The hammock bed was comfortable, apart from the angle of my head/neck.
I was dozing at dawn when I suddenly heard voices and footsteps approaching. You can tell a lot from non verbals – it was a young couple and I saw the man look startled when he saw my bicycle then relax again when he spotted me. He gave a faint nod then walked on past, studiously ignoring me. I said “kalli mera” before relaxing again myself, snuggled up in my sleeping bag, inside the hammock, as I was. They did something out back of the bar, then went away, again choosing to ignore me. I was fully awake by now – and packing up.
I had the left over supper for breakfast, sat swinging in another ‘hammock’ chair, overlooking the sea. I discovered white bait go soggy when cold and aren’t very nice to eat– but the greek salad was fine with bread.
Breezy, sunny, pleasant cycling. I stopped outside a (locked) church and ate figs from the tree which was laden and spilling them all to rot on the floor – delicious!
Shortly after this, I stopped at a garage to get a cold drink. As I parked my bicycle I got barked at furiously by a young pup chained to a kennel – or at least he tried to look really big and fierce whilst backing into a corner and wagging his tail just a little at the same time. He was a german shepherd pup with one ear up and the other flopped - all of about, what? 12 weeks old at the most? So, when I got my bottle of iced tea I sat down next to his kennel and said "come here then boy". He sniffed me tentatively, then when he realised I was safe, he jumped all over me, wagging his tail furiously, peeing himself in excitement and trying to lick my face. I scratched his rump –that spot at the base of the spine on top of the tail that all dogs like to be rubbed - and he crawled underneath my legs and sat there for a few minutes enjoying the company. Then he decided to play and did a play bow and jumped around and fell over and generally acted the clown, knocking over my drink, but never mind. We had a good old romp - as much as the heavy chain would allow. I felt so sorry for him when I left. He had no waterbowl, no blanket, no toys - just a bare kennel. And dogs are pack animals. He had an intelligent look in his eye and I thought he could make someone a wonderful, well trained companion but I suspect he will spend his life bored and tethered and barking at passing fleas. I can only hope he gets taken home at night... at least he looked well fed.
Up the road from here, there were grape vines hanging down over a wall – again, great bunches of purple grapes dropping their harvest and turning to raisins on the vine. I tasted a couple and they were seedy but sweet, so I scrumped some for later.
Got to Chios and had a pizza (saving some for breakfast again) whilst purchasing ferry tickets. The PLAN: On this island hopping expedition, I will travel first to Samos, then Lipsi (and maybe neighbouring Leros) from whence I will travel to Rhodes and then Fethiye in Turkey. That should be slow enough to get to Gill and Jeremy’s around the right time. I bought the first two tickets.
I then admired the view before cycling off to look for a place to sleep – I really didn’t want to fork out €35 for a room when I can sleep under the stars – it’s so WARM! Why no hostels or camp-sites? Maybe those shipping magnates are keeping out the riffraff. In the dark, I found a little niche, sheltered and hidden from view by an arching tree and in the shadows. There is a lot of grass like dried seaweed which acts like paper wadding – the paper confetti that comes as packing material. This camping spot was next to a shower (they have showers on the beaches in Chios) and a changing booth – a iittle box that reminds me of Victorian bathing machines without the wheels: my own little dressing room! Luxury!
It was blowing gustily – kicking up some waves and spattering spray. I had strategically placed rocks to pitch my tent and stop it from blowing away. The tent flapped really hard trying to escape, but I was firm. Eventually slept reasonably well – to the sounds of the waves and roaring wind – and awoke to another gorgeous dawn.