Naxos

Trip Start May 15, 2006
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Trip End Sep 29, 2006


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Friday, August 11, 2006

Naxos is the family island in the Greek islands and that was exactly what we needed after all the excitement of Ios. It is also billed as the greenest of the islands but we find that hard to believe. We were thinking it would be lush like an island in Hawaii or something but it is far from that. Maybe it has a couple of more palm trees or bamboo shoots but I wouldn't describe it as lush. I think Lonely Planet has spent a few too many nights in Ios before writting their description of Naxos.

With that said, we are staying in another great place with AC, a kitchen, and the most hospitable owners ever. It is run by a man, his wife (Sofi) and the man's father and then they have all their "kids"(guests in English) who stay with them. They are so nice. They greet you with a big hug, some homemade Greek cake, and some great homemade wine. They insist on talking with you for about 20 minutes down at the reception before finally leading you up to your room. We ask where the grocery store is, the dude walks you there himself. We asked where to rent scooters, he calls the place, reserves our scooters, and then DRIVES US THERE HIMSELF! It just shows how hospitable Greek people are.

We spent our first night in Naxos laying on the beach which is about 100 meters from our hotel and then cooking dinner before calling it an early night. We were so exhausted from the previous three days that we were all asleep by 9pm and slept a solid 12 hours until 9am the next morning. This was when we had the bright idea of renting scooters.

Well, scooters isn't quite right, it is more like dune buggies. We all decided that with how large of an island it is and with all the dirt roads, it would be better to rent dune buggies instead of scooters. We didn't think of the ramifications that might arise when four dudes take a couple of dune buggies out braffing on a Greek island but we will get to that in a second. We were driven by the Pension dude(I can't pronounce his name let alone spell it) to the scooter place and rented 2 dune buggies. Everything was going great for 2 hours as we sped around the island checking out all the far away beaches and barren countryside. We were having a great time until we started down this dirt road. Well that dirt road turned into a rocky road and eventually from less of a road and more into just rocks. We ended up messing up the wheel of a dune buggy rendering it undrivable. The worst part about it was that we weren't even going fast, we were just crawling along when the wheel just sort of popped off. It would have been cooler had we been doing something cool when we broke it but we were just driving. Did I mention this road is about as far away from anything as you can get. Tyler and Ryan drove the workable buggy into town and called for help while Monte and I roasted in the hot sun. There wasn't any shade and we were without water for about 2.5 hours in 110 degree weather. There is a reason everyone stays by the beach because DAMN that was hot.

Finally the dudes from the shop arrived with Ryan and Tyler and then they got pissed at us for where we were driving. He said when we rented them to stay off of the beach and salt flats and we did that but he still got pissed at us when we drove down a rock road. The road was called a dirt road on the map and we thought it was OK but he was still so mad at us because he didn't have any way to get the buggy back to town. He ended up leaving the buggy there and we had to call a tow truck to pick the buggy up. Luckily, we had bought insurance on the little guys for 10 bucks a piece and got away reasonably unscathed. To make a long story short, ryan had to pay some extra out of pocket(which we all chipped into help him with) and the guy appologized profusely for getting so mad at us. So we messed up your dune buggy and then you are appologizing to us for getting so mad? It ended up turning what could have been the coolest day so far into more of a debacle but we survived in the end. We all kept saying that it could have been worse, we could have not bought the insurance.

Tonight we are going to take it easy again before heading to the most beautiful island called Santorini. We have to take another ferry tomorrow(yuhhh) but it is only an hour and Santorini is known as "the island wonder of the world." It is formerly a volcano that exploded leaving a huge hole in the middle of the island with 1000 foot cliffs that drop straight down into the water, black sand beaches, and the proclaimed most gorgeous sunset in the world. I am excited to check out this one out.

Sorry about not posting more pictures and more often but the internet on the islands is SO SLOW that it takes an hour for about 6 pictures. I will post more when to get to better places.
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