If you want easy, you should go to Disney World.
12.09.2013 - 23.09.2013
We wake up to the same beautiful views and I realize that I am not in a dream. This place is real.
So is the giant breakfast. Again.
We stuff ourselves and decide we need to do something at least moderately active so that we can lie to ourselves and pretend we are burning off some of the calories. The truth is that I would have to run around the entire circumference of the earth four times in order to burn off half of that breakfast.
I love remote, hard-to-get to beaches and Matt loves easy beaches with lots of amenities, so we strike a deal and decide to hike down to my beach first and then spend the rest of the afternoon wallowing in our lazy-Greek-breakfast-cake fat on his beach.
The drive to Tsigrado Beach is jaw dropping.
When we arrive, we see a sandy hill with lots of footprints and assume it’s the way to go. As we head downward, we soon see a very narrow cut in the cliff that leads straight down toward the beach. It’s so steep that someone has installed a rope that we can use to lower ourselves down.
Matt looks at me with that desperate look he gives me when he knows I am going to ask him to do something that will get him dirty, rip his clothing, pull a muscle, or generally risk his sanity and safety.
“Any beach this hard to get to MUST be good!” I say.
It's not the answer he is looking for.
I am not about to let a steep, rocky, narrow descent with only an old, frayed rope to keep me from plunging to my death stop me from visiting this beach.
He sighs and grabs the rope.
As I watch Matt grunt and groan, slipping and sliding his way down through the sand, stopped only by the fact that the cut is so narrow that he’ll get stuck before he’ll slip to the bottom, I realize I am not properly dressed.
I am wearing a beach dress and sandals. Not even flip flops….SANDALS. I don’t even have a proper beach bag or back pack. I am carrying a purse, for goodness sakes.
And do I have necessities in that purse like water or sunscreen? Or at this point, a tourniquet, for when Matt has to saw my arm off with the car key after I get completely stuck in the narrow crack? Of course not. But I have lip gloss. And a fedora.
I remember reading that a tourist was seriously hurt 3 months earlier in June when the rope broke. I am now regretting that extra piece of cake at breakfast. It could be that extra pound that is simply more than the rope can take and right now, this rope is all that stands between me and certain death.
Thank goodness there is a ladder at the very end, because at this point, I am ready to simply throw my body off the cliff.
As I climb down the ladder, I realize that I am glad Tsigrado is hard to get to…otherwise there would be more people here.
Tsigrado turns out to be the most beautiful beach in the history of ever.
There is only one other couple on the most perfect little beach I can imagine. Situated between two cliffs, Tsigrado is a perfect little pocket of soft, white sand. Protected from the wind, the water is calm and incredibly clear.
We walk to the far end of the beach because when there are only 4 of you on the beach, everyone deserves some privacy.
I remember a time that Matt and I hiked 10 miles into the backcountry in Canada, never passing another soul, and found the perfect place for lunch.
We stopped, pulled off our packs, and set out our lunch, amazed at the peace and tranquility around us. About 10 minutes into our lunch, another couple hiked by, saw us having lunch, and basically decided to join us. They practically set up their lunch in our laps, despite the fact that there was an INFINITE amount of space where they could go be alone.
I don’t want to be those people.
When we get to the other side of the small beach, we discover a couple a small caves, one on the backside of the sandy beach, perfect to put our stuff in to keep it out of the sun (so my lipgloss doesn’t melt) and the other is actually at the edge of the water so that when we slip inside, the sea washes in, splashed by the sunlight, literally illuminating the small cave with an iridescent blue.
The harrowing climb down forgotten, we bask in the simple beauty of the beach, the sun, and the sea.
We enjoy our remote, deserted beach for a couple of hours before deciding it is time to head to the other beach, where sun beds and cold drinks are waiting.
Oh, but dear heavenly lord, we have to go back up that rope.
We make it back to the Jimny with all of our skin intact and head down the winding roads to Firiplaka Beach.
Firiplaka is mesmerizing. It seems that every beach on Milos is designed to make you stand and stare stupidly in awe.
Colorful cliffs rise above turquoise water as the shore hugs the white sand. Bright sun beds are dotted along the shore with palm frond umbrellas and a happy little beach bar plays music as ice shakers mix cool cocktails.
We drop our stuff on a pair of loungers and walk to the end of the beach where a huge rock juts randomly up out of the water. I can see a small beach on the other side, but the tide is up high enough that it will require swimming along the shallow but rocky shore with the surf pounding to get to it.
Matt turns to leave, but I have that idiot gene that makes me plunge into the water as he watches my pathetic attempt to get across without impaling myself on a boulder.
I get about halfway before I abruptly turn back, slamming my shin on a rock and doing my best not to drown in 18 inches of water.
“What is it?” he asks.
“Naked people. Naked people. Naked people,” I blurt out repeatedly as I do a hurried dog paddle over the rocks.
“Not topless people. Naked. I-was-just-born- birthday-suit-don’t-make-eye-contact-or-it-will-get-weird naked.”
Apparently, the far end of Firiplaka is where one goes to divest oneself of one’s clothing. And one’s modesty. And one’s sense of what one’s own body actually looks like naked, because what I caught a glimpse of was not awesome.
We get back to the “normal” beach and drop down on our sunbeds as I suck down a Caipirinha in hopes of ridding my brain of the images that I just saw.
It’s time to chill, Greece style.
The afternoon grows late and we get hungry, all that hiking and swimming and running from naked people has burned off all of my breakfast cake, so we pack it up and take the jeep to nearby Provatas Beach.
Tarantella restaurant is perched on a cliff overlooking the beach. With the entire restaurant open to the ocean, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
We order up some tzaziki, tomato keftedes, and lobster spaghetti and share it with the dog and cat that are sleeping under our feet.
It’s so late in the afternoon, and the meal is so huge, that we spend the afternoon alternating between naps and sitting on the verandah reading.
Because the only thing worse than eating and lying around all day would be to go to bed at 8:00 p.m. after doing nothing but eating and lying around all day, we take a walk to the far end of Pollonia. We find a beautiful little church with a view that stretches all the way around the bay to town.
It’s an exquisite end to a decadent day.