From the campsite in Varkiza we cycled back the same busy highway as we took the day before. The traffic is passing us at all sides and it’s an exciting trip. Especially when we had to changes lanes it was a bit tricky but we are a strong team. Marlous riding in front and making the speed and Steven in the back pointing into the direction we want to go. By stretching out his arm in the direction we want to go Steven makes sure that the cars behind us will take care of us. As soon as he knows we can go he shouts: “Lous one lane to the right!!!!” This is quit an exciting experience but it works and we arrive in Athens safely.
The first thing we do when we arrive in the harbor of Pireaus is going to the tourist office to ask where we have to go to buy tickets for the boat. Here they tell us the chance of going the same day is very small, so we also inform for hostels in Athens. We decide to go to the ticket office and here they make us happy with two tickets on the same day! Parros here we come. The boat trip is a nice one and in the evening we search for our bicycles on the ship. From the moment we cycle of the ship it is a madhouse with all the people who wants you to come to their campsite or lodge. We decide to leave all these people behind and to go to the closest campsite. But when we are talking to a nice Englishmen we change our mind. We are going to the campsite at the north of the island, which is the furthest from here.
The Englishman told us not to worry about the bicycles. So we step into the bus which is already kind of full, but the bikes and we do fit. When we arrive at the campsite we don’t see much because it’s already dark, but we put up our tent close to the sea and we decide to find a good spot first thing in the morning.
When we look at our tent the next morning we can conclude that we couldn’t have done it better. We have a great spot on the sand and we can see the beach and the sea. The water of the sea is so clear and the beach is white…..what else could we wish for? We relax in the sun and we swim in the warm sea for a few days. Then we find on internet a perfect spot to learn how to dive. We have to hop one island to do this course from Parros to Antiparros.
Antiparros is even more relaxed than its big brother Parros. The village is very cozy with small streets and there is one campsite at walking distance. The campsite turns out to be a hippy one which is funny and very relaxed. After putting up our tent we walk to the village where we arrange a PADI Open Water diving course for the coming 4 days.
Together with another girl we attend the diving course. The first two days we have theory in the morning and in the afternoon we do the practical things in the swimming pool. Our first dive we went to a depth of 1 meter and 30 centimeters! In the pool we do different kind of exercises with our instructor DJ. After two days of theory and practice we are ready for the real thing. We go by boat to the other side of the island where it’s quiet and beautiful and here we have our first dive in the sea.
All the excitement we had before our first dive in the sea disappears when we are in the water. The moment we look through our spectacles we want to go down. The water was so clear we could see 25 meters ahead. We go down by the line of the anchor for our first dive. It was fantastic, everywhere we looked we saw fishes swimming around. DJ showed us an octopus and we enjoyed our ‘fun dive’ very much.
Our second time we went a little deeper and we did some exercises on a beautiful spot. We had to take off our glasses and we had to practice what to do in case your oxygen was in trouble. During our last dive we had to show our skills and when we finished doing that DJ made it clear we were real divers now. We enjoyed the course and the diving very much and we are looking forward to more diving at beautiful places.
During our last days on Antiparros we were looking forward to cycling again. We arranged tickets back to Pireaus and we booked a hostel in Athens online. We had to wait two days before we could go but we left Antiparros as two ‘buddies’ to go to Athens. Here we had to go trough the crowded traffic again where we reached our hostel late in the evening.
For the first time during our trip we are sleeping in a hostel. It’s something different than arriving n a campsite. It’s also nice to sleep on a real mattress instead of the hard sleepers in the tent. Marlous isn’t feeling very well at the moment, but we decided to have a look in the city centre. When we arrive at the Akropolis it is not very crowded and we buy two tickets. But when we walk to the entrance everything changes and we only see big groups of loudly people walking around step by step. As we look up at the Akropolis is black of people. We weren’t looking forward in moving around in this mass of people so we return our tickets at the office and change them for two tickets for an open air concert at a beautiful and old theater below the Akropolis.