August 2, 2014

Endless sun

After Bre and I's morning at the pool we went and harassed Poppy about how to acquire a quad for the day, a process which proved to be surprisingly easy and cheap. We didn't even have to sign our lives away (like in ol'America). 

We hopped on our new toy and went our next beach haunt: Perissa

We parked our ride and stopped off at Acropolis Restaurant for lunch. 

I ordered a my first gyros pita since arriving in Greece, and I'll just say, it was the bomb diggity. 

After lunch Bre and I headed down to the main perk of eating at one of the many restaurants that line the Perissa strand; we had access to the comfy lounge chairs, and more importantly the umbrellas on Acropolis's beach front. 

We were just living the rough life with the place to ourselves. 

After spending our afternoon lounging in luxury, Bre and I hoped back on our quad, en route back to Fira. 

However, being me, when we passed a breathtaking view, I may have made a spur of the moment pit stop that frightened Bre. 

She only became more concerned as I scampered out towards the cliff. 

Satisfied with living life on the edge, we continued our way into town, where we decided to do a little sight seeing and window shopping before being ready for dinner. 

I desperately wanted to pick up one of these cutesy doors for a souvenir, but just couldn't quite justify getting a heavy, fragile object on the first stop of my trip. 

When we saw the Catholic Cathedral of the town, I was nearly convinced it was just animated right there onto the sky. 

Finally, as our stomachs begin to rumble, we decided on one of the many restaurants we had passed (luckily this one restaurant that I don't remember the name of, only had the view going for it, while the food was kind of lack luster). 

The next day (our last full day on the island) we went to straight back to Perissa and Acropolis, our favorite beach setting of the week. 

About mid-day we dragged ourselves away from the beach, and grabbed the bus to the opposite side of the island. 

We arrived in Oia around 3 pm, plotting our trek to the old port of Armeni and back up to the city center in time for the famed sunset view from the village.   

Luckily I always allow extra time for all of my adventure plots, since the signs to Armeni are a little ambiguous when you're walking and I may have led us a bit astray. 

Eventually, we weaved our way around the dusty, desolate roads and saw far below us, the small bay. 

We also saw the over 200 stairs we not only had to go down, but some how manage to get to, via sketchy dirt path, probably not for pedestrian use. I don't think Bre was too happy with my adventuring at this point. 

That said, I live by Shakespeare, and all's well that ends well, when we finally reached the bottom of the hill and were greeted by world's cutest donkey. 

We rested our wobbly legs for a second and had some snacks at a seaside cafe, but I can't sit still for long when I'm on a mission. 

I had a very specific reason for visiting Armeni, and that goal was a little bit of rock jumping.  

A hazardous "bridge" crossing later, I spotted the rock that the internet had sent me to for my little adrenaline rush. 

I handed Bre my camera and headed right out there for my 20 foot leap, and can happily say I can now cross that off my bucket list!  

There's one more thing Bre and I had debated whether or not we needed to do before we left Santorini, and that was ride the donkeys. We mostly debated because we had heard it was hazardous, as well as, seemingly brutish. Our final decision, however, was made with the daunting climb up the mountain looming over us: donkeys it was. 

I'm not going to say riding the donkeys wasn't in part really fun and an unforgettable experience, even though it was terrifying in a I'm-so-close-to-the-edge-I-could-die way. That wasn't what really ruined the experience, it was more of compassion for the animals. I know the donkeys have climbed up and down these mountains for hundreds of years, and in many ways its a cultural difference between me and the islanders, who see the animals make their climb everyday and don't bat an eye, but I couldn't help feeling for the sad-eyed burros as the exerted themselves further and further up the mountain. 

I read all kinds of things on the internet before actually riding the big sweeties up the hill, and to be honest, I'm still not sure how I feel on wether it's worth it or right or whatever-have-you to take the "shortcut" up the steep incline. To each their own, I guess. 

*Though be warned, if you're not riding the donkeys, you are walking up the same path they use, which puts your life in likely more danger than actually riding them. 

At last it was time to wait, for the beautiful sunset we were promised. 

As someone who likes to sit on ledges, I'm just going to throw it out there that you should never come up behind somebody and ask them "Aren't you afraid someone is going to push you?" That is in fact not a comforting question, but merely one that makes you look suspect of committing that very act. And yes, in case you were wondering this advisory spurs from real life events. 

The Oia sun was our second to last vista in Santorini. We made our last venture to Fira the next morning to say good bye to our island "home town". 

It was a view I whole heartedly didn't want to say farewell to. The island life and people were so unlike our first day in Athens. There was kindness and a simple way of life in such a small setting. I know Santorini is one of the more tourist ridden islands, but a trip there during the end of May felt like going to an island all our own. I couldn't have had a better, more relaxing pre-backpacking vacation (because you know, I needed a vacation from my vacation). 

It was the first of many difficult so longs to beautiful countries, with my only console being that one day I promise to return (everywhere). 

Yours, Kenna 

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