In which I flirt with sand once more

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I’m in a bit of a Mood this morning so, rather than working on what I should, I’ll transcribe one more day trip from July. Lucky you!

 

This time it was more of a half-day trip, since it wasn’t just me, or Cousin and I like last time. My friend K. was tagging along for the ride and she works in the mornings. (Unlike lazy me who pretends to be a child when it works for her…) So C. and I went to hang out to the cafeteria K. works at and distract her for the last hour of her shift, Such angels we are!

 

A fair amount of gossip and coffee later, we walked to the nearby bus stop (where we luckily did not have to wait) and off we were to Chrisi Akti (Golden Beach). The #5 bus line here in Paros is one of my favourites because it passes through nearly all the highlight beaches, meaning you can easily go in a completely different place every time. Also, lucky me, Punda Beach, which I always thought resembles Mykonos more than Paros, is a bit before our stop so all the screaming teenagers left in one go…Oh, the sweet sound of silence!

Oh the peace and quiet!

Oh the peace and quiet!

 

The bus route sticks to the main road unless it crosses through a village, so the stop for Golden Beach is actually a three minute walk from the coastline (five if your bag is heavy).

Yes, the outside isn't very promising, I know.

Yes, the outside isn’t very promising, I know.

But with signs like this...

But with signs like this…

And this! How can it not be cool?

And this! How can it not be cool?

The beach is well organised without it being overbearing.  On the side closest to the entrance you can rent water bikes and wind-surfing equipment, and there’s even lessons for the ambitiously hopeful ones.

 

Stretches of what I like to call free-for-all space (no charges, yay!) are alternated with rows of umbrellas and sunbeds managed by the beach bars and a hotel that must have been built before people starting frowning at you for building so close to the water.

Le grand bleu.  Not the right island but you get the idea.

Le grand bleu. Not the right island but you get the idea.

C. insisted on a sunbed combo so we only walked until we found a free one, about a third in. The beach is actually a pretty large one, although I’m not certain if you are allowed to swim everywhere. I think a few areas are cordoned off for water sports.

 

Mercifully it wasn’t windy (because wind + sand=PAIN!) and the water was only cool. Just be careful if you ever visit, it goes from ankle-deep to waist-deep in a step. I’d like to come here really early one morning, before the crowds… Because of the sand and relative mildness of the wind it’s more of a family destination (screaming toddlers and disgruntled, I’m-too-old-for-this teenagers included). The two-sunbeds-one-umbrella combo costs 8€ (putting it on the cheap side) and if it’s not very busy nobody will look at you twice if you –ahem- borrow an extra sunbed. (What? There were three of us and we all wanted to take advantage of the afternoon sun!)

The notorious sunbeds in person!

The notorious sunbeds in person!

 

After we were sufficiently sun-baked (and certain people had taken enough selfies…don’t even get me started!) we walked back to the bus stop and to our next destination, the village of Drios. I had heard about this cool food place there and I wanted to check it out. I think C. and K. were just happy with the idea of food….Sometimes I wonder whether I am a bit of a slave driver…

 

Anyway, the Green Project sits right at the entrance of Drios, 5 minutes from the bus stop, which is further in the village.

Entrance sign. Keep your eyes looking for it. ;-) It's a bit like the Cave of Wonders in Aladdin.

Entrance sign. Keep your eyes looking for it.😉 It’s a bit like the Cave of Wonders in Aladdin.

It’s a small oasis with herbs, trees and flowers growing around the garden and an outside sitting area so pretty that it made me wonder why they bothered with an indoor one too.

The outdoor area.

The outdoor area.

There’s also four adorable and very friendly cats roaming around as if they own the place (which they probably do…) and don’t be surprised if they approach you demanding belly rubs or food.

Well, hello there Miss Kitty!

Well, hello there Miss Kitty!

The Queen in repose!

The Queen in repose!

 

The place operates as a cafeteria, restaurant and bar, with all the ingredients being local. It’s not just an advertising line either. The three of us were sitting on the edge of the garden and at some point one of the guys working there passed us to go to the veggie-garden (that how it’s called?) to water the stuff there and “bring a couple of cucumbers on the way back, would you?”.

 

We all had burgers which were delicious and about the same size as those at TGI Friday so you can be certain you get your money’s value. That value being 9€ for a burger, which I personally found reasonable.

Munchies!

Munchies!

We were going to leave after eating since all three of us were knackered. Unfortunately the next bus passing near our place wouldn’t be for another hour and a half, so we decided to explore and –hopefully- find some place selling ice cream. We had already passed one, right next to the bus stop I might add, but where’s the fun in doing anything the easy way?

 

Which was how we ended up being followed by a very playful and very loud puppy. Let me take a stand here and say that I don’t like dogs of any kind, size or age. I’m a cat person through and through. So when Barks-a-lot Junior started following us and chasing his tail to show what a fierce hunter he was, I did my best to ignore him. Unfortunately C. and K. went into OHMYGOSHSOCUTE mode and then were surprised when the puppy figured they wanted to play with him. I tell you, I’ve never seen a person climb a fence (one of those love, wide, stone ones) quite so fast. On the one hand, I can’t blame the puppy for thinking they wanted to play chase. On the other hand it left me in the uncomfortable position of having to deal with a hyperactive puppy and my two jittery travel-mates when the only thing I wanted was an ice cream.

 

Eventually a couple passed by and the puppy found them more interesting so we were able to make our glorious escape. And that was how we ended up at that first café I told you about, killing time until the bus arrived (finally!) and we went home.

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