Amorgos – I had no pre-conceived ideas how it may compare to the twelve Cycladic islands l’d already visited & revisited. I held a vague memory some years ago on BBC radio of an English guy phoning from his home there. He described it as traditional, unspoilt & due to its location with no airport, was visited by only the most dedicated of travellers. I’d agree! It was 3am on a warm August night & the engines of the Blue Star rumbled in the peace of Astypalea harbour. As we waited to board a young tourist was keen to capture everyone’s sleep deprived smiles & comments on his i-phone! I was happy to count the million stars in the night sky where light pollution is no problem.
Aegiali early Sunday morning. A family found they were not where they expected and were afraid they’d miss their connecting ferry. The cafes were open but no buses. A lot of Euros seemed to change hands for a taxi to Katapola. What a pity that they were only passing through this magical island – in a taxi!
The mountains cast long shadows across the sandy beach but our weary bodies soon welcomed the warmth of the sun’s arrival & a refreshing dip in the clear shallow sea. Food in a taverna & exploration of the town. In the evening we took the bus through those same mountains that form the spine of this dramatic island. The sheer rocks, jagged peaks & stark greyness against the setting sun took my breath away.
We stayed in Katapola & loved the bustling activity of the harbour, which included an evening of music & dance. Although initially troubled by a failing electricity supply it was fun and uplifting for everyone. I loved the tranquility of Xilokerafidi opposite and the sheltered haven it provided on those windy days. As a painter many happy hours were spent in Chora. With an architectural delight round every corner it was difficult to decide on a subject . . . . or whether instead to linger over some tasty local food & wine, then laze in the shade like the cats!
On the road to Hosaviotissa Monastery, fear took hold as the bus was battered by the relentless wind. lt felt as though at any moment the vehicle would be whipped up,dashed against the rocks & into the sea far below! We explored the more gentle countryside in the south of the island on a scooter but again the wind gave us some scary moments on our return through the mountains. Thank goodness for my competent driver!
On Amorgos I felt at peace & able to plan for the future, so was disappointed to unexpectedly make a return trip to England. Even as the ferry was rocked by the high sea & the island was soon lost from view, I was planning my return – within 10 days.
Its now 6 months & 10 days & I long for spring in Amorgos. Flowers in the mountains, warm sun, more feline friends, new places to explore & paint. Oh . . and I expect the wind will carry me there!