Kissed by a Monk and trouble in Super Paradise

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Oct 09, 2010

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Flag of Greece  , Cyclades,
Sunday, September 12, 2010

Time to take our lives in our hands, hire a car for the day and drive on the wrong side of the road! Great!  Jeff has enough trouble with left and right in Australia!  After another yummy breakfast where we consumed more delicious Greek yoghurt, we took off in our little hire car for the day.

 It only takes about 20 minutes to drive from one side of the island to the other on the main roads – it is quite a small place.  Outside of Mykonos town, the countryside is incredibly barren and brown and there are no trees at all.  We saw quite a few goats and donkeys trying to find food in their dusty paddocks, poor things.  Hopefully the owners put out feed for them.  The white houses stand out in stark contrast to the landscape, and we wondered if this (plus cooling properties) was one of the main reasons to paint them white ... so they could find them! 

Driving around the island was an interesting experience.  With Jeff's left and right difficulties, we didn’t know which would be more dodgy ... Jeff driving or navigating!  In the end Jeff drove and Sherry navigated and both did a good job.  Round-a-bouts were a little challenging though and it just felt plain wrong when driving on the other side of the road.  In some ways it reminded us of driving in Scotland – in that the fences are made of piled up rocks and are very close to the narrow roads, not so much by how brown it was or that we were driving on the opposite side of the road (although half the time, there’s only one lane anyway)!

Our first stop was at Ano Mera in the middle of the island to visit the Monastery (and to play with a few more kitty cats).  There were (of course) a few cats hanging out in the square in front of the monastery.  We stopped to pat a couple because they are all so friendly and one started play-slashing Jeff and his shoes.  Awww, so cute!

The church in the actual monastery was quite tiny but very ornate with silver chalices and chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, which were also heavily decorated.  Through halting English one of the monks told us that some of the items in the church came from Florence originally. 

Out the front of the church one of the old monks was sitting on a bench, looking like the picture perfect stereotype that you would expect of a Greek Orthodox monk.  Sherry could tell Jeff wanted to take his picture but he was too shy to ask ... so Sherry asked if it would be OK and he said yes then beckoned for her to come sit next to him.  Not wanting to get too close in case it wasn’t the thing to do (didn’t want to be accused of being a Monk toucher like Julia in Thailand) she sat with a bit of space between them.  Monk man pulled her over next to him and threw his arm around her shoulders, then after Jeff took the picture he kissed Sherry on the cheek!  Frisky old monk!  He probably gets more kissing action than most guys we know!

Back on the road again and we headed over to have a look at a couple of the beaches.  The first was Livadi beach, complete with orderly rows of beach umbrellas and brilliant blue water.  The water in Greece is so blue it’s astounding.  Neither of us can get over it.

We were feeling a bit peckish by now so we drove onto Kalafatis beach for some lunch.  Dined at an outdoor restaurant overlooking the ocean and felt very flash due to the large boat parked at the dock and the supermodel having lunch (a cigarette & salad) at the table next to us.  The waiters were strangely very attentive at her table! 

The water off the dock was superbly clear.  The postcards don’t exaggerate!

We decided driving on the wrong side of the road on a sealed road was just too easy ... time to bush bash (well ... rough cement road bash anyway), so we headed down a small road towards a place called Lemonitra (somewhere at the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere!).

 The roads were definitely challenging but thankfully we didn’t meet anyone else coming the other way as they were very narrow.  Very brown everywhere but a great view across Panormos Bay to Panormos on the other side.  Again... can’t get over how blue the water is.  We think maybe because the land is so brown in contrast that it makes the blue look even bluer than it is.  After bumping along the little road for ages at about 10km/h we came to Lemonitra... and it was closed!  Bummer.  Ah well, it’s all part of the adventure!

Off to the other side of the bay for a couple of cocktails at Panormos and some beach goer viewing.   There were some very scary people wearing very little at this beach.  There were also some very attractive people wearing very little so we concentrated on them instead, feeling like a couple of leers while sipping our mai tais and amoretto sours in the shade.

After this we headed back towards the main town and then up to Ag. Stefanos, a beach retreat a little north of Mykonos town to have a look around.  All looked quite pretty but the beach was rather small for an area marketed as a beach resort and basically it is just too far out of town.

Next we headed over to have a look at Super Paradise – one of the well known party beaches of Mykonos.  Unfortunately on the way there a @#$%* driver ran up the back of our hire car.  Luckily there was no noticeable damage but we were both pissed off at him because it was quite obviously his fault but he threw a tanty and made out it was our fault – then jumped back in his car and drove off when we tried to get his details!  This was despite the fact that Sherry was standing in front of his car with her hands up saying STOP.   At least his girlfriend got to see what a knob he is.  Let’s hope she dumps him.  Ha ha ha

Nothing much was happening at Super Paradise when we got there as it was still too early in the day for the serious party goers.  There were still a few scantily dressed girlies simulating sex (dancing) with their boyfriends and Jeff did get checked out by a few guys (much to his horror when I told him this later).  [Jeff: yeah great! Thanks for putting *that* in Sherry!]

Decided we’d had enough of driving for the day so drove back to the hotel, unfortunately via the main streets and the bus station after missing our turn off.  The main streets near the town are a little hairy to navigate.  People, cars, quad bikes, buses and motorcycles everywhere!  Jeff was never so happy to see a hotel parking area in his life!

After Jeff de-stressed (napped) we wandered down into town again for some tea.  We chose another garden restaurant with a beautiful orange creeper and grapevines trailing over the pergola above our heads.  Dinner was great again and then we went for our final stroll around the beautiful streets of Mykonos.  Now that we are about to leave, we have finally got a handle on the streets and mostly know roughly where we are and how to get to places ... it sounds simple but in the maze of tiny winding alleys, it’s quite an achievement!  We explored a few more streets that we hadn’t been up and nearly wet ourselves laughing as one cat stalked another then scared the crap out of it when it pounced ... so much so that it leapt straight up while squawking. 

Browsed the shops a bit more then climbed back up the hill to our room and zonked out.
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