Kalymnos, The Islet of Telendros and a Departure

Telendros Kalymnos Dodecanese

There was more trouble with the room in the night, this time with the air conditioning unit which refused to respond to the battered and sellotaped together controller and was permanently set to sub-zero arctic temperature and so cold that it would have tested the endurance of a polar expedition team.  On the positive side this did prevent the fridge from constantly going on and off which cut down on the noise and there was no trouble with mosquitoes!

I thought it would be a good idea to let the sunshine in but after twelve days of blue skies and continuous sunshine it was a shock this morning to open the shutters and to come face to face with a hanging mist and the top of the mountain disappearing into a battleship grey cloud.

Gradually the sun found a way through all these vapour obstacles and as we breakfasted on the terrace the weather began to return to normal and we made plans to use our last morning here to visit the nearby islet of Telendros for no particular reason other than it was there.

The taxi boats left the harbour every thirty minutes so we arrived in good time for the ten minute crossing and sat waiting in the sunshine on the open deck of the boat for it to begin the short crossing to what is little more than a stranded mountain top, a giant grey peak pitted with fissures and caves and thrusting magnificently out of the sea.

All along the lazy harbour there was a ribbon of tiny shops and tavernas.  This was a unique and improbable sort of place where the shops left local souvenirs out on shelves with an honesty box to pay for purchases.  It was like stepping back in time, a sort of cheesecloth and denim 1960s hippy commune that progress had forgotten to release and left it behind in a nostalgic time warp that everyone here seemed happy about.

The shops offered hand-made souvenirs made from driftwood and sea debris, wood, sticks and shells and the dusty shelves displayed herbs and spices and hand-made soaps and cosmetics.  The tavernas were stirring into life and one displayed a recommendation from an English newspaper from twenty years ago.  It was wonderful and we walked along the seafront as far as we could before the path petered out into stones and dust and then we returned through the sleepy back alleys to wait for the return crossing at a harbour side taverna where we agreed that if we were to return to Kalymnos sometime then this would be a good place to isolate ourselves for a couple of days.

The taxi boat returned and took us back to Myrties where we packed our bags and spent a final hour on the terrace before saying goodbye and reluctantly leaving the Aphrodite Studios. Our plan now was to take the local bus to Pothia in time to catch the ferry back to Kos and we lined up with several other people and we became collectively nervous as the minutes passed by with no sign of the transport at the scheduled time and wondered about alternatives.  We shouldn’t have worried of course because the driver was using GMT, that’s Greek Maybe Time and he eventually arrived about twenty minutes late.

There was quite a long wait now for the ferry so we made our way to the pavement bar that we had found yesterday and settled down in the shade for an hour. As Kim read I watched the man working the pavement because he was a genius and a master of his trade.  He had an infectious smile that he probably practiced to perfection every morning in a mirror and he had the ability to make people stop and sit at a table and order drinks when they had no intention of doing so.  He stood back in the shadows waiting for his opportunity and then with a predatory sixth sense and a perfect awareness of potential customers as they passed he stepped forward and pounced and was almost always successful.  It was a pleasure to watch him work and when we left I told him so and congratulated him on his skills.

At the port we sat waiting for the ferry and reflected on two short days on Kalymnos.  Despite a shaky start I liked it, it won’t get into my top five Greek islands but it is close and I for one would definitely return. And then the ferry arrived and took us back to Kos.

After two weeks of travelling, using public transport and staying in mid-budget accommodation I thought it might be nice to stay the final two nights in an up-market spa hotel especially as I had found a good rate on an internet booking site.  I didn’t think it was appropriate to pitch up at a five star hotel on the bus, dust-streaked and sweating so I broke one of my golden rules of travelling and hopped into an air-conditioned taxi and fifteen minutes later we were booking in to the promising sounding Diamond Deluxe Hotel.

Koufonisia Drift Wood Art

4 responses to “Kalymnos, The Islet of Telendros and a Departure

  1. Pingback: Doors and Windows of Telendros | Have Bag, Will Travel

  2. Oh my goodness Andrew I snorted I was laughing so hard at that first paragraph. Who knew you could go to Greece to train for Antarctica!

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