An entry in my journal from this day which began in Mykonos…
(apologies for its unpolished nature)
I’m sitting on a concrete ledge at the edge of a pavement running along the harbour of New Port (Tourlos), with a swollen right ankle and a deep scratch on my left palm. It’s 2.07pm now and my sister and I are waiting to board our ferry to Thira, Santorini, which should have arrived at 1.50pm. The poor guy at the information counter is being bombarded with questions from concerned, confused tourists — “Where is the ferry?!”
I evidently have some time to kill now, so I shall journal what happened this morning…
We planned on a 3.1km run to Agios Stefanos, a beach popular for water sports, but if it wasn’t enough that we had to turn back after 1.2km because my sister was feeling unwell, I tripped on a bump on the asphalt, and, wanting to protect my injured left knee, twisted my body slightly to the right, and somehow managed to sustain a superficial wound on my left hand and a wonky right ankle. (I was clearly bitter here.)
We retreated to our airbnb, all plans for exercise that day dashed, and freshened up before heading out to get brunch for my sister.
Moving on, we packed our carry-ons, boarded the seabus boat to New Port, and here we are waiting, waiting, waiting… under this unrelenting sun that’s beating down on us.
— — —
Hellenic Seaways Highspeed 7 arrived at 2.30pm, its engine roaring as it docks at the harbour. Boarding was quick — a little too quick for a hurting ankle, but I make it to my seat and boy oh boy were we blown away by the vessel’s interior. It was clean, polished and delightfully fragrant.
Apology accepted, Hellenic Seaways.
We settled down comfortably into our seats and after yet another amusing FaceTime call with Mum and Dad (yes there was wifi onboard!), we thought we could finally relax when the next disaster struck… I was preparing a lunchbox of plain oats, sweet fruit granola, and banana coins, and was just about to seal deal with a generous ‘drizzle’ — ahha, it’s never just a drizzle — of soy milk when a slight miscalculation on my part landed me (literally) in a puddle of soy milk which had gathered on my seat. My sister had dozed off by this point and, in my state of terror, I rattled her awake.
“I spilled everything, everything, help!”
She wasn’t completely on Earth, still drifting, wide-eyed, and clearly not comprehending the situation as I continued to yell, “tissue!” I ran (or at least tried to) to the toilet and, because the door didn’t seem to budge, pushed it open with all my might. Things couldn’t have gotten worse — there was a man behind the door who had been cleaning the restroom and I injured (pretty much squashed) his foot while trying to push the door open! I apologised incessantly. 😦
We couldn’t have been more serious during the clean-up, but oh did we laugh at ourselves after the panic!
The rest of the journey was smooth-sailing and picturesque with the occasional volcanoes that would graze our view, and we arrived in Santorini just slightly after half past five. A bus brings us up worryingly narrow hairpin bends from the Athinios port before dropping us off at Mesaria, where Danai, our airbnb host, met us soon after to take us to her house where we’ll be staying in. Her house is located in a village and that meant that there were neither street names nor house numbers, but there were fat sparkling stars at night and just about all the amenities we needed in the vicinity. Content.
Ready for the next unfortunate event?
We made plans for a visit to Akrotiri for its beautiful rad red and wonderful white sand beaches to fill the hours we had remaining of the day. Unfortunately, inaccurate directions and instructions led us to waste a good hour standing at the main junction in Mesaria, waiting for a bus that would never come. We ended up deciding to take the only bus that actually came — a bus from Kamari, en route to Santorini’s capital, Fira. “Let’s just lay down our worries and go where the “Let’s just lay down our worries and go where the
wind blows bus takes us,” I thought.
Arriving in Fira just slightly after seven, we managed to catch the final moments of a glowing town (featured above) before the island plunged into complete darkness save for the lamps put up along pathways and in shops. In that moment, I felt a deep sense of disappointment and dejection as we seemed to have just gone through the motions of the day without enjoying very much, reacting to ‘disasters’ as they came our way, and letting everything outside our control, control us and our happiness.
“Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” ― Allen Saunders
Waiting for our bus back to Mesaria, we cozied up at chillbox, where my sister had a sizeable serving of vanilla froyo. I found calm in the midst of muffled chatter — I found peace and smiled, realising that travelling doesn’t have to be perfect. My sister was perfectly happy with the simple things in life — food, mostly. Mishaps happen, that’s life, not just travelling. When You can’t change the circumstances, change Yourself.