mode as if we’d been assigned to the catering corps! We send supplies over the fence to the adjoining terrace. A freshly baked loaf of bread with butter and jam, pots of yoghurts with freshly sliced bananas, grapes and melon accompanied by honey, a selection of cereals via a variety pack with a bottle of milk, a carton of fruit juice and all the bits required to make frappe and cups of tea. They are well fed and watered as growing teenagers should be.
Ostria Studios is definitely the type of accommodation that I would usually book. Due to increased demand post pandemic and all that, the cost of our stay here is a little expensive at over 80€ per night per room. I certainly don’t mind paying this rate though for the peace and tranquillity that this lovely island offers. The two apartments have a shared front door which is lockable so is a very nice contained option for a family stay. Cars can’t go beyond the end of the back of the beach so there is no traffic noise by us at all – it’s just perfect.
The view from our terraces are over to the port and the beach and is the ideal location for the bus stop and the supermarket. Again apologies for the grainy images. Some were taken the previous night before we threw ourselves onto our beds in a collapsed heap!
The GA’s want to spend the day on the beach so off they head, plastered in factor 50 and with plenty of water. Once we locate them from our terrace we go for a short walk ourselves swinging by their sheltered spot to let them know where we are. The wind is sweeping the sand across the beach towards the sea. Macy says that it’s like have a thousand little darts thrown at her. Toughen up guys – we need to make real travellers of you!
We head off towards the port past sleeping fishing boats. Further along we spot a little passageway behind the cattle shed (sorry just a term I use for the port waiting area). As we walk over a little brough we can see that there is a natural plunge pool below with the most crystalline of waters. Several Greek families have set up camp over the surrounding flat rocks – obviously in the know about the best spot to be when it’s windy.
We walk back towards the cattle shed and then around to the left where there is a steep hill that takes you further around the coastline. I take a few photographs of the plunge pool from above – far less intrusive. Oh that turquoise! It is midday but the heat can barely be felt because of the wind. Signs of life peter out the further around the path you go – heaven!
Before we left for Santorini I had been to the Southport Airshow and foolishly had let myself get sunburnt – again a breezy day where I didn’t feel the heat. I’m being ultra cautious about exposing my skin to the sun so spend the rest of the afternoon sitting in the shade on our lovely terrace. Peter heads out on an exploratory walk to heavens knows where but he usually comes back having had a little adventure.
The wind is relentless. Roaring gusts sweep out from behind the hillside, across the beach and out to sea. At times is sounds like a jet plane overhead, the gusts sending sand flying in all directions.
The young ‘uns are getting whipped by the wind and the sand so come back to bathe on the terrace. I tell them about the plunge pool on the other side of the port just in case it is the same for tomorrow.
I love being close to a port and watching the ferries come and go and our terrace puts us in prime position. Sikinos doesn’t have that many boats calling here which in one respect is a blessing. The only boat that I see today is the tiny boat passenger boat the Santorini.
Later that afternoon I can hear a bit of activity coming from below our balcony. As I look over I can see three men, two with snorkels collecting rocks from the sea bed. They take it in turns to throw the rocks onto the concrete plinth which are then picked up by the third man. He chucks the large rocks onto the man made groyne or breakwater that projects into the sea. The water is so clear that I could see a couple of sea urchins settled onto rocks on the sea bed. I don’t know whether this clean up operation is to prevent the proliferation of the black spikey nasties or part of the preservation of the sea wall. Anyway, they are taking their task very seriously.
There is only one taverna that we can see in Alopronia so not much choice. However, we are keen to explore Chora which I have read is an attractive village and probably the best place to eat.
Once everyone is showered and changed (again a bit like a military operation) we head to the bus stop at the back of the beach. The little turquoise bus along with a larger bus is the local transportation. There are hourly buses up to Chora throughout the day with the last one return to the port before midnight. A handful of people board and the bus makes its ascent out of Alopronia with engine straining under the weight (or probably more to do with the steep incline). The ochre hillsides are covered with scrub but the further up we go we can see more evidence of agriculture with heavily terraced landscapes.
The bus drops us outside a restaurant called Sellada. It looks nice but I want to venture further into Chora to see what we can find.
As we ascend the steps next to Sellada there is a vaulted alleyway on the right that leads to the main square. From here there are narrow streets taking you here, there and everywhere. I absolutely love getting lost in a Chora. Marauding pirates always springs to mind. The GA’s manage to find lots of cats to photograph whilst Peter and I scout out somewhere to eat.
We stumble across a lovely little taverna down one of the alleyways shaded by grapevines called Klimataria. We find a table and begin our order – the first real Greek meal they have experienced. (the one on Santorini really didn’t count!)
Although the menu is very small (in terms of choice), I’m sure that what they do will be done very well – and I’m not wrong. We order fava, Greek salad, skordalia with black eyed beans, dolmades and tzatziki to start. To follow we have meatballs twice, veal twice and – there’s always one – spaghetti Bolognese for the fussy one! Peter and I wash this down with a lovely local white wine which is beautiful – dry and yet fruity.
Unfortunately the wind has picked up again and the girls haven’t come prepared with a jacket. These girls, to use a Northern term are pretty ‘nesh’ and feel the slightest bit of cold. I’m a bit more hardened and don’t feel it at all. I can’t listen to the chattering of teeth any longer so we catch the bus back to Alopronia. Again we are greeted by the big fat moon.
Tomorrow is our last day on Sikinos. It seems that we have only just arrived and it will soon be time to go. In hindsight this is the island where I’d like to have lingered a little longer. At least it gives the GA’s a flavour of the island. I did ask them what they think of Sikinos and Macy said that she thinks that it is the most beautiful place she has ever seen! Well you ain’t seen nothing yet!