We took a coach transfer ( 25 Euro for 2 people) to the new port on Santorini only to be told that the 11 am Seajet from Santorini to Amorgos was cancelled due to high winds and the next ferry was the Blue Star Delos to Naxos in 4 hours time. So, go back to the Hotel....no, the transfers were too expensive, so we waited at a portside cafe sipping our drinks and ordering nibblies to pass the time. Hint to self for next time....get the Hotel to ring the ferry or the port before departure from said Hotel to check that the ferry is running! People had warned us that in September even though the weather is usually beautiful , it can get windy some days...well, yes, it was one of those days.
The ferry ride to Naxos took about 2 1/2 hours. Having already purchased tickets from Naxos to Amorgos the same day, we had another wait at Naxos for the 11 pm ferry to Amorgos. We had 2 huge suitcases and just under 5 hours to kill. Luckily right at the Port there is a " Safe Luggage Check-In " 2 suitcases for 3 Euro - a man takes your luggage and gives you tickets in return to re-collect your luggage by 10 pm. We did that and wanted to explore the area, which was very easily done.
The lovely town of Hora was very beautiful and to the left of the village as you approach the port, is an islet with the ' Portara ' of the Temple of Apollo on it. The only problem was that it was blowing a gale and the only way to the ancient site was across a very long narrow walkway with waves crashing over the top of it. We could see people dashing across and every so many waves someone would get drenched. Shall we go? No...then yes, let's take a chance as we weren't coming back, then no again , as we watched a very wet person on their return. Hmm, the cameras...but you can only get a good photo if you are on this little island. Cameras in a backpack, in a plastic bag, we decided to make a dash. We counted the waves and walked very quickly making sure we didn't slip, as some did. Yeay! We made it, without getting wet, one way at least. We were there for the sunset and took photos of the sun through the Portara. Nice pics, indeed. Back across the walkway after sunset, with the same plan. 3 waves then dash.
With several hours still to spare we walked though the quaint alleyways of Hora and chose the lovely Lucullus Taverna in the Old Market area to have dinner. After dinner we bought a box of Loukoumathes for 3.50 Euro and waited with our retrieved luggage for the ferry to Amorgos.
The wind was fierce and I was worried about the rocky ferry ride to Amorgos. I took my Ginger tablets and thankfully was ok. It took 4 hours and we arrived at 3 a.m!!! Thinking that we were getting the Seajet that landed in Katapola, I had booked a Hotel at that port. Knowing we had a change of plans I emailed the Hotel owner in Katapola and he arranged for a taxi to meet us at Aegiali and take us to Hotel Minoa at the port in Katapola. A lovely hotel employee was waiting there in the wee hours for us.
Now it was Sunday and we woke after only 4 hours sleep and headed off to a local Church service nearby. ( I am half Greek ) We admired the icons, lit candles and absorbed the atmosphere. This church was next to the bus stop. We then caught the bus to the Chozoviotissa Monastery where one of my relatives used to preach and his photo is on the wall in the room where they greet the guests. It was very significant for me to come to Amorgos just to see this Monastery and to talk to one of the monks about him. The Monastery looks like it is stuck to the side of the top of a mountain. For anyone who has climbed the 300 steps up to this architecturally incredible structure, you are rewarded with a Loukoumi, a raki and a glass of water.
After this we walked back down the mountain then to the bus stop and caught the bus to Agia Anna beach which was just paradise. The view was spectacular once again from up high ( where scenes from "The Big Blue" were shot ) and then the walk down to a tiny cove and to the beach which had the bluest clearest water we had seen.
There is a bus to the town of Hora which was just lovely to walk through. The bus leaves you at a square where there are a few shops. Cars can't drive through the tiny streets. We spent ages admiring the different coloured doors, counting the numerous churches and getting lost in the winding pathways. In a treefilled square we found a cool area to sit at the Loza cafe and tried to take in the beauty of this sleepy village.
In Katapola our Hotel Minoa was only 50 metres from the port, from where we were to leave for Paros. This was so convenient especially when you have an early start. The hotel is set back just alittle so noise is no issue. The charming family who own the Hotel are very helpful and friendly. They have a cafe/sweet shop in front of the Hotel where you could spend the afternoon people watching. This is where they serve a simple but tasty breakfast. The Hotel itself is fairly basic but the room we had at the front with a sea view was very spacious and clean and it had a nice balcony. There are many restaurants, cafes and sweet shops along the port.
Leaving Amorgos on a windy day and off to Paros forum next....