Tilos back to Nisyros: the dramatic and the familiar

Breakfast good again this morning but different.  It included the Greek version of egg and bacon with slices of green pepper and tomato.  Very tasty actually.

I didn’t have time to do much before the ferry which was timetabled for, and would therefore leave at, 11.15 prompt.  So I dawdled over breakfast, did a few things on the computer, paid for the hotel and went to the coffee shop in the main square for a fresh orange juice.  Very civilised and relaxed.

I read a bit more of Bill Bryson ‘Private Lives’ on my new Kindle.  It really is a very well researched and well written book. In Chapter 8 on food and the kitchen it confirms what us Northerners always knew, that the meal in the middle of the day is traditionally, and has for many centuries, been known as ‘dinner’. It was only posh people in London in the 18th Century, constrained/screwed-up by trying to adhere to newly emerging social niceties and attending the opera and theatre at the end of the afternoon (because they were held open-air and needed daylight) which pushed the meal and the term ‘dinner’ into the evening.  (Or was it the 17th Century?  Problem with Kindle is that there are no page numbers to refer back to, not that I ever remember the page number of anything memorable, only the position on the page …. sort of.  Brain researchers please note).  Hah!  I knew we did things properly up North.  None of your posh, new-fangled ways for me thank you very much.

The journey back to Nisyros was quick and efficient as one expects on the high speed cat. It seemed strange arriving back in the harbour and walking along the road to the hotel carrying luggage, almost as if I hadn’t been away.

Having had a completely idle morning I felt full of energy and as I was back at the hotel by 12.15 there was plenty of time to go for a good walk.  So I devised a plan to catch the 14.00 bus to Nikia on the crater rim on the opposite side of the island and to walk back from there.  The intention was to walk fast, rather than dawdle taking photos, so that I could see how long it took, part of an emerging plan for a significantly longer walk before I move on to Amorgos in just over a week.

The bus left right on time and deposited me in Nikia half an hour later.  Even though I had been away for only a couple of days the sight of the crater far below still strikes as very dramatic.  I don’t know if living there makes you immune to the view but I never cease to be amazed by it.

The first part of the walk is around the rim of the caldera with constantly changing perspectives on the craters far below.  I was walking pretty fast but nevertheless couldn’t help myself but keep stopping to take yet more photos.

View along the length of the caldera from 'Red Rock'

The main crater, named 'Stefanos'

The smaller crater known as 'Polyvotis'

As it turned out it took me barely two hours to get back to the town, surprisingly quicker than I had expected.  It just shows how much time is added on to a walk by stopping to look at and photograph things.  Not that I would zoom around like this as a matter of course.  A big part of the enjoyment of walking over here, walking anywhere for that matter, is looking around and exploring.  But occasionally it is exhilarating to simply enjoy walking fast.

Once again rounded off the walk with a swim.  The wind had been pretty strong up on the caldera rim and the sea was very rough but getting in at the beach sheltered by the breakwater presented no problems.

Altogether a good few hours of activity.

After the evening meal I fell into conversation with a Dutch couple eating at the next table and stayed there until after midnight chatting.  Irini was far too polite to say anything but I’m sure after a long day she just wanted to go home and go to bed.  The islanders have a very arduous life in the summer.  Starting early in the morning, finishing late at night, 7 days a week for 5 months.  And having to be polite and tolerant all the time.

The late night means I’ll be pretty sluggish on Friday morning.  But at least I can take it easy, the locals have to be up and busy from first thing.

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