When we woke the next morning we sat on our terrace for a couple of cups of tea and a read. I’m now on my 3rd book this one I obtained from the “library” here at the reception area. Maybe people were worried about their excess baggage and left their books behind like we did when we were on vacation in Italy. Anyway, after reading for a while we got our selves ready and we were off exploring in our new transportation.
As the car was only supplied ½ full of petrol (and we had to return it that way) our first mission was to go in search of a garage to fill up. We drove through Pefkos and up into Lardos to got to the main road. We found a garage right away and €20 later we were filled up and on our way again. But we saw signs for Lindos! It seemed we heading for Rhodes as we knew Lindos was the completely wrong direction. Next we were up in the hills and then we saw the sea. Hmmmm could this be the other side of the island? The sea was on our right and if we were going south it should be the other side but unless we were going at 100 miles an hour it could not be. We turned round and then managed to get on the right road heading the right direction.
Going along the coast there did not seem to be many beaches that could be accessed easily also there were hardly any towns or villages. Though there were a number of resort complexes we passed. Gennadi was the only town we came close to for quite a while. We headed down the coast to the most Southerly tip of Rhodes island after stopping again to decide which fork to take we guessed the right way and a couple of miles on we were greeted by the sight of an island (Prassonissi) joined only to the mainland by a causeway of sand. What makes it more spectacular was that to the right was the Mediterranean to the left the Aegean Sea. Even thought the seas were only separated by 100 yards there where “white horses” on the Mediterranean side and the Aegean was quite still. We drove down to the beach and thought it was time for a spot of lunch as it was now 12ish.
We had parked on the beach by a taverna (and some octopus drying in the sun) and was greeted by one of the waiters who liked my T-shirt which had on it “Just out of rehab – let’s party!!!” We plumbed for a Greek salad again but with only one bowl of chips to share. This place was so relaxing: sand, palm trees, people kite surfing, and the sound of canaries in cages under the sun umbrellas. Whilst eating we could watch the cars make their way up the steep dirt track of Prassonissi, leaving dust clouds behind tem.
After our lunch we decided we would have a go. Even though we were told not to go off tarmaced roads in the hire car. (they will never find out unless we break down there). Driving across the sand to the island, the route was only one cars width which had been hardened by the traffic. Not a problem unless you have a car coming the opposite direction. I think I did the right thing by keeping ½ the wheels on the track and hoping the on-coming driver would do the same. Phew we made it across to the other side. Now we had to wait for a couple of cars to come down the dirt track. After a bit of slipping and sliding we managed to get off the soft sand and on the track. Keeping an open eye for big dips and boulders we made our way to the top. I think the ride up was just as fun as the view and I do mean it was fun. After admiring the view and taking loads of photos it was time to come back down the track, which was a lot easier, than the upward journey. We parked the car as soon as we got to the bottom and decided to take photos of the kite surfers. Amazing stuff. On the Aegean side, which was smoother, as well as kite surfers there were also wind surfers. The kite surfers got so close to the shore and took off a number of times. After spending quite a while taking photos and experimenting with our cameras settings it was time to let Valentino out of the car. Yea he has joined us on this trip too. We got some good shots of him on the beach with the sea behind. And then it was time to make a move.
We got back to the car and started to put things in the boot. We were going to stop on the other side of the sand causeway for a drink but before that we wanted to take some photos of the car with a good back ground, also, Sue wanted to drive. I went to my pocket to give her the key and all I pulled out was the key fob. Panic!!!! We must have dropped the key on the sand!!! Where could it be??? My first thought was when I was lying on the sand to get a good photo of Valentino. Then it dawned on me. The boot was open. To open the boot we needed a key if we opened the boot the key was here. Yes it was in the lock of the open boot. Panic over.
Sue got in the car and drove forward so I could take the photos then I got in and we made our way to the Taverna for a drink. Ooooops we got stuck in the soft sand. But after a little reversing we were out of where we were dug in and back onto the hard sand. The taverna we stopped in was like many seaside places. Functional but when you’re thirsty and the temperature is up in the 40s you don’t care.
We then thought, because we’re down as far south as we can go, we could go up the west coast and then cut across to the east near where we were staying. Both Sue and I would rather go back a new route rather than retrace an old one.
With me driving again, we headed up to Monolithos castle as we were told that the sunsets were best there. We actually got to the viewpoint about 4pm, 4 ½ hours before sunset but the view was still breath taking as we were high up looking down on the castle perched on a large rocky mound. At the viewpoint there two stalls selling honey from the region but we were not the only visitors as there was a coach stopped here also. We sat on one of the benches admiring the view of a castle and eventually the coach drove off with its German tourists and the smell (of the exhaust not the Germans) we were now alone (except the honey sellers) and able to enjoy the view in silence.
After a while we drove further on round and parked at the base of the castle mound and all three of us (Valentino our mascot too) climbed the steps to the castle and the chapel that was also built there. Sue liked the chapel as she cold pretend she was a catholic and light a candle but I being the real catholic realised you had to pay for it, which I did. We took more photos in precarious places making sure Valentino would not be blown away off the battlements. And then it was a walk back down to the cantina for a welcome drink. Oh just to put things straight these drinks are non-alcoholic as I’m driving. Ok?
As there was still plenty of time before sunset we got back in the car and drove on to Stelies which we were told was well known for its rugs and honey. This was quite a nice village with a few Tavernas and a few tourist shops and an interesting church. Interesting, as the clocks on it were not real it had its clock faces and hands were only painted on. We first thought they were telling the wrong time or it was something to do with daylight saving and stuff as they were exactly 1 hour ahead but then we spotted they were fake. I mentioned to Sue that only 3 of the 4 clocks were completed as only 3 could be seen easily. Still with plenty of time to spare we headed back to the village of Monolithos where we had spotted the Panorama Taverna, and wow, what a panoramic view it had too. We could even see hawks flying below us, but strangely enough, it was so quiet.
There were only 2 locals sat at a table when we arrived and then another 4 people turned up. Whilst we waited we tried to figure out what it was with this 4. There were 2 older men, one with long hair and missing front teeth that both spoke Greek and English. Then there was another young couple that spoke English. Listening we could tell they were Australian and the older chap with the long hair also had an Australian accent when speaking English to them. Hmmmm maybe he was a grand father who had moved back to Rhodes and these were family visiting. Oh well that’s the conclusion we came up with. Then our meal arrived, I had chosen gyros & chips and Sue had a Greek selection of gyros, stifado, meatballs & chips. By the time we had finished the meal it was almost 7:30 so we decided to go back to the viewpoint for the sunset. One of the honey sellers had already closed shop and the other was almost done. We sat and read for a while keeping an eye on the sun and whilst we were waiting 2 men came to secure the pay to view binoculars that were there. Then about 8:30 the sunset arrived. It wasn’t as spectacular as we thought it might have been. But we still took plenty of photos and had some good ones too. Then it was time to make our way home. It was only about 30km but with roads with no streetlights and funny place names in Greek we didn’t want to go too fast. If we had we may have hit the hare that ran out. Looking in the rear view mirror I noticed the sky had become red. Bugger!!! If we had waited another 15 mins then it would have been a spectacular sunset. Oh well maybe we’ll visit that place again now we know the cross-country route. On the cross country road we saw a few tavernas which seemed odd as they were in the middle of nowhere. We had almost reached the East coast when passing a taverna a shadow went in front of the car. It was a man in dark clothes running across the road. A road with no street lights. It was a wonder how we missed him. Now we know why there are so many little chapel things on the sides of the roads for the people that were killed on them.
We eventually got back to the complex about 9:30. I was gasping for a Mythos by now and after downing one by the pool we headed back to our apartment. After a much-travelled day we opened up the baccardi and coke and relaxed and played cards.