Saturday 2nd July 2022
Not the Day We Had Planned
Given the unfortunate events of yesterday, we gave up our plan to visit some of the beaches around Naoussa and decided to stay local instead. Caroline hadn’t slept well due to her injuries and her knee mobility was worse than yesterday evening as the bruising and swelling had started to kick in.
Once again, we messed up our timing for breakfast at Symposium: despite arriving just after 9:15, the place was locked up and deserted. Rather than hanging around, we set off in search of somewhere else. We ended up walking almost back to the seafront further south from our hotel (Oasis) and found a place called Kakao. It had a nice balcony view across the road out to sea and the menu looked pretty reasonable. For €9.50, I had a set breakfast deal with bread, butter, jam, coffee, orange juice, yoghurt, honey and nuts. In spite of the accident, we managed to sit and happily reminisc on the week’s activities and made a plan to visit the local beach later.
Caroline had to vacate her room by 11 and it was almost 10:30 by the time we returned from breakfast, so she got her stuff organised and I helped her move her bags into my room so she didn’t have to carry all her belongings with her during the day. Her internal flight back to Athens wasn’t until 18:30 and she was planning on taking the 16:10 bus, so we still had a few hours to fill.
I got my beach stuff ready and we walked (well, I walked, Caroline limped) north around the coastal road to Parikia beach. It’s worth mentioning that the first beach you see heading north, Livadia Beach, is a nice sandy beach but quite rocky in the water and I spotted a few sea urchins on the one occasion we stopped there, so I don’t recommend it unless you just want to sunbathe without getting wet.
Parikia beach is the main stretch of sand further north. Here, the sea is much clearer in most places and it’s definitely worth the extra 2 minutes walking to get there. We put down our towels and spent an hour or two sunbathing. Caroline wasn’t able to swim due to her bandages, but I got in a couple of times and tried doing some laps in a floating lane rope assembly they’ve got, but the lanes aren’t very straight or wide so I gave up after a few lengths!
For lunch, we walked back towards the town and stopped at a gyros place called To Souvlaki Tou Pepe. I’d seen it a few times as we’ve walked past it, but this was our first time stopping to eat there. It’s always quite busy and today was no exception: the service was a bit slow, but the food was decent and quite cheap: €3.6 for a pork gyros and €2.5 for a Coke/Fanta.
Last Minute Sightseeing
Having done the beach and finished lunch by 13:00, we still had a few hours to spare before Caroline’s bus to the airport. We popped back to the hotel to shower as I was covered in salty sea water, then decided to just have a walk through the streets of Parikia and do some window shopping.
We also found the Frankish Castle which is a very odd-looking historic building, made up of bits of other ancient structures. We then stopped for a rather expensive, but tasty ice cream at a place called Dodoni:
Back to Solo Travelling
We returned to our hotel just after 15:00. I let Caroline use my bathroom to shower and change, and then helped bring her luggage downstairs. We walked over to the bus stop and chatted until her bus arrived, then I waved goodbye and headed back to the hotel, a solo traveller for the first time this trip. It’s been nice having company both on the mainland and on Paros, but I was looking forward to having some ‘me’ time again.
I chilled out in my room for a bit, then decided it was time to get active and go for a gym workout! I’d already scoped out a fitness centre not far from the hotel, imaginatively called The Gym. It took about 15 minutes to walk there, not including the detour via Ragoussis bakery to get an energy boost in the form of a Freddo espresso.
It was quite a small gym and had no air conditioning (something I’ve learned to expect in Greek gyms during the summer), but the equipment selection was decent and it wasn’t overly busy, so I managed to have a decent chest and shoulder workout. It felt good to be burning calories again instead of just consuming them! I took an almost full 1.5-litre bottle of water with me and kept working until I’d run out, by which time I was exhausted anyway and had made it through my usual routine.
It was nearly 7 by the time I left the gym. The walk back to the hotel was quite pleasant as the sun had lost its intensity and there was a nice breeze coming off the sea. Better still was the cool shower I had back in my room!
I’d purchased a protein shake from the mini market earlier in the day and decided that it would be enough as a post-workout snack and my dinner. I’ve been going over my food budget most days since I got to Paros and wanted to start economising a little. On that subject, I decided to pop back to the mini market to see if I could buy some breakfast ingredients and save even more money for the week ahead.