I rented a scooter today... what a blast! Nissyros is a tiny island with a volcano in the center. Very windy roads with lots of hairpins and gorgeous views everywhere you look... perfect for a scooter. Went to the volcano first thing this morning before the tour busses arrive. 3 boats arrive daily from Kos carrying 300 - 500 day trippers to Nissyros. They make a beeline for the volcano and then hit Mandraki, the largest village on the island... then they leave at 3:30. So I basically had the caldera to myself, walking through the craters, seeing and smelling the sulpher vents and boiling mudpots. Sort of reminded me of Yellowstone Park.
After the volcano I cruised over to the (almost) deserted town of Emporia... kind of creepy. It was a good sized vilaage that was all but abandoned. People are starting to move back in and fix up the houses. It's actually quite pretty and perched on the rim of the volcano, so there are magnificent views no matter where you look... the volcano to one side and the sapphire blue Mediterranean to the other. I had a greek salad at the only taverna in town. Perfect day, low 80's and sunny, overlooking the volcano. After Emporia I headed to Nikia, another picturesque village on the rim of the crater... only this one is fully occupied.
Then down to the beach. You head away from town on the coastal road that eventually just ends. Park the bike and start hoofing it. 15 minutes later I'm at this practically deserted beautiful black sand beach. The only other people there a nude couple at one end of the beach. So I walked down to the other end and stripped down... when in Rome... ( I know, TMI for some of you). Had a great swim in the Sea and really enjoyed just doing absolutely nothing on the beach.
Headed back to the hotel for quick shower and some logistics and then out to dinner. Last nite I had rack of goat, slow cooked for 6 hours with chick peas and rosemary. I think it was the first time I had goat... it was very tender but had a pretty strong flavor. I like lamb a lot, but this was much stronger. For an appetizer I had fresh beets in olive oil and garlic "sauce" on the side. It was more like the consistency of mashed potatoes, mixed with almonds and breadcumbs... delicious. Washed it down with some decent local red wine. Tonite I had grilled calamari that was perfect. I tried the white wine tonite... a little sweet but went down just fine.
Tomorrow I'm catching one of the Kos tour boats back to Kos at 3:30. I'll arrive in Kos around 5 and then catch the 8pm ferry to Santorini. I'll arrive in Santorini after midnite so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to find lodging. So far it hasn't been a problem. After that I'm not sure... maybe Ios... maybe not. I'm heading back to Athens for the 10th to meet an old friend, but I'd like to see some of the Pelopennesian Penninsula first. I'll check the ferry schedules in Santorini and see how it goes.
Happy October! See you all in another 16 days!