Sunday 18 August 2019

Swimming in Therma, Ikaria

Swimming in Ikaria was the highpoint of the day. We swam in the little bay around which the village is built.

The beach is divided into two sections by this short pier which services the boat that connects the village with Agios Kyrikos and alsothe fishing boat that arrives every day selling the day's catch.

This is the best swimming I have probably had, except for Sarakiniko in Milos. We would start from the middle of the bay and head left towards these rocks. I love swimming around rocks and exploring, so this was perfect for me.

We would swim around those, exploring.

These photographs were taken from the top of the hill and do not give the real scale, or height of these rocks

We would move further and further along the coast having left the bay behind us

 This would take us about an half an hour and then would turn back, swim across the bay to the other side, and

approach the cave where the source of the hot spring is.

Inside the cave some rocks have been strategically placed to form a small pool so that people who want the water less diluted can sit there the feel the benefits of the hot spring. The water is very hot and extremely pleasant - it's divine sitting in this pool. Right at the source of the spring it's scorchingly hot - this is where Ken would sit, provided there was room for him to move around a bit, otherwise he would burn.

Ikaria is full of these hot springs. Therma is one of the main ones. People call these springs radioactive, as the main elements are saline radium and radonium, elements that are very beneficial in small doses, particularly for musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis but also for dermatological nd gynaecological conditions and problems with the respiratory system. People who suffer from heart conditions or who've had a stroke recently are advised not to use them. These springs have been used by people since Antiquity.

Sitting in the cave gave one a diluted form of these beneficial waters, but I also wanted to try the effects in a more controlled environment, which is provided by the spa.

We would spend the 20 minutes that are recommended in the cave, even though, sometimes it would be longer, and then we would swim back to the shore and then I would be ready for a jacuzzi in the spa.

There are two jacuzzis in the spa, this one, which is the hottest

and this one which is cooler. A lot of people I met come here every year as they find the waters highly beneficial. Some times I was on my own, and at other times I was able to chat to people who have been coming for years as they find that the benefits from the spa last throughout the winter.

Another twenty minutes here, and then it would be time to go back to our hotel for showers, and then out again, for lunch.

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