Because of the uncooperative ferry schedules today was prematurely our last on our favourite island of Ios. When we woke the weather was good again and after breakfast we walked to an alternative beach on the other side of the bay just for a change. To get there we passed the port of Yialos and its immaculate blue flag beach with caramel sand the colour of a lion’s mane and a fringe of bars and tavernas and continued out of the village climbing all the way until we reached the tiny beach that had caught our eye yesterday from across the harbour.
It was a pleasant stony beach, which we had practically to ourselves and we swam in the sea and then sat in the sunshine for a while listening to the prowling waves rearranging the pebbles as they washed over the shore as reassuringly as a steady heartbeat. We couldn’t settle however and we quickly became bored so we walked slowly back to the harbour, stopped for a drink and then returned to Homer’s. We had a drink and a swim and a bit of lunch and then it was time to go so we said goodbye to everyone returned to the room for the last time and packed and then Vagellis drove us the short distance to the port to wait for our ferry to Naxos.
Unfortunately it was another Highspeed ferry but at least we could sit out on the top deck and it was only a short journey to the island of Naxos a few kilometres to the north. We arrived in the early evening and then things started to go badly wrong. Very badly wrong indeed!
We had booked a hotel but there was no one there to meet us as they had promised so I got cross about that and decided that we would stay somewhere else instead. When we returned to the port most of the hotel mini buses had gone and there were just a few people left selling rooms. One woman was especially persistent and this should have been sufficient warning to move on but for some reason, and I don’t know why I did this, I allowed her to persuade us to go with her to her accommodation, which she promised was of a very high standard.
She drove through the town’s one-way system and I became terribly confused and then she stopped in a grubby side street and invited us to follow her. She took us to a seriously below standard room lacking anything that we would normally insist upon in the way of facilities, including an en-suite bathroom, and before I knew what was happening she had relived me of €30 and then she was gone. Worry crept over me like a dark cloud gatecrashing a sunny day. One look at Kim and I knew that I was in a lot of trouble so before it could get any worse I ushered her out of the room and promised to find a proper hotel.
This was easier said than done. The first one that we liked was full and the second had a room that smelt badly of smoke and Kim wasn’t happy now and was leaving me in no doubt about it. In desperation we walked all the way back to the harbour, found a taxi and went back to the original hotel that I had booked and thankfully it turned out to be just fine! Kim still wasn’t happy however and one thing was certain – she wasn’t about to let me forget it.
Then the situation got even worse when I overruled her directions to walk to a restaurant that we knew because we had been there two years ago and when we arrived there she was clearly right and I was hopelessly wrong. Luckily the restaurant was just as good as we remembered it and we had a delicious and satisfying meal that was finished off with complimentary cake and ouzo. I liked the ouzo but was not so keen on the cake that had to be discreetly taken away and deposited in a litterbin a little way up the road.
Anyway, after that things improved a bit, we found a shop to buy some beer and wine and we returned to the hotel following Kim’s accurate directions this time and then we sat on the balcony and played cards. Kim was still sore so we did fall out a bit so I dealt with that by keeping quiet and when the ouzo had gone went to bed and hoped that tomorrow would be different.
This had not been my finest hour by any stretch of the imagination. It was a bit of a shame because Naxos is a lovely island but tonight all I wanted to do was to get away from the place.