Thursday and I turned my back on the mountains and went the other way. I decided to head for the Katapola, the main harbour, by following Footpath No. 2 in ‘Footpaths of cultural and historical interest’. And a very good path it is too! Very clear and straightforward. Well, zigzagging-forward for part of the way.
Interestingly it seems to follow a line of active springs with collection points and even a couple of small ponds with fish!! It was strange seeing surface water after the complete lack of it on Nisyros.
The path is cited in the book and on the wooden signposts as taking 55 minutes. I stopped to take photos and even then I reached the end of the path at the coast road in 56 minutes so not bad estimating.
Once on the coast road I headed towards the small village on the opposite side of the bay from the main port harbour and then walked around the coast road/track to a ‘beach’. Not a beach in any conventional sense but there was shingle wide enough for a footpath but not to sit on and at the end of it was another small bay with flat slabs of rock enough for the few people there to spread out and maintain a respectable distance from each other. On a small headland at the end was a small blue-domed church. Very pleasant place to be for a swim. None of that nasty sand getting places that you don’t want sand.
At the foot of the steps down to beach there was a very large sign urging people not to leave rubbish on the beach or to throw it into the sea. It also stated that nudity was not allowed except in Plakes Bay. A look at the map showed that the rocky slabs I had walked to were the bay in question but there was scant evidence of anyone trying to take advantage of the official permission. One couple sitting huddled had evidently come for the purpose of exposing more flesh than usual to the sun but were clearly embarrassed by the fact that the few other people who were there had swimwear. They left while I was enjoying a swim.
After the swim I ambled around the headland and then back to the village taking what I suppose could be described as cliché photos. There is just something about the whiteness of the buildings and blueness of the sea, the sky, the doors and windows, and the church domes, together with the splash of colour of the boats which makes some places very visually appealing.
I decided to walk back up the path to Chora rather than take the bus as I had thought to do originally. The book estimates 65 minutes to walk back, presumably because of the 300 metre climb, but I did it in 50. I must be getting a bit fitter.