I slept for 12 hours my first night on Milos and it was just what I needed. I woke up still feeling somewhat blue, but determined to have a good time, damn it.
Made my way over to a rental car place. This is becoming my routine:
"What kind of car would you like?
"And you need automatic?"
"No. Maunal is fine."
"Okay... I can do... thirty Euros."
Then I realized that I no longer had my credit card or license. Which is strange to be missing two things I haven't used since I left the states. Had to go back to the hotel. I'd stashed them elsewhere in my backpack so as not to take them out and lose them when I was on Santorini. Clever girl.
By the time I got back to the rental place, a ferry had arrived and it was filled with a new batch of tourists. So I walked down the dockside town to the next storefront with rental cars. The girl inside was frickin lovely. And her English was very easy to understand. I didn't know why that was until she told me she's actually Italian, which is apparently an easier accent for me to understand.
"You came all the way here from Chicago?" Yes. People continue to be surprised, but in like a, why would you bother to come here, sort of way. "I've been living on Milos since I was 8 and... it's fine, but it's so quiet." Apparently in the off-season only one bar/restaurant on the waterfront stays open. "So I'm sitting with my friends who are 17 or 18. And next to us is a group of 50 year olds. I want to talk about boyfriends and things like that and they're just sitting there talking about flowers or something." She was sweet. Showed me where to go on the island.
"Who are you here with?"
"No one. Just me."
"You came alone?! Why?"
I have no answer for this on the spot.
"I don't know."
"Next time you should come with someone."
And maybe she's right. But maybe not. I'm having my ups and downs, but it's mostly ups. And I'm learning a lot about myself.
Also, for me, finding someone to travel with or spend any extended amount of time with is not easy. I get irritated and I tend to want alone time anyway. So who knows.
"It's a very different experience being on your own," she said.
"Yes, it is."
The guy who helped me with my actual paperwork was very sweet as well.
"You only need the car for today?"
"Are you leaving on a ferry tomorrow?"
"No, I have a flight."
"A flight? Oh, well come back in the morning to return the car and I will drive you to the airport. Only five minutes that way. But you can't walk it."
Everyone is so nice! So I'm meeting him in an hour to head to the airport, to head to Athens.
But, yesterday is what I'm here to talk about.
"You can drive a standard?"
"Yes. I get that most Americans you see don't.
"No. They all want automatic. Automatic Jeep is what they all ask for. And there are maybe... mm.. one automatic Jeep on whole island! I get the one guy who calls me and I think he is from Texas. He says, 'I need an automatic Jeep that seats seven people.' That's like three different car categories in one!"
So clearly, I took off exploring. The white rock at Sarakiniko were amazing. They were also very soft and not gravely, so I took my shoes off when wandering around. Then I passed an old Greek man who had done the same. I went inside one of the caves which were all connected, but I was too chicken to actually walk in the dark part of the cave. I think I've seen Pirates of the Caribbean too many times. (Yes, I understand I'm on the complete opposite side of the world.)
I drove to Kilma. In fact I nearly drove into the sea at Kilma. The road stops right at the water and I didn't realize how close I was getting. I parked the car and walked back down. This is basically all there is to see in Kilma. I had been hoping for a seaside taverna to stop for a beer, maybe some food, but there wasn't anywhere to go. But beautiful nonetheless.
I stopped for lunch in Plaka. Had me a beer (Amstel is what was on draft), some bread, fried cheese (my new lover), fries and meatballs. I have no idea what kind of meat those meatballs are, but it's amazing. I couldn't finish all the food, so I had the rest packed up for take-away.
At this point I decided to take it easy and went back to my hotel to lounge at the pool. This was the part in the story where I broke a bottle of Fix beer. Yes, despite what I said about it being pure piss, I'm still drinking it.
I decided to go out a bit later to find a secluded beach to watch the sunset. And so I did. I hadn't really been paying attention to what time the sunsets happen around here, but I left the hotel around 5:30 or 6:00. I took my leftovers to munch on at the beach.
Driving to said beach was a bit tricky. The roads aren't always major roads and often you have to maneuver through the streets hoping you're going the right way, At one point I came around a corner and the road split down two alleys. Who knows?! I'll tell you. Three little Greek women who were sitting outside all pointed one direction and waved and smiled. (Have I mentioned that everyone is so nice?)
I got to the beach and the sun was still quite high in the sky. But no matter. This girl won't complain about it. Sunset happened around 8:30. Good to know. So I sat on the beach, watched some families play in the water and took a dip myself. I munched down my meat and cheese and waited. The sunset itself was a bit of a doozy - there were clouds by the horizon, blocking the majesty itself. But this girl won't complain about that either.
I grabbed my things and headed back to my hotel. Little did I know my town (Adamantas) is hopping at night. I dumped my things and ventured back out for one last Mythos beer at a sidewalk restaurant and watched the people.