A week in July Sailing the Greek Islands – Mary’s version con’t.
Day 5 Hydra to Kythnos or “Hand Me the Pliers and Don’t Crush that Dwarf”
Everyone was up and Valerie had gone to the bakery and picked up some spanikopita and pastries for everyone. She had two kinds of spanikopita, spinach and cheese or ham and cheese, made fresh this morning. They looked yummy. The “furry guy” (the harbor master) was scooting around in his little red rowboat making certain that the boats that were pulling up anchor, pulled only their own and left without any incidents. The water was so clear, we had no problem seeing our anchor line and we cast off the lines and pulled up the anchor without a problem.
Oddly, there was still little wind and no dolphin sightings. The closer we got to Kythnos, however, the wave action picked up… We motored into a small inlet and the waters calmed and we could see the harbor. It was very picturesque, quaint and serene, quite different from the other harbors we had visited. We were able to back into the dock and hook up to shore power and water!
We hopped off the boat to explore the island. Kythnos is famous for its mineral baths. It has natural springs of steaming hot mineral water that flow down from the island to the sea. There are bathhouses up on the hill, providing private marble baths with little Greek women that assist you. It was after 3 PM so it was too late to go to the mineral baths at the bathhouse, but there was a place where the mineral springs meet the sea naturally and Valerie and I opt to go there. The remaining crew voted to rent scooters and explore the island via motor.
As Valerie and I walked around to the “natural spa” area, we checked out the small restaurants and tavernas. This is the island where her friend Dimitri has a farm and provides everything his family eats except for bread and raikie (his moonshine). He is a fisherman too! Valerie had almonds and olives on the boat from Dimitri and they are wonderful! We stopped at the Poco Loco Café and Valerie and I visited with Antonis, the owner. He helped our crew make arrangements for their scooters and said they all seemed fine… We drank frappes with him and shared a snack of grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches that his mother prepared. It was really good! While we visited with Antonis, Dimitri drove up on his three-wheeler and visited too.
The beach was just around the bend but we could still see Maya across the tiny harbor. The sand had beautiful snow-white marble rocks that looked like seashells on the shore and I collected a few to take home. The stones were polished and worn smooth by the sea.
The water was refreshing and had both warm and cool spots. We swam around and then applied a hair mask to our wet heads and tied our hair up to sun-dry with the moisturizing cream on our heads. We walked over to the mineral spring that flowed down from the hillside in a cement gutter and meets the sea. At the “meeting” point, rocks have been placed in a semi-circle extending out from a rock wall forming a “natural” pool. On one side, the mineral water empties into the pool area next to the rock wall and from the other side the waves spill over the semi-circle of rocks into the pool area, making a nice, hot, relaxing bath. People come from all over to soak in these healing waters. The steam rises from the mineral water and it is very hot, but the cool waters of the sea make it comfortable. We soaked for a while, swam again and then started back to the boat with the conditioner “baking” on our heads.
The others had been gone for quite some time and after our showers, they showed up “Easy Rider” style. “Like a true nature’s child, we were born, born to be wild”…move over Steppenwolf the kids are back! They were all comfortable with their scooter expertise and ready for a dip in the “spa”.
Ordering dinner at the Taverna D’oro proved to be an experience that provided entertainment, creativity, and a lot of laughs. We of course, ordered Greek food, as there was no other choice. The waitress/cook/owner did not speak very much English so we improvised. When the menu described a platter of “local meats”, we tried to distinguish exactly which meats were included on this platter…”moo”? “Oh, yes it had moo”. “Oink”? “Yes, yes. It had oink as well”. “Baa baa”? “Of course, we have baa baa”. The waitress is getting into the rhythm and laughing with us because, hey, she understood baby talk, we are communicating! “Does it have Eey aaw”? This is when the waitress lost it! She could not stop laughing and the other workers came over to join the fun. “No!!! We do not serve Eey aaw!” With a sigh of relief, “survey says”…”order the local meats platter”! We order and our waitress is giggling all the back to the kitchen. The dinner was really tasty, local meats included.