Paros, Naxos and Santorini are not recognised as stopping places for Odysseas but are adored by all travel writers and friends, so we decided that we must see them!
The 10am boat from Mykonos to Paros was another travelling experience for us. A huge catamaran, the first boat we used in the Aegean for just passengers and no cars. It was much lighter and faster. It left dead on time and moved on the calm water as if sucking air and spitting a huge white spray of water from the back. Very smooth, but we wandered how it would feel in much rougher waters? 45 minutes later we landed in Paros and within minutes the Cat was hooting for departure. It is true what they say "... blink an eye and you would miss it!"
The room offering touts were in plethora and waiting for us at the port exit with their placards, some with photographs. At the start of our journey we would have followed our guide book advice and ignored them but after our lucky and very satisfying experience of Mykonos, we were ready for them with prepared questions about what type of accommodation they were offering, where it was, did it have any cooking facilities etc. We again struck lucky with everything we wanted, including transport to the inn, except a kitchenette but a cheap breakfast thrown in instead.
With no cooking facilities, we tried the next door taverna as recommended by our host Alex, a French woman in complete control of the hotel and charm to go with it. We liked the taverna, and the food and the Romanian owner who spoke 6 languages, that we followed our motto of roughing it, and ate there all the three nights we stayed at Paros.
The highlights of Paros for us was the bus ride to Lefkes, a village in hilly central part of the island and a 5km walk from there down to the seaside on a most impressive Byzantine marbled road that was built to carry goods to all the villages from one side of the island to the other. Looked for ancient coins but we were too late. Others must have had the same idea and been more lucky some time ago! Next was the quad bike hire for the following day. The winds were brazing and handling the quad was not easy. It was not a happy experience although it enabled us to visit a number of places that buses do not go, expecially a lovely private museum on the east of the island. It was full of minuture exhibits, all skillfully done by a local fisherman. The acre large yard was full of minute famous churches, ancient temples, oil mills, water mills, ports, potteries, ironmongers, you name it and everything, including the smallest item of such life, was hand made by this fisherman. Inside were some beautifully crafted model boats, ships and trimerenes going back to 500 years b.c.
On the third night we were beaten by mosquitos to b.................... , got up at 6.00am and plunged into the icy sea next to our hotel to escape. We watched the sun coming up and decided to be on our way!!!!!!!!
Naxos was waiting for us. A new experience to enjoy and write about.