16 to 17 September 2017
Platis Yialos, Nisos Sifnos to Psathi, Nisos Kimolos, N37° 47.1’ E24° 35.0’
13nm, 3 hours
We didn’t have lots of wind for our sail across to Kimolos from Sifnos but we didn’t care. With such short distances we could afford to amble there at about 3 knots. The coast of Kimolos bears the scars of the more industrial, mining heritage of these islands. The white of the quarry on its north east tip were visible from some distance. The volcanic geology of the islands also recognisable in the bright white rocks that reminded us of those in Bonifacio and Ponza.
Kimolos is a very small island with little more than its one town, the mines and a few beaches. We moored alongside the inside of the ferry quay at the harbour of Psathi. The little harbour has the obligatory church perched on the white cliffs whose caves are also used as storage by the locals.
This local was very friendly and a reminder of the time when s/he was both transport and haulage.
A very steep climb into the chora where most of the island’s population lives. It was a magical warren of tiny streets topped by the kastro, still derelict but with signs of rejuvenation.
The doorways looked ancient
but this was a very lived in town whose population kept it looking bright and welcoming.
I loved the book swaps that were hidden around its corners. There was even an English language on in this chest – nothing we fancied (one Martina Cole is enough for anyone to stomach!) but we did take some of our previous book swap treasure for someone else to find.
The ancient woven ceilings and highlighted crazy paving added pattern under foot and above our heads.
Reminders of their reliance on and love of the sea adorned people’s houses. We loved it up in the chora so much we made the climb three times in our two days there. On our second visit after dark we found the town full of people celebrating a wedding at the cathedral. It felt like the whole island was out in their Sunday best. We sat and had dinner at a small taverna watching it all go on.
On our third visit, at the book swap, we met an Australian woman who was married to a man born on Kimolos. We chatted and mentioned that we had hoped to find the mini market open. It turned out that the mini market was owned by her husband’s brother in law and very quickly he was found and, despite it being Sunday, he opened up his shop for us.
The next day we cycled to the beach further round the island, passed more multi coloured cliffs. We sat in the shade of the tamarisk trees and enjoyed a dip in the sea.
Our last night on Kimolos brought some excitment on the town quay. A small French yacht had squeezed itself in behind us, a small Greek one in front of us. After dark a huge motor yacht started reversing onto the quay behind us. The space looked far too small for it but the Coastguard, who had not put in an appearance until now, was merrily waving it backwards. We and the occupants of the French yacht were very concerned that it was going to squeeze us against the wall. The motor boat squeezed on in and we were well and truly wedged in – safe enough but getting out would be interesting for us and impossible for the French yacht. I went to speak to the Coastguard who told me they would be leaving at 10am and that we should have called him in advance of coming into the harbour. I pointed out that we had been in the harbour for two nights now and no one had visited us to tell us!
Oh well, we’d know for next time. Maybe then they would also have the promised electricity and water that had been planned for some time but not materialised because as the Coastguard said “this is Greece!”
After a night wedged snuggly into the harbour but thankfully, unlike the French yacht, not up against the motor yacht’s stinky and noisy generator, we left for Milos where we planned to meet up with Sarah and Jon to celebrate my birthday…