Sunday, June 25, 2017

Greek Island Scooter Rally: Milos

The third and final island we visited was Milos.



The beauty of visiting three islands is that you can see the differences.  Paros made a great first island, giving Sarah and me a taste of the Greek Islands.  It would be a great place to live as it has everything one needs, with real towns, hills and beaches.

Naxos, with its mountains and roads was a rider's dream.  It also has towns and beaches, all feeling a little more special than those on Paros.

Milos had a bit more of a resort feel than the other two.  The town center in Adamantas, with boats for hire lining the harbor, felt different than the fishing villages of the other islands.  But those boats for hire were there for a reason.  The coastline is spectacular, and our boat ride was one of the highlights of the entire trip.  Then we visited the north coastline too, and the beach of Sarakiniko was among the coolest places I have ever seen.  The wind and water worn rocks around the small beach made it feel so special.

Sarah and I enjoyed visiting the capitol of Plaka too, with its hilltop location, nice dining, and shopping too.

Now for the details:

We had an excruciatingly long ferry ride from Naxos to Milos.  It was a fast ferry, but it left Naxos and headed east.  Milos is west.  To make it slower, we even stopped in Santorini, but I enjoyed that because we rode right through the Caldera, or volcano in the middle of the island.  It blew up around 3000 years ago and left 1000 foot tall cliffs on the inner harbor.  Quite a dramatic place.  The explosion was huge, leaving a layer of black volcanic ash on Milos, 50 miles away.

When we arrived in the port town of Adamantis, we had a bus pick us up for the quarter mile ride to the hotel.  Then Sarah and I dined in town with Laurence.

Day one had us rising early for a Lauren led ride to Klima, a small village on the harbor.  There, we had coffee and headed for Plaka where we had lunch.

Then we went back to the hotel to get ready for the ride to our coastal boat trip.

We met up with the Zephyr in Agia Kiriaki Beach.  We took a Zodiac to the boat in three groups, then headed out.  The boat and crew were all great and it made for a great ride, maybe the highlight of the entire trip.  We swam in three inlets and took a fabulous zodiac ride through caves and around Kleftiko Beach.

It was late again when we returned, so Sarah and I had dinner at 11:00 at the same restaurant as the night before.

The next day was a beach ride, first stop Sarakiniko, and it was spectacular.  Sarah and I didn't swim this time but we enjoyed watching and photographing the others.  I was watching Roland as he prepared for his dramatic entrance into the water. He climbed to the top of the highest rock and promptly dove in.  I thought that I was watching what may have been his last living breath, so I took five photos of the climb.  I didn't see the dive but heard that it was a good one.

We left there and rode as a group to Pollonia for a waterfront lunch.  Sarah and I then rode back to Plaka to visit some more, then off to a group dinner at Sirocco, where they cook the food in the volcanic sand.  It was Lorrie's birthday so we all celebrated with watermelon pie.

The sun was setting as we all headed back to the hotel.  The scenery was beautiful and Sarah started taking photos from the pillion seat.  About halfway through, I told her that I doubted that any would turn out as the shutter speed would have to be quite slow to allow enough light to create an image.  But man was I wrong.  The photos were some of the best of the trip.

Our last full island day began with me getting up early to explore the west end of the island by myself.  I hopped onto the Scarabeo and hit the road while the sun was low.  It made for some nice shots as I rode to the end of the paved roads as far as I could go, then a little dirt road just for fun.  It is a little populated area with farms and a huge mining operation.

When I got back to the hotel, Sarah wanted to go shoe shopping in Plaka, so we headed up the hill.  We first stopped for coffee in a fine bakery in that town, then climbed to the castle on the top of the hill.  Views from there were terrific.  Then she went shopping and she found some shoes and sandals to bring home.

While she shopped, I rode around to find the best route back to Adamantis and the ancient theater.  I was successful too and made it a nice ride.

We went back to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the group for a bus ride to the leaving dinner near where I had ridden that morning.  It was in a spectacular location with views of the south shore.  The food was good and company entertaining.  We were all tired as we headed back to the hotel for the night.

The last day had me taking Sarah on part of the ride I had taken the day before.  We saw Ken doing the same and I enjoyed the views again.  Then we had coffee at a local place downtown, turned in our scooters and got on the ferry for the ride back to Athens.

All said, Milos is a fabulous island.


On the ferry between Naxos and Milos.  It stopped five times and took five hours.

The long ferry ride did have a silver lining.  We rode through the caldera of Santorini, so I got to see the famous island.

The cliffs are 1000 feet tall on the caldera side of Santorini.

We awakened to this view from our hotel room.

Riding down to Klima

The colorful trim on houses in Klima

Riding back up as we head to Plaka

Riding through Trypiti

Penni, Warren, Sarah, Michelle and Laurence dining in Plaka

Michelle and her Greek salad

Riding to meet the boat

The Zephyr, with Bagel, Warren, Patsi and Don

Lauren entertained us again with her bubbles


View of the south coastline of Milos from the boat












A natural bridge at one of the stops


















Swimming at Klefko


Roland and Sarah on the Zodiac, getting ready for the great ride through the tunnels and caves.

The captain and Bagel with Laurence, Patsi and Penni swimming

Bagel and Lorrie

Diane


In the shade of a cave

From the zodiac inside a cave



Our guide with Kristin and Jim






Bagel and Lorrie

Diane and the captain

The Zephyr from the zodiac, looking trough a tunnel.


Roland and Sarah inside a cave


A bad selfie

The next group going through a tunnel

And returning safely

And the third group out on the zodiac



Diane having fun while we waited for the third group to return.

Laurence

Lauren


The return

The next morning heading to Sarakiniko

Sarakininko, the coolest beach I have ever seen.



Lauren, Ken and Diane

Connie swimming


Roland about to jump


Penni, the snorkler

Sarah and Connie


Riding along the coast to Pollonia


Boats in Pollonia

Don, Lorrie, Ken, Laurence, Lauren and Diane dining on Gyros 


View from the church in Plaka

Plaka

The ride down to the coast to dine at Siracco



The gang

The other side was broken into two tables

View from the dining area

Bagel and Lynn

Volcano cooked fish and vegetables

The oven.  When the cook turned the soil it gave off much steam

We watched this kid tend to his boat.  It was impressive.  I want to be him.

Lorrie and the watermelon pie

Sarah

Getting ready to ride back to the hotel.  Maria, Ardy and Marina taking photos of all of us.


The sun was setting as we headed off

The views were terrific



I especially like this one with the lighted grass and scooters with the sea and mountains and setting sun.


Early morning view of the harbor for my solo ride

Many bare frames of uncompleted houses stood on all three islands. Beautiful concrete work that will eventually be infilled with hollow clay tiles and covered with stucco. 

A view across the harbor

This one is at the end of one of the roads.  
There was a meadow, a church, water, mountains and mist.


The road heading into the rising sun

Fields 





The bakery in Plaka

Sarah climbing steps to the castle in Plaka

The view from the castle (actually a walled church)






The ancient theater

Farewell dinner spot

Lorrie taking photos of the group at the table

Last morning in Milos