The sky was full of clouds this morning but they soon dissipated. We hitched a ride on the tour bus taking people to Kardemena on the other side of the island to go on the boat trip to Nissyros. Having already experienced the volcanic delights last year we opted instead to see what Kardemena had to offer. Siggy stayed there when she was 19 but whatever memories she had of the place were mostly lost to the sands of time. She remarked ‘that wasn’t there’ on numerous occasions pointing out all the ‘recent’ resort additions and modifications (like a tarmacked coast road for instance).
On the bus I heard that Belgium had whipped Hungary 4-0 which doesn’t bode well for Wales. We got breakfast from a stylish bakery not far from our drop off point which sold all sorts of mini pastries and flavours of ice cream. I think we shared a croissant and I had a gloopy but satisfying bottled milkshake. The sun was already bright as we sat down on a shaded bench and watched the shopkeepers open up.
To describe Kardemena as a bit of a shithole maybe unkind as it is now worse or better than Marmari. There are some little spots that have escaped the crass over-development or that have been developed with some measure of style, but it does seem to have more souvenir shops than it does public bins. Bright sunshine usually helps to make a place look pretty but in this case it just illuminated various faults in the town’s facades like the spotlight of a Nazi interrogator.
After a fruitless trip down memory lane (more like a blind alley), in which Siggy may or may not have identified the gutted shell of the bar she frequented way back then, we found a narrow strip of beach, where the sand wasn’t too blackened from the soot of forest fires, and a nice pair of sun-beds which were provisioned from a nearby café situated on the coast road.
The deal on the sun-beds was great – we paid 5 euros for two beds and an umbrella one second away from the gently lapping sea and then were told that we were entitled to 5 euro’s worth of drinks at no extra charge. There was also a reasonably good radio station being piped onto the beach from the café through strategically placed speakers. We of course exceeded our 5 euro allotment by 2pm having consumed a frappe, water, a coke and two vanilla milkshakes.
The music was mostly summer hits with a high proportion of them being dance-orientated cover versions of 80s/90s tunes e.g. Kim Wilde’s ‘Keep me hanging on’, Ace of Base’s ‘All that she wants’ and Bronski Beat’s ‘Why?’, muddled up with current hits from the likes of Red Hot Chili Pepppers, Justin Beiber, DJ Fresh, Dizzy Rascal etc. So a lot more variety than the DJ in Memories. Last night it was a nice change to be in Rivotos and hear stuff like Fat Boy Slim, The Chemical Brothers and Groove Armada. If I don’t hear ‘Uptown Funk’ or ‘Sorry’ ever again it will be too soon, also in Memories we keep hearing an awful dance version of ‘Careless Whisper’ which should be banned.
For lunch I finally got some fresh fish in the form of a plate of tasty sardines at what I am calling the Olive Press Restaurant (the name was rather unclear to me) which was near where we had been sunbathing and within spitting distance of the sea. By this time both the temperature and the wind has risen and so we had to pin the paper menus and napkins down with the cutlery, glasses etc. lest they fly off to cooler climes.
After lunch we had more of a wander around the harbour area, the backstreets of the town and into various tat shops. Kardemena was eerily quiet for most of the day. I got the impression that the holidaymakers who stay there, mostly young couples there for the nightlife in the various clubs advertising events such as foam parties, didn’t get up until later. A few bleary-eyed youths were to be seen wandering around blinking in the sunlight while we killed time before we could get the coach back to Tigaki.
Siggy wanted to find some heeled shoes as she had, despite the twenty to thirty pairs of shoes in her luggage, forgotten to bring a pair which would specifically go with a pair of jeans she had brought. Unfortunately non were of suitable design or size for a purchase to be made and the jeans remained unworn (along with twenty to thirty pairs of shoes). Among the tat we found some very cheap giant clothes pegs used for holding down your beach towel in windy weather at about a quarter of the price of the one’s we got off Amazon.
We got back to Tigaki at around 5pm and so had an hour or so sitting on the balcony listening to the animal noises and reading. We saw a tiny pale green praying mantis, but it wandered off before I could take a photo of it. The tease. We were both a bit grumpy as the thought of going home looms over us like a cloud. I got a bit down during the football last night and Siggy admitted to being a bit snarly with me in Kardemena for the same reason. We agreed to put it at the back of our minds and enjoy the rest of our stay.
We fell asleep in the sun and were late going out so opted to eat at Sunshine Taverna again as it one of the closer eateries to our hotel which I also knew would be showing the Italy v Spain match. Italy won 2-0 and I was glad to see the back of Spain’s away kit which looked like someone had thrown up their breakfast on it.
We watched the first half of England v Iceland at the restaurant thanks to Siggy’s request for a jacket potato when the kitchen said they had run out. As it turned out it worked out well because if we had finished and been on our way to a bar, we would have missed the first two goals. At halftime we went to Cosy Company where there was a row of seats right in front of the big screen. I had a big larger and shouted at the screen for most of the remainder of the match which can only be described as a total embrassment for players and the management team. The secret Welsh fan inside me was cruely delighted with the 2-1 defeat. Roy Hodgson quite righly resigned shortly afterwards. Even Siggy who is mostly uninterested in football got frustrated with England’s woeful performance.
We then popped to the Mythos Apartments bar for a last cocktail and had a quick chat with a few familiar faces and Kostas. Brexit was a topic of conversation and no-one really seems to know what to make of it. The only thing we knew for sure was that we were likely to get a good exchange rate on our euro’s when we got home and changed them back to pounds.