How not to climb a mountain

When we arrived in Rhodes, I was very much aware that there was no beach near our hotel, not even within walking distance. Although I am not a massive fan of the beach (there’s too much sand) Laura is.

We originally intended to go to Faliraki beach, as I had been before and felt it was relatively nice. However we were persuaded to go to Tsambici beach as apparently it was one of the top 10 beaches in the world? I had previously never heard of it!

En route, the coach driver was going to take us to a natural reserve called 7 Springs. In true Greek style, when I say take us, he literally did just that. Dropped us off on a dusty roadside and pointed up to the side of a hill (mountain) and said ‘walk that way’. He gave us no idea how far up it was, how long it would take. The only bit of information we had was that we had an hour there. He said the bus would remain we’re it was parked but as soon as we got off, he drove off!

So up the mountain we climbed, in flip flops. Had I have had any idea about the terrain I was going to encounter, I wouldn’t have worn flip flops. It was red hot and between us we had no drink or watch (having left these on the bus). Laura, in her true style was standing close to the edges of said mountain taking photos.

After about ten minutes we reached the reserve. It was very nice, a few ducks swam on the water. There was a cafe at the top and people were dipping their feet in the cool water. This was despite a sign saying ‘don’t go into the water, it is for drinking’. Might think twice before I buy that mineral water in a supermarket because there were about 400 tourists paddling in this natural spring.

On the way back we had the option of going through a tunnel. Again there was water involved. Basically it involved you walking through an underground tunnel in the dark. Plenty of people were doing it and Laura started twice but each time came back saying she didn’t like it.

Now Laura is VERY competitive and she was not at all happy with herself for not being able to go through with it. She sat, depressed on top of a rock and was miserable. I soon had enough of this and declared I was going to do whether she was going to join me or not.

What a mistake. I have never felt so sick in all my life and I couldn’t believe I had voluntarily put myself in this situation. Laura had joined me. This tunnel was fit for a hobbit. Not very wide and not at all tall, there was also water flowing around our feet. You could not see a thing in front of you or behind. There was no way of getting out unless you went forward. I had a complete panic attack. Laura kept trying to take pictures with the camera so that the flash could provide us with some form of direction but by doing this she ended up losing a flip flop on the way.

It was about 200 metres long in total but it felt like 200 miles. Little children were doing it and all sorts, how I will never know.

Another beach, another incident

Tsambici beach was ultimately very nice. Clear water, very shallow, sand and not rocks. Lovely.

For those that previously read about my experience on a beach in Malibu, you will know that there was an incident about me attempting to get out of the sea. Basically I almost got washed out and lost half of my skin in the process.

How I managed a similar event on this calm, Mediterranean Sea is beyond me. Even though it was shallow, there was quite a steep drop getting in and out of it. I had mastered it the first couple of times but on the third, when I was with Laura, I just couldn’t do it. Every time I tried another wave came and pushed me over. At one point the wave had such force it knocked me right off my feet and all you could see was my hat floating on the surface. Laura said she was at the stage of laughing hysterically but border lining thinking ‘she may actually drown’.

Eventually she pulled me out and I was saved, thank God.

Sugar

Just a final, slightly strange note. Sugar sachets in Greece are all a bit odd. We keep having these ones with our drink at breakfast. Basically it’s about a person who is obsessed with coffee. They keep going out for dates with Mary and Tom and drinking coffee. They also love Sunday mornings where they ‘leap out of bed and run downstairs to make a coffee’. None of it makes sense. Bizarre!

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