Thursday, August 25, 2011

You Take the High Road...

...and I'll take the low road, stopping at sweet little beaches along the way. Because the high road is a little scary on a vehicle you're not sure you can control yet (don't worry, folks - I took the high road on the way home, although this isn't it. The above photo is on top of Profitas Ilias, the highest point on the island. The beach below is Paradise Beach...yes, I know, I said Katharos was paradise, but actually, it's better than paradise).

This is the story of a crazy redheaded girl, who took her friends' advice and rented a four-wheeler for the day (which she nicknamed the Blue Bandit for some reason), in spite of the fact that she's much more comfortable on a motorcycle (because for some reason, there is a special license required for motorcycles, which ATV's don't need, which is just stupid because a motorcycle is SO much easier to handle than an ATV, in my humble opinion). Why? I don't normally rent vehicles on vacation, but then, I didn't realize how big Santorini is. Look at the above photo from Profitas Ilias, then look at the cluster of little white dots on the upper left part of the island - those dots are Oia. Totally not what I expected in some ways.

So yeah, I caved to Bronte and Joe's advice and took out the ATV. It was a bitch to get moving at first. Four-wheelers are way heavier than motorcycles, and they don't turn as quick, so I took the coastal road at first, then started directing myself at whim - taking turns to see places I'd heard Bronte, Vasilis, and Joe mention.

Pyrgos Kallistis was one of those. It was less touristed than Oia, yet still really charming, and gave me a chance to stretch my legs. Then I headed up Profitas Ilias, and after coming back down to the south, saw the sign for Red Beach, which Joe had told me about, so I stopped and changed for a little swim and some tzatziki by the seaside. I wanted to wander further - once I got used to the ATV it was a lot of fun - but I was sunburned and exhausted and it was going to be a long night, as that was the night the Tamuz Jazz Trio played at Katharos, so I headed back to the other end, stopping in Fira along the way to grab a gyro and salute the sun as it started its descent to the horizon.

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