Today we were returning to Greece and our preference would have been to go via Kos straight to Kalymnos but inconveniently the ferry schedules didn’t reconcile to our plans so we had to go to Kos for one night before making the onward journey to our next island stop over.
Passport control in Turkey was even more thorough than it had been leaving Kos four days previously and our passports were checked at three separate points and our bags had to be scanned as though we were at an airport. We placed them on the conveyor and out the other side my backpack seemed to cause some excitement. I had some difficulty getting through the body scanner without setting it off so this left Kim by herself to deal with the request to open it. I think she suddenly remembered the film ‘Midnight Express’ when a stay in a Turkish prison was decidedly unpleasant and mindful of this she blurted out ‘It isn’t mine!’ and raising a finger and clearly identifying me as the owner said ‘It’s his, it’s his!’
The security guard was rather perplexed by my bag of driftwood and a few rusty nails but seemed to accept my explanation about the souvenir boat building project and he let us both pass without a detour to the cells.
It was a one hour journey across the narrow strait that separates Turkey from Greece and we arrived back in Kos shortly after eleven o’clock. The hotel was only fifty metres away but it was on the opposite side of the harbour so we had to walk ten times that distance to present ourselves at the Kosta Palace.
The room wasn’t ready so we walked in a westerly direction along a thin stretch of beach horribly overcrowded with sun beds and garish parasols so we quickly abandoned it and found a bar instead. We didn’t really want to be back in Kos town but it was unavoidable and we prepared ourselves for a nothing sort of day, a transfer sort of day, a not unpacking the luggage sort of day and we came to the conclusion that we would use it as a resting sort of day.
When it was time we returned to the hotel and were pleased with our room which suited our purpose perfectly, it was on the second floor and had a balcony in the sunshine with a wonderful view of the harbour, the castle and the town underneath a sky so blue that if the world were somehow turned upside down I could have jumped into it as though it were the sea.
The harbour was in a mid afternoon stupor, the metal fish stalls were washed down and empty, the fishing nets were repaired and neatly stacked and the men who would go out in the boats later were resting in their boats, some sleeping, some drinking coffee and some just idly chatting with fellow sailors. I imagine this is a treadmill sort of life where every day follows the same pattern as the one before and the one that will follow.
We read our books and drank Mythos and wine and then we swam in the rooftop pool and then we read our books and drank more Mythos and wine and later as the shadows lengthened and the sun started to dip activity in the harbour started to steadily increase as the daily sail boats started to return and as it got later one by one the fishing boats started to leave the port on the way to the preferred fishing waters of the men on board.
And so the day drifted slowly away into evening until the lights came on around the harbour and the tavernas started to come to life. It wasn’t very imaginative I confess but later we walked the short distance into the old town and made our way to our favourite taverna at the back of the cathedral and we enjoyed a simple meal before returning to the hotel for our one night stay before moving on to Kalymnos the next day.