Excerpts from written travel log..
June 22, 2016 6 a.m. It looks like Baja/Tijuana. On a windy day. This place hmmm not exactly what any of us pictured Greece looking like. It's very arid and crazy windy. I drove to town today and it gave me a little hope for other areas. There were some cute shops and calm bays.
Thus far the beds and food leave something to be desired. They forgot the actual mattress part, but try to make up for it with an abundance of mayonnaise on everything to make you fat. We shall persevere. Sparkling water save me.
So, the thing about Karpathos is it's kind of windy. And not just blow your hat off windy – this is blow an entire plate of watermelon slices out of my hands and down a sidewalk windy. Sometimes the windy makes it hard to see how dang pretty this place is. It took me a few days (and a few magic no wind days) of exploring, but I think all of us have a very different opinion of this place than when we first landed. Take a boat from Diafani up the coast to the caves and bays of Saria. The entire northern coastline is rugged, steep cliffs dropping into the most magnificently crystalline water. Archways from erosion, huge boulders long since tumbled into the sea, and clarity so, so much that I deal with the shivers time and time again because I can't seem to stay on deck.
The captain showed us a hidden cave/swim through wonderland. It's horse-shoe shaped and only maybe 4-6 ft wide in places, but 35 ft deep and half as high. An underwater silent, still slot canyon – how can I not be in love?
Sunset in Olympos on our way back after the boat. The streets were adorable and blissfully cool. Empty except for our footsteps and the occasional older woman knitting on te stairs or selling handmade soaps, blankets...In the last bits of golden light we make our way up the steps into the tiny open air taverna overlooking the ocean. We eat fava beans, greek salad, fried zucchini, homemade pasta macaronis, it just keeps coming. The olive oil is local, the bread cooked that morning. Ancient windmills mounted on stone buildings stand on the edge of the mountain with layer upon layer of houses spilling down the hill. The overall effect is jumbled and multihued yet so lovely and natural. Sleep drunk and food coma-ed we leave the restaurant far from home, trying/failing to rest as Radko (our local windsurfer) breaks all Karpathanian driving records in the 9-seater van.
The next day Travis and I dive on our own in Castelia Bay. Lunch at the restaurant above our little cove (second to last photo) – I think this trip wins for the most meals eaten in beautiful places.
The wind comes back in the end, along with some yelling and stress, but we are happy and well. Full of fresh squeezed OJ and ready to take some chances.