The Long Road Home

When we settled up the next day it became apparent at how much more reasonable Greece is than other parts of Europe. Our entire stay at Harry’s Villas, for 10 nights, including all the food we ate and unlimited wine we drank rang up to roughly 400 euros each. That’s about $50 a day. AMAZING.

Baller Blaine Photo: Erik Moore

It may be easy to get to Kalymnos from Germany, but getting home is no breeze. We had to return scooters, all get to Pothia, and then take a ferry to Kos. Upon arrival in Kos, the rest of the crew who was flying out that afternoon had hours to kill. My flight out didn’t leave until the next morning.

Photo: Erik Moore

None of us had taken showers in a few days because there had been no hot water. We were all tired from the revelry the night before and Greg, now that climbing was no longer on his agenda, was feeling pretty beat up from his scooter accident and lingering bruising. While I was sad to see my friends go, I did not envy their road home which included a 10 hour layover in Paris. Short enough to be really awful and hardly long enough to be worthwhile.

I left them in search of the hotel I’d arranged to stay at in another town on the island of Kos, dreaming of a nap and a warm shower. I had been a bit nervous about accommodation on Kos as every time I tried to arrange them the internet sites said that rooms were unavailable. It wasn’t that they were sold out – it was that there was NO ONE there. I was the ONLY guest in my hotel that night and apparently the whole week so despite the fact that it had been cloudy for days, I was able to take not one but two hot showers.

I found an internet cafe and spent a few euros interneting my heart out and then wandered around the streets for awhile before finally settling down to dinner at a restaurant on the main tourist strip. The owner of my hotel came by at one point and spoke with my waiter: they are apparently close friends. Funny how even though the town I was in seemed so much larger than any of those in Kos, the community was still small.

Kos is a Euro party town and it was apparent, even with empty streets. The town is littered with four times as many restaurants as any of the towns in Kalymnos and there were a ton of discos and bars. The owner of my hotel, Kostas, told me that during the summer the streets are packed with tourists. I had a really nice long conversation with him that evening about Greece’s economic woes, the difference between the Greek people and Americans, and travel. Kostas was very interested in my trip to Cuba that we took a few years back and was also excited to close up his hotel for the winter and head to Thailand, where he would be helping out a friend.

His hotel, the Origin Hotel and Apartments, offered rooms similar to that in our villa at Harry’s: nondescript plain furnishings, a small kitchenette, and a tiny bathroom. Nothing fancy, but welcome and economically priced. I paid 20 euros to stay the evening.

The next morning I flew out of Kos to start the long way home, which was far more difficult than traveling to Germany. 4 planes, 35 hours and 5 different airports. Not my idea of a good time. But worth the adventure that we had.

Photo: Greg Brooks

If you would like to see all of Erik’s photos from Kalymnos, you may do so here. If you would like to see all of Greg’s photos from Kalymnos, you may do so here.

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