Sunday 6 October 2019

Swimming in Hydra - revisited

We did not visit St Nicholas beach this year even though it's meant to be the most popular on the island, as it's one we like to avoid. First of all, it's filthy: I clearly remember all the wasps surrounding us as they were trying to feast on all of the garbage that had been left from the day before. Secondly, the muzak, loud and intrusive - obviously some people must like this, but we like to know we're on a beach, rather than a supermarket or a club.

Hydra beaches are not sandy, and the pebbles can be hard on the feet, but they are beautiful as is the surrounding countryside.

Our favourite is Bisti beach: it's extremely clean, it's surrounded by pine trees and the bar is good: the lady who runs it made us a very tasty Greek salad and she prepared it in front of us while we were waiting.

We left the town in the little boat that would get us there

and the boat ride is part of the pleasure of swimming in Hydra.

It didn't take long to arrive at Bisti Beach: it's small, but perfectly formed.

First thing I did, I walked into the wood.

We had taken the first boat out so there were very few people about

Lovely views of the bay

a small island across the water

and the sea, crystal clear.

It's a small bay, not long enough for a long swim so I swam to the next bay which is much bigger and totally deserted, except for a small church and a house next to it. This was definitely the best part of the swim and I lingered there for quite a while.

The colour of the pines is almost luminous

We took the 2:30 boat back. Unfortunately, we did not go back to Bisti beach this time. While we were there they changed the boat times, and the first boat back was at 4:00: this was too late for us, it would have meant six hours on the beach and we did not fancy that.

The boat ride back was very enjoyable

the light had changed

and because I sat on the opposite side in the boat, I had a different view

there are three little islands with churches perched on the top.

The next day we went to Vlichos beach, same route, but shorter

It's a fairly nice beach, but the pebbles are a bit too hard on the feet.

across the water you can see one of the islands with a church on top

we took the first boat again, so at first, the beach was relatively empty

The bay was too small for a long swim again, so, I swam to the next bay which was very enjoyable and it gave me a long enough swim (photographs later on)

For lunch we went to the taverna that overlooked the next bay

which is where I had swam to earlier

and which had views of the second island with a church perched on top of it

a good taverna, with delicious food - I had grilled sardines

When we finished our lunch our boat was waiting for us 

and from the boat we got a good view of the taverna.

The next day we decided to go to Madraki beach - a different route this time

past the slaughterhouse where we saw the Kiki Smith exhibition

we enjoyed this boat ride

Shortly afterwards we arrived at Mandraki, the only sandy beach in Hydra. Long rows of beds and loungers, and the whole area fenced off - to keep the plebs out, I presume.

We hated it here. Once we got off the boat,  we kept being greeted by uniformed staff, the beds had beautifully wrapped towels on them, a bell so that one could order champagne and we found out that the cost of each lounger is 10 euros (as opposed to 4 in all the other beaches. On our beach in Athens one lounger costs 1 euro). This is not us, in fact, we loathe this kind of thing and we decided we did not want to stay.  The member of staff who was 'attending' to us, told us that if we left the compound through the gate in the high wall, then we would get to another beach, so this is what we did.

It took us five minutes to get to the other beach. We settled. There were so many boats moored in the bay and after the wonderful beaches and beautiful scenery we had experienced the previous days, swimming amongst boats did not appeal. So we decided to leave. We spent the rest of the day wandering around the town.

There are also places on the edge of the town where one can swim.

Hydronetta is one of them.

Only rocks but there are ladders to make  getting into the water easier.

We have swam here lots of times, but not on this trip.

I love watching swimmers

and photographing them too.

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