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Published: June 12th 2013
The hire car has clearly had enough of us and on the steep climb out of Porto Germeno it refused to get out of second gear. This, along with the fact that I seemed to have accidentally ticked the "use narrow potholed roads where often bits are missing" button on the sat nav made for an interesting first half hour. The roads were pretty much deserted until suddenly, just a few miles from Athens the traffic built to terrifying proportions again. We managed to return our hire car (why do these things take so long?) Piraeus was as chaotic as last Thursday.
We had about 4 hours before our ferry sailed and so killed time in the shelters on the port. These are used by vagrants to sleep, drink, shout and fall over. What with this and the constant hawkers it was not that relaxing.
I went off to collect our ferry tickets and after a long wait finally got tickets for the Agios Gergios. "Which line is that ship with," I asked. "I've got no idea but it goes from gate 9" was the less than helpful response. When I rejoined Carol we moved to a quieter shelter
and got out our book, the Greek Island Hopping Guide. This is good because it lists all the ferries so we could discover the line that runs it. It even has the funnel art so that you spot the vessel in port. Using this we found that the Agios Georgios was already in port and even though it did not sail for 2 hours we were allowed to board.
Watching the ferry load was an interesting experience. All of life was coming on board, commuters, holiday makers, Locals, dogs and several trees in pots. I would guess we were less than half full when we cast off. Leaving Athens port you get a view of the urban sprawl and the luxury cruise liners. An interesting mix. I'm not sure though I would ever go on one of the cruise liners. We saw one where we counted 14 decks. (ITS A LONG WAY DOWN IF YOU HAVE TO DIVE OVERBOARD IF THE BOAT SINKS.)
We sat out in the open deck and watched the waters of the Aegian float by accompanied by the sound of two rat like dogs barking like they were being murdered everytime anyone went near
The rather hard benches
On these for a total of 7 hours
We were a bit surprised to learn that the ferry is not due to land in Serifos until around 8pm and hope that we can find some accommodation. The selection on the internet was not brilliant so we are trusting to luck again. (I'VE GOT A SORE BUM AS THE BENCHES ON THE FERRY ARE NOT EXACTLY COMFORTABLE AND WHILST SUNNING ON THE BEACH YESTURDAY I MISSED SUN CREAMING THE TOP OF ONE OF MY LEGS AND IT IS NOW BRIGHT PINK. ONLY ANOTHER 3 HOURS BEFORE WE REACH SERIFOS.
ON OUR ARRIVAL AT SERIFOS CHAOS IS LET LOOSE. THE DOORS OF THE FERRY ARE LOWERED BEFORE WE LAND AND PEOPLE EMERGE READY TO JUMP TO SHORE. CARS, LORRIES, DOGS AND PEOPLE ALL DISEMBARK OUT OF THE SAME EXIT WHILST OTHERS TRY AND GET ON BOARD AT THE SAME TIME. WITHIN TEN MINUTES ITS ALL DONE AND THE FERRY IS AWAY. TIM AND I ARE LEFT ON THE PORT IN THE FADING LIGHT WONDERING IF WE WILL BE ON THE BEACH TONIGHT. THEY MAKE BUMPY CONCRETE ROADS HERE SO DRAGGING OUR WHEELED BAGS WAS A BIT OF AN ISSUE. THE SMOOTH PAVEMENTS WERE FULL OF CARS AND
TABLES AND CHAIRS.
SERIFOS TOWN IS A SWEEPING BAY FULL OF TAVERNAS AND SHOPS SO WE SHOULD FIND ACCOMMODATION EAST. WE PASS LOADS OF SUITABLE ACCOMMODATION ON THE SEA FRONT ALL WITH OWNERS BAYING FOR TRADE. TIM HAS GONE DEAF AND IGNORES THE LOT HE IS ON A MISSION. Would you want to stay right next to a working dock? HE SWEEPS BY A LOVELY OLD LADY CALLED ANNA WHO TAKES A LIKING TO ME AND WANTS TO SHOW US HER ROOMS,(fell for that one yesterday) I FOLLOW APOLOGISING PROFUSEDLY TO ANNA.
TIM TURNS LEFT UP A DUSTY DIRTY TRACK WHICH AFTER ABOUT 100 YARDS WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO DRAG OUR BAGS ACROSS. I TRY TO PICK MINE UP BUT ITS TOO HEAVY. SLEEPING ON THE BEACH WOULD BE FINE TONIGHT EVEN IF TIM FINDS A ROOM! I GO ON STRIKE AND STAY WITH THE BAGS AND TIM GOES FURTHER. A FEW MINUTES LATER HE RETURNS DEAL DONE WE ARE NOW STAYING AT VILLA NIKI SLIGHTLY MORE THAN A STONES THROW FROM THE SEA BUT WITH A LOVELY VIEW OF THE MOUNTAIN VILLAGE OF CHORA WITH ITS PICTURESQUE WHITE HOUSES CLINGING ONTO THE MOUNTAIN SIDE.(Worth the walk!) HARIS OUR
HOST GREETS US WITH GUSTO AND TELLS US EVERYTHING WE MIGHT LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT THE ISLAND INCLUDING MANY TAVERNA OWNER NAMES. I THINK HE IS ON COMMISSION.
HE DESCRIBES SOME LOVELY BEACHES AND TIM ASKS 'ARE THEY THE NUDIST BEACHES' HARIS LOOKED WITH STARTLED EYES VERY CONCERNED THAT WE MIGHT BE ABOUT TO BEAR ALL TO THE WORLD. NOT A PRETTY SIGHT. 'NO, NO, NO.' SAYS TIM, 'I WAS JUST MAKING SURE WHICH ONES ARE.' HE SAYS DIGGING A BIGGER HOLE FOR HIMSELF I FEAR. A MEAL OUT AT A TAVERNA AND EVERYTHING IS WONDERFUL AGAIN. WE PLAN TO STAY HERE FOR 3 OR 4 NIGHTS BUT IT DEPENDS ON THE FERRIES.
As the pace of life will now slow down, you will be pleased to learn that from now on we plan to blog once from each island we stay on. Serifos blog will arrive at the weekend.
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