Somehow it is easier to relax and enjoy the trip when you know where you are going – and we knew that before nightfall we would be back on Psili Ammos. As always when you arrive by ferry somewhere there is a crowd waiting for potential guests for their hotels, guesthouses, etc.
However, we just got our backpacks unloaded in the shade, left our boys on top of them and headed towards the supermarket to stock up on whatever we would need for the next few days. There are a couple of supermarkets in Scala with a good selection of food, but a limited selection of other things. I was looking for a hairbrush and only managed to get a very big comb for my long hair. Not ideal.
The water melons are huge and you have to keep in mind how heavy they are and that you have to carry them – and of course, water, and more water. All in all, fruit and vegetables are so tempting that it is necessary to decide how much you want to carry before you buy the whole shop.
This time we had decided to live life a bit more luxurious than the year before. Instead of going by bus and hiking for hours to get to Psili Ammos we went to the taxi stand across the street and negotiated a price for a taxi for the four of us and for four big backpacks. It was 12 Euros to go all the way to Grikos. Incredibly cheap. So off we went and in no time – at least so it seemed – we stood at the beginning of the trail across the cliffs leading to Psili Ammos. We found the price so cheap that we paid the taxi driver 15 Euros. As Danes we are not very good at tipping – we only do so in restaurants in Denmark and not always as service is included and staff well paid – but over the years I have learned to do so when travelling abroad. Still, I only tip when I feel that I am pleased with the service that I get. This taxi driver was great and very helpful.
It is quite a different sensation to overcome those cliffs without first having hiked for two hours from the bus stop. It took us about 20 minutes and there it all was as we had left it the year before. Nothing whatsoever had changed – and thank God for that!
Even though the thing we would have liked to do most of all was a quick dip in the sea we decided to find a place right away to camp. There are only so many tamarisk trees to find under which to pitch your tent, and under most of the trees there are the same tents all summer. People come to pitch them at the beginning of the season, leave them and then come back once in a while, maybe just for the weekend. It is actually not a very friendly thing to do as it keeps other people out. Some of the people there can get a bit unfriendly if you move in on what they find is their territory. We found a great spot under a big tree with a small stonewall around it, but had to wait a couple of hours till someone would move a towel from that particular spot. Well, at least we could get our long deserved swim in the meantime.
Because we had to wait so long to pitch the tent, we only got one of them up before it got dark. Two of us could sleep in the tent and two outside in a half-open beach tent. It was a really windy night and the two who slept outside had a terrible night as they kept getting sand blown into their faces every time there was a gust of wind. They looked awful in the morning, both with streaks of sand in their faces and very tired from too little sleep.
After a swim and a good breakfast at the taverna at the other end of the beach the first project was to pitch the second tent and to continue building the stone wall around the camp to protect us from the wind. The wind kept being really annoying all day and the sand on this particular beach is so very fine that the wind made it find its way into every little corner of the tent and our backpacks. Building the stone wall was a never-ending project and eventually gave us pretty good protection from the wind.
As long as the wind kept being so strong we just had to keep our heads down which was no problem as we lived in the shade of our tree with our brick novels, ranging from Harry Potter to Cathedral of the Sea; just perfect for days with nothing else to do.
The taverna offered great breakfasts and late hot lunches. The thing to do is to have breakfast late in the morning and lunch around 4 pm just before the taverna closes down for business. And then you can order a salad or maybe some roast chicken or something like that to takeaway later in the evening. This was only for us who camped at the beach and a great service. The taverna is run by a family where some of them live in the room behind the kitchen throughout the season and some walk down every morning. How fit they must be!
The family was really friendly and helpful. Even though we had decided to be unplugged for the duration of our stay on Psili Ammos I still used my smartphone to write notes and it took so much of my battery that I risked running out of power every second day and the solar charger that we used wasn’t any good for my smartphone, but no problem. I just left my phone in the kitchen and they recharged it for me. Sure, we were good customers, but still…
The days went by quickly with only few activities, one of which was climbing the cliffs behind us to pick wild herbs. You can actually smell them on the beach, sage and thyme, and the goats eat them as well before we eat them :-).
We picked quite a lot and then left the herbs to dry. For that very purpose I had brought along a pair of old nylons – yes, old nylons. I use them to dry nuts here in Denmark and I thought that they would serve the purpose and they did just perfectly. The remainder of the trip it looked as if I was travelling around with a couple of thick black snakes (smelling from wonderful herbs :-)).