The Cyclades

The next set of Islands are the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, which is much windier however, at this time of year it should be more settled.  There are a lot of small islands which are off the beaten track and so much quieter than the larger islands that most people have heard of such as Santorini.  The islands are just as you imagine the Greek Islands to be, everything white washed, houses, churches and roads. 

We hopped around the islands, first arriving at Fikiadha on Kythnos.  We anchored in a bay that had two sides to it which was separated by a sandbank.  Unfortunately, the weather the next day was rain, yes we do get some here, so we only stayed the one night.

The next island was Syros we anchored at Finike.  We took a local bus to the main town, Ermoupolis, on the other side of the island. 

We next headed to Paros, where we met up with some of the Licata Crew and anchored at Naoussa, a large sheltered bay and then from here we went round to the main town of Parikia which is very well connected with ferries.  We had to dodge five of them in the first hour.  There was zero wind. 

Parikia had lots of narrow whitewashed streets and churches, everywhere has at least one church! Also seem to be more windmills in this area.  There is also a castle sited amongst the streets, The Frankish Castle, built in the 1200’s.

We had a meal out and we got chatting, and no I don’t know how this subject came up, very random I know, about the TV programme “Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go and Do Something Less Boring Instead?” and how it wasn’t possible to fold a piece of paper in half eight times.  So much to the amusement of the other people in the restaurant, Dave attempted to fold a tablecloth eight times and no by the time you got to the eighth time, the tablecloth was too thick. It kept us and the other diners amused for a while!

After a few days we decided to go a small stretch of sea between Tigani and Theodotis, Nisos Iso which was deserted.  It looked a bit foggy in the distance, Ian not to be deterred, we left the rest of the gang behind and headed off.  Half an hour in and there was nothing but clear blue skies.  So now the rest of them followed.  Tranquillity was broken particularly that evening with our boat party! 

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The forecast was for some strong winds, so we headed to Irakleia to hide, and the others went off in the other direction, was it something we said.  Irakelia has just 141 inhabitants, so if you want to get away from it and the rest of the world this is the place to be.

Koufanisi was our next stop, in the harbour, which had quite a bit of surge, so not the most comfortable place to be.  Another unspoilt place.

Our final stop in the Cyclades was Amorgos, the eastern most island .  We hired a car here so we could explore the island.  There is a shipwreck, the Olympia, which sank here in 1980.  You had to walk down the hillside, which was very muddy, as we’d had quite a downpour, so after going along and gaining 6inch platforms of mud on my shoes I decided to turn back and left Ian to go down. 

One of the most spectacular and memorable sights of the season was here on Amorgos, the Hozoviotissa Monastery. It is built into the side of the cliff and is the second oldest in Greece built in 1017 and renovated in 1088.  It is 300m above sea level.  The monastery is 40m high and 5m wide and has eight stories.  The monastery is open to visitors twice a day.  There are three monks that live here.  It is a steep walk of 300 steps up to the entrance. 

March 2020

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