Tuesday 21 August 2018

On the way to Therma, Ikaria

Even though we stayed in St Kirikos in Ikaria, we spent most of our time in Therma which is 2 km away. That meant commuting four times a day, to swim during the day, then back to our hotel for a siesta, and then back to Therma for pre-dinner ouzos and then an evening meal. Our preferred form of transport was this little boat, but when it did not run (see here for the unreliability of transport in Ikaria due to the inhabitants' laid-back lifestyle) we would take the bus. When the bus did not run, for the same reasons as above, then we would ring for a taxi.

The boat ride was very short and extremely pleasant.

The skipper, helped by his son and grandson, is Mr Yannis. He has been doing this job for 50 years and is thinking of retiring next year. I enjoyed my chats with him but what has really stayed with me was the day when he said to me: 'My son, my grandson and I have been shipwrecked'. Expecting to hear stories of wild seas, wrecked boats and struggles for survival, I asked him for details. 'All three of us have lost our wives', he said. I thought it was the most poignant description of widowhood. 

Churches in the middle of nowhere are very common in Greece.

Unlike large parts of Ikaria, the area around St Kirikos is quite barren.

The boat ride would last a little more than 5 minutes (one euro charge) and we would soon see Therma in the distance.

A small bay, a sandy beach, a small settlement,

and most importantly, the hot springs that Ikaria is famous for: on the left hand corner of the photograph you can see the cave where the spring originates, and the building which is the spa.

We liked the beach here, but more about this in another post.

We would get off the boat, the people waiting would get on, and the boat would be off again, back to St Kirikos.

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