Camping, Maragas, Aghia Ana, Naxos
The first cock crows at 4 a.m. You can set your clock by it. Followed by all the roosters around the island. They keep up their boistrous cock-a-doodle heralding the dawn until the first light appears. Then the ring-doves start with their coo-cooing, and the village dogs bark, if there are donkeys they'll start to bray. That's island life and the sounds I have missed since not living up in the mountain village at Lala.
The camp site at Maragas is huge with spaces for lots of tents, RVs, bed tents, rooms and studio apartments. It's full of Italians at the moment, and a bevy of pretty young French girls who congretate at all hours in the bathroom showering and preening as if they are at a 5 star hotel. Lots of families with little kids and a few singles and older folk like Inka and me. It's safe and reasonably quiet after 11 pm. There's a cafe bar, beach taverna and super market and with the yellow card issued from the camp site you get 10% off purchases.
The beach here is excellent, my favorite, pure silky sand and clean turquoise water. I try to have several swims a day to keep cooled down. The heat is beginning to get to me and I am ready for a nice downpour of rain. This will be my last night sleeping in the steamy hot tent as tomorrow Inka and I are heading to Syros for the day and then getting the midnight boat to Samos where she has booked us into a nice hotel. (I'm ready for some luxury now).
Inka had arrived Wednesday. She has never camped and meant to get a studio but they were full up. So being a good sport she rented a tent and we are pitched together like a pair of gypsies and have been enjoying lots of fun.
Yesterday though, I thought we were going to die! We went on the round-the-island bus tour which I've been on 3 times before but this was the first time I sat up front by the driver. The road winds up and up on the mountains, a narrow road with hair-pin turns. And a couple of times I was pretty sure he'd taken the turn too close to the edge and we'd plunge over into the abyss. No kidding! I really freaked out and still have a nervous stomach as a result. Of course we didn't crash and the driver is, in fact, a very accomplished driver who goes on that road every day with the tours. He is certainly to be commended.
Inka was very impressed with the island trip and the island as a whole and is now contemplating buying a house here -- or at least checking into it. She is feeling somewhat disenchated with her current home in Turkey.
So, tomorrow we are heading for Syros island for the day and later will get a late boat to Samos where we will stay a few days. How long I stay depends on the finances. I definitely won't be going on to Turkey with her this time and may head back to Athens by Tuesday or Wednesday.
I'll send another blog from Samos. Really looking forward to seeing the island again as it's been years since I visited there.