George was still asleep when we left so we didn't get chance to say goodbye.
On the way to the port we pick up some pastries from the bakery for breakfast. The Aqua Spirit is on time and she is virtually empty. Farewell Kea!
When we arrive at Kythnos we still hadn't decided where to stay - Port or Chora. I had read that the Chora was very pretty but had limited accommodation. I had read great reviews about a small place called Filoxenia in the Chora. We decide to deliberate over a cup of tea. I'd managed to pick up free wifi - the island has it's own - and I emailed Maria the owner of Filoxenia. I didn't know how long it would take to get a reply so in the end we decided to take a chance and get a taxi up to the Chora anyway.
When we arrived at Filoxenia, a lady was waiting for us in a beautiful, flower filled courtyard. Maria had phoned her mother to tell her to expect us - Maria was in Athens.
Katerina showed us to a room which was absolutely delightful with lots of little extras. The view of the mountains from the balcony was breathtaking.
After a quick unpack we set out to explore the Chora - and the description if it was right - it really is a pretty little Chora.
There are wooden signs around giving the distance of various walks from the Chora. We decide to walk to Apokrousi which is 3 Km away. We follow the signs which takes us past fields full of spring flowers and bee hives. The road is empty and undulating. We couldn't see beyond the curves of the hill so it was hard to judge how much further we had to walk. It felt as though we had walked further than 3km already.
Eventually we could see the sea.
We began our descent down to the beach. To the left we saw a couple of men doing some building work in preparation for the beginning of the season. Apokrousi beach was completely empty and pre season still had litter along the shoreline that had been washed up from the sea. There wasn't another soul in sight. A little beach taverna was shuttered up and looked a little desolate.
Kolona is the islands best beach. To get to this beach we needed to walk along to the end of Apokrousi beach and climb over a hill via a narrow dirt track. This is only accessible on foot or by motorbike and the hill is quite steep. The view from the top of the hill is fabulous. Kolona beach is a narrow strip of sand that runs between the island and the little islet of Agios Loukas.
As much as we were tempted to walk to this beautiful beach I think we (I) was daunted by the thought of the walk back in the midday heat. So far we had walked mainly in a downwards direction so the walk back was going to be quite tough.
We decided to phone for a taxi and luckily we had the business card from the taxi driver that had picked us up at the port. As soon as Peter mentioned where we were he said no and hung up even before we had chance to negotiate a price as I think I would have paid anything at this stage. I had got a bit of sunburn from our walk to the lighthouse on Kea and was still suffering a bit. At this stage I was quite prepared to sleep on the beach rather than climb the hill back up to the Chora - from here on the beach the hill looked quite imposing but I'm sure was more psychological than anything. I switched on my data roaming to see if I could find the telephone number for another taxi but it wasn't having any of it - not one bar of a signal.
Apart from a couple of fishermen coming into shore there wasn't another soul in sight. Even the builders had now left for the day. We had no choice but to begin the walk back.
We had recorded the journey there with Map My Walk and it had measured 5kms to Apokrousi and a further 2kms to the top of the hill above Kolona beach. Each kilometre ticked off on Map My Walk was a kilometre closer to the Chora and a nice shower and a drink.
As we approached the Chora we could hear gun shots. Local people were sitting in the square dressed upin the square dressed up and we could see that there was going to be a wedding. The church bells range out. Became clear was a wedding. Church bells rang out and from our balcony we could see a stream of people making their way to the church. A young man arrived at the house next door where he dropped off his baby and left with bazouki.
Later on we head out for a meal. There area number of great tavernas in the Chora but several didn't open until later in the evening There was one taverna set back off the street and as soon as the lady saw us she switched on the outside lights of the restaurant. We didn't need any more invitation to eat than that!
We are invited into the kitchen to see what is on offer. I have the meatballs and Peter has rabbit washed down with a local wine.
The courtyard is so pretty all lit up. We are the only people eating at the restaurant but it isn't long before we are joined by a group of local visitors
It was like watching a scene from West Side Story. The cats were very territorial and would stake their places close to our table based on their size and bravado. One cat with a funny eye and another with their head permanently cocked to one side square up to each other until one relents.
To end the meal we are brought complimentary preserved cherries - a local speciality. Delicious!
That's more than enough activity for one day!