After our long road trip for the pool the day before, we decided to try somewhere a bit closer. One of the hotels 10 mins up the road (and by up, I mean up-hill) allowed entry for ten euros. So we hiked up and spent our morning swimming and then admiring the lovely view with a coffee and fresh juice.
That afternoon we were going on a sunset sailing cruise, which we were very much looking forward to. The cruise took would take us around the island, stopping at various spots for swimming, then we would enjoy a lovely dinner, freshly prepared, with local wine and enjoy the sunset from the water. We had chosen the tour which was limited to 16 people, as we didn’t want to be vying for space as we ate or battling for the sun nets. We arrived at the office a few minutes early for our transfer that would take us to our waiting chariot of the seas.
We got chatting to an Australian women who had been on the island since May. She was loving her life and sad she only had a month to go. She told us the week before there had been a power outage on the island. It had lasted for 24 hours but as power came back on, they were limiting supply to the villages to only a few hours per day. They also had no water during this time – no showers, no flushing toilets – you get the picture. Apparently many tourists had left as restaurants and hotels couldn’t provide the services people were expecting. All part of island life I suppose and we were lucky to arrive with the island fully powered again.
It wasn’t long before we were called by the bus driver and jumped aboard the bus. As we began the bus trip and I joked “imagine if they put us on the wrong boat” – Imagine. We didn’t have to – that is exactly what happened. The bus continued to load up people – “it’s just the transfer” I thought to myself. But our fears were realised when we stepped onto the pier and were told by a pleasant but panicked tour guide “Um, I am sorry, you are on the wrong boat.” This boat had about 50 people on board – not the quiet romantic tour we had expected.
“Ok” I said “we were told to go on this bus.” The tour operator was quick to apologise and offered us to go on the boat now and do our original trip the next day. When in Greece, as they say…
We had nothing to lose at this point, and certainly no way of getting back home. We boarded the boat with the 50 other people to sail our way around the island and enjoy the sunset. At first I was pretty disappointed. We were competing for space aboard, kids running about and no space on the sun nets – but after our first stop and a swim in the clear blue waters, I relaxed and decided to make the most of it.
We met some lovely people, including a couple from London. They had been in Mykonos the week before and now were recovering from the party that was in the quieter Santorini. We shared wine, tales of travel, and laughter as our sailing trip continued around the island. We watched the sunset and then our boat made its way home.
Whilst it was not the trip we had planned we certainly had a nice time and we could not be disappointed with that.
We got back and decided to head out for a drink. On our way we passed the tourist office where we had booked. The girl who had booked the tour for us was there and was beside herself. She had already re-booked us for the tour the next day with the choice of morning or night. We were not sure of our plans but in the end she convinced us to go. We decided to take the morning boat so we would have the evening to explore.
As we were laughing about the mix-up and looking forward to the trip the next day, we ordered some cocktails. I ordered a Cosmopolitan and Eldad (my fiancé) ordered a Pina Colada. Our waitress looked at him, amused and asked, “where are you from?”… “Australia” Eldad replied. The waitress began to chuckle and promptly advised Eldad he wouldn’t be having a Pina Colada – he had a reputation to uphold, she instructed. Taken aback, but entertained, Eldad agreed and took a beer. A very funny end to our evening.
Setting Sail Again…
How lucky we were to have taken that morning sailing trip the following day. From about 8:30am, the power had gone out again. No showers, no running water, some restaurants weren’t evening opening. All things that don’t bother you when on a boat.
This time, rather than being with lots of other people we were only with eight others. We also had a lovely dining table so did not have to eat lunch on our laps. The weather was beautiful, not too hot, but hot enough to enjoy the refreshing water. I took great pleasure in jumping off the side of the boat a few times which earned me the nick-name “Dawn*” from the three Australian ladies that were also on our boat. Over lunch, we also chatted with a family from LA. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer trip.
By the time we had returned to land, the power had thankfully returned. We popped by the tour office to thank them for the lovely trip, then gussied up to head out for our last night in Santorini. We thought it would be nice to visit Santo Wines – which is a joint venture of a lot of the vineyards on the island to showcase their wines. You can sample wines while watching the sunset from one of their three terraces. We needed transport so visited our local quadbike dealer. Being the evening, he kindly gave us the bike for no charge as long as we brought it back full of petrol again.
We cruised round the island to Santo Wines and found a perfect spot to watch the sunset. Unfortunately, service was severely lacking. We were in no hurry, so relaxed, admiring the view as we waited. After a while, an unhappy looking waitress put a menu on the table and disappeared again. We decided on a wine flight – a tasting of 6 wines accompanied by some local specialities (tomato paste, fava, crackers and olives.)
The wines we sampled were tasty and had tasting notes served along with them. I was going to order a glass of my favourite one to sip on as we watched the sunset. For sometime, the waitress was no-where to be seen. Then, when she was, she told us she was too busy to take our order. We waited a while, and then a little longer and she never returned. I was a bit over the attitude (which was not what we had experienced anywhere else on the island) so we decided to hit the road to find another spot to watch the sunset.
We thought we would go back to Oia where we had seen a beautiful sunset two nights before. Alas, I mistimed our trip and were still on the road as the sun began to set. We pulled over and jumped off the quad-bike to see the final rays dipping below the horizon…
That evening we enjoyed a delicious meal in a restaurant called Character. It was probably the best meal of our visit to Santorini and accompanied by a spectacular view. A lovely way to finish off our trip on this gorgeous island.
*as in Dawn Fraser – Australian swimming legend – clearly a valid nickname for those that know me.