We arrived on Paros with little time to drop off our bags and hit the road. When my mom and I made our plans for the Greek isles we had a few activities on our to-do list. Ride donkeys, eat lots of Greek food, watch the sunset, go on a boat… well, one of those activities was to rent mopeds. My mom was afraid to ride a donkey up a hill… well, I’m afraid to drive a moped although when I was younger I found a gorgeous Puch moped for sale and was going to buy it. I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to things like that! I mean for goodness sakes the thing requires balance and I may be able to get the hang of that while just going straight down the road, but what about hills and turns??
Then my mom started getting scared but I wasn’t about to pass up a fun activity just because it seemed scary. I got her to settle on a quad. She was still scared but apparently it wasn’t the vehicle that scared her, just the fact that I’d be driving it. Thanks, mom. In the end we got one quad and two extremely sexy helmets.
Our first obstacle was getting gas. How the heck did that all work? And, I was just learning how to use the freakin’ quad. I mean I’ve driven 4-wheelers before but never had to start, stop, turn on, turn off, fill up, etc. with them. There are a lot of buttons! We were trying to figure out the map we had been given when this rugged man with leather and beads in his hair walked up to us. He was holding something in one hand, smiled and pulled out a HUGE FREAKIN KNIFE with the other. What the heck? He stuck out a block of cheese, hacked off two chunks, handed them to us and took the map. In some broken English he explained this was good native cheese and we should take a right. Um… whatever just happened I don’t know but I think I like this guy. His directions were right and his cheese was yummy.
We stopped at butterfly valley. Either we were early, or there are no butterflies in “butterfly valley,” which by the way is at the top of a hill not in a valley.
Then we were off for Aliki beach. Three words: relaxing, corona commercial. It was just the sound of the waves and a beautiful landscape for miles.
Next we hit the road. It was so fun! We were on these little hardly paved roads winding through hills and mountains. The main roads loops around the island, staying fairly close to the coast. We took this road to the next beach, Punda Bay. The ads for this place looked so promising but apparently this beach resort/party/club doesn’t even open until peak season. Oh well, their loss… they could’ve enjoyed taking ouzo shots with me and my mom.
We were starving and it was mid afternoon, so we headed in search of food. The next town had little cafés, which are not cafés at all, but “watering holes” as my mother calls them. We were the only women in sight, surrounded by rough-looking Greek men grabbing some cold ones on their break. Um… they didn’t even have a menu so we nervously ordered a Greek salad. Turns out it was the most delicious Greek salad we have tasted.
We motored off (haha) towards Noussa, a harbor town situated at the top of the island. Here we found adorable shops, adorable homeless kittens and delicious ice cream. It was more like gelato but I don’t want to take the glory from Italy’s amazing gelato. After shopping our lives away for tourist presents and souvenirs for friends, we hopped on our quad to head back to the main town, Parikia. Well too bad for us, our quad didn’t want to start. We struggled and fought with it for awhile. I don’t know what I did but we finally got a rumble and then the engine started. Thank god! We were so worried it’d turn off again, I hit the gas and we readjusted our newly acquired bags on the fly.
We finished off with a dinner served next to the sea. A perfect end to a perfect day. My mom couldn’t stop smiling and saying how awesome the whole thing was… I think it’s safe to say she got over her fear of my driving.
Our view of the sun setting from the front steps of our hotel.