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Santorini - Day 2

June 6, 2014

Picked up a thing… some vehicle…I think called an ATV or a ‘quad’ as they call them here in Greece.  Basically it was a Go-cart on monster wheels.  No windshield or windows.  Decided to tour and explore Santorini island.  We were told to go see the beaches of Santorini, the black pebble beach of Kamari, white beach and red beach.  It was also suggested that we check out Fira, the main stunning cliff-perched town where there are lots of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants, where it would be more touristy.  And of course Pyrgos.  The highest point on the Santorini Island where you get a full panoramic view of the whole island seeing the sea from both sides.  With these suggestions, we started the drive from Oia, at the top of the island, where we picked up the ATV form a rental place across the hotel.  There are dozens of rental places all over the island. We headed south toward the first beach of Parissa where you find shops, restaurants and beaches filled with umbrellas.  Also known as the black beach as the sand there was as black as asphalt. Took a quick stroll on the beach, but have to admit, it wasn’t really my style.  But had to check it out because I wanted to see what black sand looks like.  Leaving Parissa, we saw a winding road going up along the side of a mountain.  So, we found our way to the base of that road and took it up to see where it goes.  As it turns out, that was Pyros, the highest point on the island.  The drive up in the ATV was the best part of the driving experience.  The road was very narrow and windy with extremely sharp turns. It was quite scary at points when large vans or busses would come speeding down the turns.  In some places, there we no road guards or railing of any sort on the side of the steep cliff road.   Made it up, took a look and then enjoyed the drive back down.  One really cool thing abut being that high up was that you could see planes landing at the Santorini airport close by.   We actually got to see the planes form the top as we were so high up above them.  That was very interesting because I have never been able to see a plane form that high up where I am actually above it.   After Pyros, we started to look for the Red and the White beaches.  We drove to Akotiri.  And the maps here don’t help at all.  I guess the Santorini map was a bit more current and accurate than the map we got in Mykonos.  But as all hotel concierges said was “there is only 1 main road on the island.  You can’t get lost.”  But somehow we managed to find our way to the beaches by just guessing and asking.  I expected red sand on the ‘red beach’ as there was black sand on the black beach.  But the red beach must be named the Red beach because of the red mountainside and red rocks on the beach.  The beach was also very tucked away.  I don’t think there was a way to drive to it.  You had to park on a beach next to it behind the mountain, take a short hike up and around and then a longer hike down to the other side where the red beach was.  The views were stunning.  The red rocks against the blue water made for a beautiful contrast and a great place for taking a photo.  After seeing the black beach and the red beach, I was really excited to finally see the white beach.  But apparently the only way to the white beach was via boat.  Since it was windy earlier in the day, they had stopped all boat services to the beach for the day so we couldn’t go to the white beach.  We then decided to drive back up toward Fira to check out the shops and restaurants.  There were lots of restaurants, tons of nice jewelry stores and touristy shops.  We had our feet done by little kissing fish.  That was an interesting experience on its own (especially if you are ticklish).  After the fish were done with doing what they were hired to do, I got to sign my name on the wall.  So look for ‘Golie’ if you ever make it to the same salon.   

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