So, to the third morning of our week-long trip. Waking up in Symi harbour, we were greeted by the sun reflecting off the still harbour water as the houses on the hills gradually became increasingly colourful in the ever-intense sunlight. Oh, and a man casually riding his donkey to work:
After a morning of yoga to work off the cocktails consumed the night before, it was time for the longest walk on the trip. Five kilometres to be exact. Now while this may not seem much when you equate that to a gentle stroll to the shops, the dramatic landscape and heat of Symi was enough to present a decent challenge. The goal? An ancient working monastery sitting atop one of the many mounds surrounding Symi harbour. The name “Symi” is actually though to be derived from the word “monkey”; not surprising considering this unforgiving vertical terrain.
The walk was challenging in the heat but there was plenty to see along the way. On the way up, we passed all sorts of creatures great and small and managed to disturb a local man catching his lunch from the sea. On the way back down, we passed a number of houses painted in vivid colours and with rather impressive ornaments adorning each wall. We couldn’t take any photos of the monastery itself for religious reasons (not a fan of the paparazzi) but it was a lovely little building tucked away from the rest of civilisation. Incredibly, despite the one thousand-or-so steps to the summit, locals still get married in the monastery on a regular basis. Gentlemen, take note; your wedding day will never be as challenging as this!
Returning back to the boat, we were greeted with the sights and smells of fresh food. Then, we waved goodbye to Symi and the colourful surroundings were replaced once again with a swathe of turquoise and white rock. A couple of hours on the sea and we were at our next destination. Perched off one of the many Aegean islands, it was time for some real fun. Out came the speedboat and out came the inflatables.
Skipping over the water like a pebble on a pond, we desperately tried to cling to the inflatable with our driver battling to dislodge us. Of course, there could only be one winner, and after wrestling with the waves for the good part of five minutes, it was time to accept defeat. Slightly battered and bruised and with a stomach full of salt-water, it was time to retire for the evening. It was time for more yoga and freshly prepared food against another (yawn) ridiculously impressive sunset. Part Four coming soon…