Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Kamari Tours

This is the boat we used to 'island hop' during the day.

At 9:10 am we walked up to the ‘corner’ to be picked up by Kamari Tours. We were with them for the whole day. Our first visit was to a very picturesque area in Pyrgos, the subject of many calendar and post card pictures. We also visited Agia Paraskevi castle and from there we were taken to Port Athinios to board our ‘pirate’ ship.

The first part of our time on the water was used to sail along beneath the cliffs of Thira. This is something one could do often; the views upward are magnificent and the cruise liners in the bay simply add to the beauty of any photographs.

Our next port of call was Nea Kameni active volcano. All passengers disembarked and set out on a climb to the top of the volcano. Every volcano has its story to tell and this one is similar to others we have read about. However, for the journey to the top we were rewarded with the most amazing views of the five islands that make up the Santorini group.

When we called at Palea Kameni hot springs about 30 people took the opportunity to swim up to the mouth of the spring. Apparently it wasn’t as warm as they had expected. I was feeling a bit off colour today so passed on this one.

Thirassia Island was our next stop and that involved a zig zag climb to the top; one did have an option to pay 5 euros and ride a donkey; however, we saved the donkey a trip. Having said that, those donkeys can give one person a 10 minute start, carry another 80 -100 kg person up the trail and still beat the person whom they gave a ten minute start! It took us just on half an hour non-stop to make the climb to the top; unfortunately there was little reward there so we made our way back down to the boat to catch our breath for the next stage of the tour. It was like a ghost town.

After leaving Thirassia we next stopped at Oia where we again had a choice with which to approach the zig zag climb to the top; walk or pay 5 euros for a donkey. Again we chose to walk!

Once we made the 20-30 minute walk to the top we had almost 2 hours to take in the shopping; some really lovely shops with very interesting art and design.

We found an inexpensive café where we ordered crepe and drinks and waited for the famous Oia sunset. The sky was a little hazy but around 8:20 pm we were treated to a really beautiful sunset. However, I think the commercial photographers know and have some assistance to get the best shooting opportunities.

Our bus delivered us to the ‘corner’ and we were home by 9:30 pm – a really big but fabulous day.

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