I start to wonder if the locals ever get tired of the weather. As far as I can tell it's been about 27 degrees every day, with virtually no clouds, and the only thing that changes slightly is the wind speed. I think the locals might suspect they'd landed on another planet if they had to cope with the four seasons in one day we get back home.
Issy says her cold is the best it's felt since we left Melbourne, although that said none of the other days have been anything to write home about. We have breakfast and then hike up the path along the rim of the caldera to the village of Imerovigli. We stop at the church on the point to take photos of Skaros Rock. It's very windy. Issy struggles to keep her hair in place, and for once my relative lack of a thatch appears to be an advantage. The view is stunning. We stop to take some photos outside a restaurant called La Maltese, and are reminded again about the Maltese connection to Skaros Rock that Kostas told us about. My beloved looks a bit chuffed that her birthplace is so well represented
We count the steps from the path down to our room. There are only 92. It always feels like a lot more, particularly after a few plates of souvlaki washed down with some of the local brew.
We have an early lunch and catch a local bus around the rim of the caldera to Oia. We'd expected a rust heap, but our transport is unexpectedly modern and air-conditioned, and also dirt cheap. We pass a donkey farm. Most of the donkeys we've seen elsewhere here seemed to be spending their days carting overweight tourists up and down the precipitously steep cliff that forms the edge of the caldera. These ones just seem to be grazing in a paddock taking an occasional glance at one of the world's great views. I think I know which option I'd prefer.
The views from Oia are beyond stunning, as is the village itself, and it looks like it might have been established quite a bit more recently than Fira. The footpaths are paved with large granite slabs rather than the small cobblestones of Fira. Well we think they might be granite slabs, although on reflection I'm not sure either of
us would really know. We pass some traditional Greek windmills out on the point. The sails are missing, which is probably not too surprising given the strength of the wind. We follow the crowd into the ruins of an old castle overlooking the port. The sign at the entrance says to keep out because of landslides, but like the similar sign we walked past at Red Beach a couple of days ago this appears to be a waste of space. I'm not sure this would a great place to be during a landslide, perched at the top of a 300 metre high cliff. We stop for a drink and then pull up a table for dinner at a restaurant overlooking the main square. We think about staying for the sunset, but then worry that maybe the buses will all fill up later, and we’d then have to walk the five kilometres back to the hotel on a narrow path along the edge of the sheer cliffs in the dark. We wimp out and take the early bus, and arrive back just in time for yet another stunning sunset.
Issy says my blogging is too sarcastic and that I need
to stop hanging it on everything and everyone. Today I practice boring blogging. I ask her who can read the blog. She says that she thinks only people we know, but I'm not so sure. I live in fear of a nasty phone call from Gavin from Bangalore, and I really don't want to inadvertently offend half the population of Malta and get ejected from the family before I've even met them. I Google "Gavin from Bangalore". Our blog doesn't come up, so I relax, but only slightly.
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