Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"Ooooh, Papaaaaaa"

One of our biggest ambitions in traversing the Greek Isles was, of course, blissfully bathing on a beach one day. Since island hopping inherently leaves little time in the way of exploration, we had to choose an island and a beach and stick to it. Consequently, the island of Mykonos was our chosen land for splish splashing in the Aegean Sea.

Very happily, Dancer Friend have done her research once again and booked us a snorkeling excursion at Kalafati Bay. This area is basically across the island from the port but the company we chose very conveniently offered a chauffeured return trip. The owner of the company was actually the one who picked us up and squired us back later in the day. Upon entering the vehicle, however, we realized that we had two chauffeurs, one in the form of a young blond boy sitting in the what I would essentially describe as the trunk, but was indeed a second back seat. We soon learned that this delightful lad was half Greek, half German, spoke three languages and was adorable. 

When we arrived at the beach, I was pretty much stunned by the beauty once again. It is a very small area, lined with chairs, which we soon discovered were quite necessary since the sand was a too gravel-y to lay out on. But before we could partake in one of the numerous chaises longues, it was time to snorkel!

A sufficiently cute and tanned instructor dude set us up with wet suits and snorkel gear. Since wet suits show off each and every curve of your body, good or bad, I can't say it was my most flattering look. But once we hit the water, I was beyond grateful to be blanketed in the suctioning fabric. The owner slash chauffeur brought us out to the sea on a motorboat, wind blowing through our hair and water fountaining up from all around. I have to admit that for a moment or two, I had wild notions of this man  kidnapping and selling us into white slavery once we rounded the bend of a particularly rocky patch. While this was happily not the case, I for some silly reason volunteered to be the first one to jump ship into the mysterious deeps below. It turned into quite a process as I sat on the side of the boat, all of a sudden becoming very nervous about how cold it might be and what lay beneath. Dancer Friend ultimately decided to take the plunge with me, and on the count of three we splashed down under the rippling waves. The water was not extraordinarily cold, but it wasn't as warm as I would like either so I became infinitely grateful for the wet suit in the end.

The two other ladies made their way in the water, one of them needing some coercing slash convincing slash borderline threatening but ultimately made it in. For the next hour we slowly swam around the rocks, maneuvering our snorkel gear to the best of our abilities, and viewing the fishes and creatures below. I became thankful for the wet suit once again when I realized how incredibly buoyant they are. At some point I also realized that I drunk a little too much salt water and decided it was time to make way back to the ship. 

Back on the beach, we all warmed up under the Greek sun, reading our books, taking strolls along the water, and drinking in the beauty of the day. As the hours passed quickly, it soon became time for lunch before we had to head back to the port. A lovely restaurant right by the beach was the perfect, and basically the only option, so we settled into a table at the aptly named "Aphrodite Beach Hotel." The view was stunning and our fresh salads perfectly accompanied with some crisp white wine. It was rather a sad moment when we realized it was time to vacate our little piece of paradise. The good news, however, was that our chauffeur and his delightful son were once again our valiant guides back to the ship. During the drive, we got to hear the wee chap speaking German and Greek interchangeably to his Dad in the car and his Mom on the phone. At some point, he seemed to become more and more upset about something his Mom said and his Dad confirmed. But instead of throwing a tantrum like many kids do when frustrated, this one just slowly wept and in his soft little German voice kept saying "Oh, Papaaaa", imploring something from his father in a surprisingly dignified way. It was so charming, it took all of our willpower not to burst out giggling at his childish heartbreak. A few days later, when the Stateside girls boarded the bus to the airport, we all crooned "Oh, Papaaaa" at the thought of saying goodbye. But for the moment, it was back to the ship for more food, more drink, and more general shenanigans.

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