Matala was a nice little town full of bars and restaurants. I had a gyro, a lemon fanta and called it a night. I was exhausted from the ferry.
I woke up the next morning and played my bizouki for people at a hotel. They were Swiss, and they got a kick out of it.
Talking to one of them, I was debating whether or not I would stay in Matala another day. The problem with being a nomad is that one wants too much; to do it all, see it all, live it all, and get the picture, maybe a t-shirt. I said I wanted to go to a beautiful beach. This Swiss lady said about two hours away was Preveli.
I immediately recognized the name as one of the postcards I saw, and it was even circled by the eternally awesome Matthew whose awesomeness, unbeknownst to me, was not yet fully actualized.I ended up at a couple other beaches first, Agia Galini, where I bought some modern art and a gyro. Then it was off to Agios Pavlos where I did some climbing, went for a swim and got a beer.
Preveli was little a tough since it was off the beaten path. It was a little further than two hours from Matala and there were no signs for the beach, only for the monastery near by.
The drive to the area wound through a dwarfing gorge that opened up on the familiar shrub dotted hills.
Through winding curves, I came to the crest of a hill and found a parking lot.It was about a 20 minute hike down, and about halfway through my left sandal broke completely. I hobbled the remainder of the way.
Luckily, it was all worth it.
Matala was starkly beautiful, sure, but Preveli was lushly beautiful.
A green river bordered by greener palms flowed to the middle but took a sharp turn to allow for a waning strip of sand to function as a beach. High cliffs framed the entire area as if were a miniature Wai Pi’o Valley.
Hippies rented paddle boats for the river and a little church sat nestled behind short trees on a little hill above the river. In fact, I think I saw more skiny dudes with dreads in Crete in three days than I did in four years in Ithaca.
Actually, no. That’s a lie and an impossibility.
The ocean was calm, clear, invigoratingly cool, and got very deep very fast.
It was so beautiful, but it was difficult to take pictures without feeling like a pervert with all the half naked women. And no, Art-History, I did not take any pictures of them. The black cliffs jutting into the blue sky above the green of the river and it’s surrounding foliage was beautiful enough.
Even so, there was a family with a daughter next to me and she kept shooting me glances and smirking at me.
I smiled back, but I had no idea how old she was.
“Dude. Don’t even think about it.”
Thanks InMo, for once you’re a voice of reason, rather than a haughty womanizing drunk.
“Please. Currency wasn’t the only thing standardized by the EU: age of consent.”
Cripes. You are an asshole.
Heeding the InMo, I swam, climbed some rocks, and lay in the sand lamenting how I was to get back up the to my car with one sandal. At around 6:00, the sun had nearly dipped below the top of the cliff by the time I decided to leave.
The hike up was not pleasant, but the walk across the parking lot was even worse.
I was following a silver car out of the parking lot when it stopped at the top of the hill and two of its passengers got out.
Two smiling young ladies in tank tops and sunglasses walked up to the window and waved at me.
I pressed the down window button.
“Hi,” they nearly harmonized with slight southern hemisphere accents. “Where are you going?”