Next morning it was my turn to fetch the breakfast and I managed to get this spectacularly wrong when I returned with chamomile rather than regular tea but at least after I had drunk it I couldn’t then get worked up about it.
There was more blue sky, no wind and already by ten o’clock we could sense that it was going to be a very hot day. Our plan today was to walk out of Livadi and visit Psili Ammos beach just a short way out of town, which in Serifos they claim to be one of the top twenty beaches in the Mediterranean. Last night at the top of the Hora we could see clearly the road that led there but back down at sea level this was not nearly so easy. Our guidebook said allow an hour and don’t do it in the middle of the day but we paid no attention to that and set off anyway even without a map.
This turned out to be a really mad thing to do especially because there was a perfectly good beach right next to the hotel and if we waited an hour or so there was a bus that went there anyway. It turned out to be much further than we estimated and a couple of wrong turns didn’t help. There was no proper road, just a rough unmade track that meant that hiking boots would have been more appropriate than our sandals and when we came to a sign for Agios Sostis beach we abandoned the attempt to reach Psili Ammos and settled for the alternative instead.
It was pleasant enough, a rough sandy beach and a sheltered rocky cove but it wouldn’t have made the top one hundred let alone the top twenty beaches but there were only a few people there and crucially there were some trees for shade. Kim collapsed from exhaustion almost immediately and being restless I went for a snorkel where I came across a seabed littered with dead fish which was a bit off-putting and then went for a walk along the shoreline and came across some monstrous washed up jelly fish struggling to return to the sea. They were a beautiful translucent blue but I didn’t fancy swimming with them so that was the last time I went in the sea this morning and a couple of hours later after Kim had recovered we prepared ourselves for the walk back to Livadi.
Going back wasn’t nearly so difficult because we knew exactly where we were going and roughly how long it was going to take. This didn’t mean it was easy however because it was rough and dusty and it was by now extremely hot so we pleased to get back to the bay and the village and stop somewhere for a drink. It isn’t very often that I am forced to look for shade on holiday but this was one of those rare occasions and I was glad to sit under an umbrella for a while and enjoy a cold mythos.
Livadi seemed practically deserted and it was too hot for almost any activity. The sea was still and the boats were relaxing on water that had no energy at all even to break into a tiny ripple and the reflections of the gaily coloured boats remained almost completely undisturbed. Even the normally raucous donkey in the field next to the hotel was silenced this afternoon.
I walked down to the harbour to check the ferry times for the next day but there was nothing going on, the booking office was closed and just a sign in Greek that I couldn’t read but wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it said ‘Serifos is closed for the afternoon, do not disturb’ and on the way back to the hotel I noticed that even the road surface was beginning to melt as cars drove by and squashed bottle tops and ring pulls into permanent additions to the tarmac.
Late in the afternoon we took the bus once again to the top of the Hora and we were pleased to be in the cool shade of the tranquil little streets as we retraced our route around the town and found some places that we had missed the first time round. Just like the port the town too was empty and deserted and it was pleasant to sit at the top completely undisturbed and enjoy the spectacular view. To the south we could see the island of Sifnos and we looked forward to travelling there on the next day. We dawdled about the lanes and enjoyed getting lost now and again before we emerged back in the attractive main square where we stopped for a while before going back to the bus stop and the return to Livadi.
It had been a long day and we were both exhausted, so much so that we couldn’t find the energy to go back out again to find somewhere to eat so instead we settled for a takeaway gyros, a Greek salad and a nice glass of wine or two from a carton which we ate on the balcony under the moonlight.
In the morning I improved 50% when fetching the tea from the bakers, one ordinary one for Kim but through another misunderstanding a second chamomile for me. Afterwards we had breakfast at the hotel and then packed ready for the ferry ride to Sifnos. We had a last look around the unremarkable back streets of Livadi, a mixture of traditional Cycladic architecture and the worst of nineteen-seventies concrete and cement buildings built without style or thought. There were a few interesting shops and in one I made an impulse purchase of a cowboy hat in the optimistic hope that this would transform me into Brad Pitt or Robert Redford.
Waiting for the boat departure we swapped tales of island hopping adventures with another couple recently arrived from Santorini and then when it was about time we made our way to the port where we had a last mythos on Serifos before the Agios Georgios arrived, docked, loaded and left dead on time.