Greek Islands Part I
Trip Start Mar 15, 2006
18Trip End May 16, 2006
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Amorgos is a rugged little thing in the East Cyclades group of islands. It doesn't draw much of a crowd, but that is starting to change as its reputation for being a good place for trekking grows. I caught a midnight ferry out of Pireaus (main port in Greece) and arrived 13 hours later in the town of Katapola. I was the only tourist. Got myself a nice room not 30 feet from the water for 25 Euros (80 Euros in high season). My bargaining prowess is finally coming back to me.
The next morning I decided to take the local bus to the other end of island and then hike back along the spine of the mountains that run down the middle of Amorgos. My guidebook says to purchase a trail map, but since most stores are closed during the off-season I set out without one
My encounter with Meltemi aside, I thoroughly enjoyed Amorgos. Since there weren't any other tourists I was able to soak up local island culture. Over breakfast I had a nice conversation with Mohammud, the owner of the hotel I stayed at. He's an Egyptian who settled on Amorgos 15 years earlier after a long career as a seaman for international cargo ships. He's been all over Europe, Asia and the Americas. When I said I wanted to go to Egypt someday he insisted on giving me his phone number so that he could meet me there and show me around. It's one of those things that happen when you travel solo. The day before while I was waiting for my ferry out of Pireaus I chatted with a guy whose catamaran was docked for a few hours. I never figured out if he was the captain or a crew member, but he kept saying "my ship" so I imagine he had some kind of ownership. In any case, he tried to persuade me to go with him (heading for Paros Island) and when I declined he gave me his number so that the next time I was in Greece he could give me a free ride on his catamaran.
April 6 - 8 (Naxos Island)
Back in tourist land. The weather hasn't been very good, so I've been mainly doing the beach-front cafe thing and reading my book. It's a bit incongruous to be reading "The Death of Yugoslavia" on a beautiful Greek island. Excellent book, by the way, if you are interested in the history of the war.
Next stop: Santorini