A chronicle of Alison and Ron's trip around the world in 2009-2010.


"Not all those who wander are lost"
- Tolkien

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Patmos


Patmos is part of Dodecanese Islands east near Turkey, and is on the small side, with a population of about three thousand.

Our first room listed as “simple” in Lonely Planet felt more like a prison cell amidst a citrus garden. How lovely. We did get to check in at 8 in the morning so it was at least useful for a long sleep before the depression of our surroundings came into focus.

We met a guy named Theologous the night before running a café and again the next day working at a moto rent establishment. Apparently most in the tourist industry work several jobs exhaustively in the summer to make it through the slow winters. He referred us to his sister who had a hotel and rented us a cute little studio for the week. Amazing how our mood improved in this new space.

Skala, the port town, had many rickety old piers pieced together haphazardly over decades with old men come home from fishing beating their catch of octopus repeatedly on the nearby rocks.

We spent the week exploring the beaches by foot and then ATV. Enjoying the hilly roads and some off-roading to secluded coves. Most of the beaches were made of small stones, a bit tough on the feet and offered little in the way of actual waves. Felt more like being lakeside. But it was tranquil to read and snooze. Ron even got to “walk on water”, or appear to.

The best beach by a landslide was Psilli Amos that is at the far southern end of the island that you can only get to by boat or a 30 minute hike over the mountain. We opted for the hike which gave us close-ups of the mountain goat families grazing on the rocky bluffs.

Speaking of animals, on a walk back to our hotel one day I had a run in with an overly affectionate donkey that, I kid you not, leaned in and bit my boob. With teeth. Ouchie! The photo below was taken only milliseconds before. The next frame would have been me slapping the donkey in the face. POW!

One day we went up to the Hora where we stopped at the Cave of the Apocalypse where St. John wrote the Book of Revelations and the gray structure of the St. John Monastery dominating the little hilltop town. Neither place really wowed from an art or artifact standpoint but the spirituality of the island was still everpresent.
We have been meeting a lot of German travelers. First by sheer coincidence we ran in to the women from Lake Constance who recommended we come to Patmos. And then we had a lovely meal at Hiliomodi which is supposed to have the freshest seafood around and ate next to a lawyer and teacher from Cologne, striking up conversation about travels, food, and of course Obama. We are extremely proud (and relieved) to be traveling in this presidency. For dinner we had fried squid and a platter of whole grilled fishies. Getting more adventurous on the food front we’ll be ready for monkey brains in no time….or maybe not.

On the walk back from dinner and a couple rounds of pool in a beachside bar we stumbled on a candlelit graveyard. Ron whipped out his camera and was so caught up in the moment he fell in an open grave and skinned his elbow. Spooky.

Patmos has been nice but we are getting ansy for change and can’t wait to head to Turkey for something a bit more exotic. I’m thinking magic carpets, water pipes, and belly dancin but I will report back on what is beyond the clichés.

3 comments:

corina July 13, 2009 at 1:47 PM  

love the photo of the octopus dock!

Anonymous July 14, 2009 at 6:06 PM  

Finally got someplace where we could check in on your Blog. Sounds like you have really experienced the Greek Islands - up close and in some cases very personal!!! Enjoy the change of pace in Turkey. We are in the Broughton Islands off the tip of Vancouver Island BC. It is alternating very warm and sunny with clouds. But no crowds and great kayaking. Smiles, love and hugs from Mom

Alison July 19, 2009 at 10:38 AM  

Happy sailing Mom!!

There have been visitors to this blog and you are one of them. Thanks and have a beautiful day!