We go out for breakfast. Issy is still feeling lousy so breakfast is short lived. She says that I should go on the sailing cruise that we have booked by myself and she will stay in bed. I reluctantly agree.
We are driven along a spectacular narrow road around the caldera to Oia in a minibus. I remember Kostas saying that the drivers here all constantly play Tetris with their cars, and everyone slows down when they pass so that their mirrors only touch rather than being sheared off. The road down to the Oia port on Ammoudi Bay is ridiculously steep, narrow and windy. The bay is lined with restaurants and the scenery is stunning. The town is about 300 metres straight up on top of the cliff, and I'm not sure how you'd go climbing up there after a couple of souvlakis washed down with some Yellow Donkey. Apparently that's where the four legged donkeys come in. I now feel very sorry for them.
We take off in a catamaran. I am seated with four young men from Bangalore, one of whom is called Gavin. He is a large man with a big beard and hair half
way down his back, and he is all decked out in bright yellow. As soon as we cast off he goes around the boat and introduces himself to everyone. He then has a couple of white wines and starts dancing. One of his mates' phones rings, and we all listen in to a half hour business meeting from Bangalore. I'm not game to tell them that my work phone has been turned off since I left home.
Our first stop is the 'hot' springs on the shores of one of the islands in the middle of the caldera. The island is a big pile of black rocks with no vegetation, and it looks like Mars. The captain, a gentleman called Nancy, tells us that this is where NASA filmed the moon landing. There is a yellow line on the rocks just above water level which is apparently due to the sulphur in the spring water. The real sea must be really cold, because the hot springs feel cold to me. Nancy says that it‘s 'patchy hot'; I think I might have missed the patch. Everyone swims to the shore, except for Gavin and his three mates, who apparently can't swim. This doesn't however stop them all from jumping into the water with their life jackets on and floating away from the boat, much to the frustration of the crew who then need to retrieve them.
We cruise on to Red Beach, where we drop anchor just offshore. Some swim, but it is too cold for me and most others. One of the crew, a Greek American called Geoff, demonstrates how to make tzatziki. I didn't realise it was 50 per cent olive oil, and neither did most others if the groans of horror are anything to go by as Geoff empties a whole bottle of it into his mixture. The food is however magnificent, and all cooked on board. I think I could happily live on Greek food forever.
The final part of the trip is spent cruising as we watch the sun go down. It looks like the classic poetic scene of a magic big red ball falling into the sea, just as a huge yellow moon emerges from the opposite horizon. Someone points out the lack of stars, and then points at what they tell us are Venus and Jupiter right next to each other. These are the only stars in sight, and they're not even stars? This seems a bit strange. They are so close together that Issy and I thought they were one star last night. We clearly need to ease up on whatever it is we've been drinking. I get back to the hotel to find that Issy is thankfully feeling slightly better.
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