The first thing I think when I wake up is I can’t believe we’re leaving already. From the first moment on the island I asked Luke if we should change our plans and stay another night. I wake up even earlier today to get more time with everything- the sun, the farms, air…the everything that made me fall in love with this place. I get dressed quickly, exit the property and walk in the opposite direction of down and the beaches…along a dirt road that passes a couple houses and farms but with nothing but peace to note. I get to the end and it’s a magnificent drop of a hundred feet or more. I find myself then in the middle of olive trees and vineyards and feeling so very lucky to have this time alone. As simple as it sounds, I live for these moments. The other 50 weeks per year leading up to this moment are a distant memory.
I return home to eat breakfast together and gather up our belongings. After we head to town to visit the last site I wanted to experience, Amoudi Bay. Through the village and down, down, down hundreds of steps and I can’t help but continuously shoot my camera click click click… as we descend. Once we arrive it’s simple but so very beautiful. Fish restaurants, their employees getting ready for the new day, securing paper table clothes and greeting passersby, line the port and there are kittens everywhere. I’d wanted to swim here…around the little island with only a church on top. But I was deterred by the sign saying “No Trespassing” that sat in front of the path I was sure was the one to swimming spot. Christopher later tells us that that’s just there in case someone gets hurt. Next time.
We relax on lounge chairs on the property’s farm for the rest of the day until our taxi arrives. It’s so comforting and perfect and just the greatest ending to our time here. Before we leave, Christopher offers us cactus fruit from a plant in the yard. We accept and it’s delicious.
We’re taken to the main port by an electrical engineer working as a driver for the time being. There is no work he tells us…life is very hard now, he’s in Santorini for only a few months. He says, despite his unhappiness about not working, it’s hard to remain unhappy when you are dealing with such happy, grateful people every day. God, I’m so impressed by this man’s perspective.
We sit at the water’s edge for a while as the boat to Naxos is running late. We pass a leftover bottle back and forth between us before it gets to warm and I share in a couple bites of a gyro. I pile up our bags and lie down and write a bit, but I’m too happy and excited and love-filled to write anything coherent.
Two short hours later we arrive in Naxos and are greeted by the landmark Temple of Apollo and a beautiful woman holding the sign for our hotel. I wave to her, Rena, frantically and she smiles and shakes my hand. We walk over to the hotel’s van manned by her husband. He grabs our bags, we sit down and meet a wonderful Polish couple who lives in Arizona. In a minute or less we’re at the hotel. The owner insists on carrying the ladies’ bags and when the Polish woman resists he responds I do not like this! And grabs them anyway.
We’re served a plate of olives, tomatoes and cheese along with a glass of wine all from the owner’s father’s home garden. They walked us through the map of the island and gave us all the suggestions we could possibly need to enjoy our time there. After, Luke and I headed to the supermarket down the street staffed with the friendliest people. Right away you can tell Naxos is much more catered to local people than Santorini. The supermarket is large and stocked with incredible local products. I order a quarter kilo of feta and olives from Naxos and pick up a dozen eggs, a quart of yogurt and fruit. We pay and drop off our food before heading out and getting lost in the town and settling on a popular spot for wine and a meal and returning to the hotel for a Greek soap opera and sleep.