I awake to long blasts of the ship’s horn. Figuring the ferry is pulling into one of the first stops, I grab my camera and head above deck. Expecting to see Ios or Naxos, I instead recognize the rock walls and caldera of Santorini, the last stop. Passengers are pulling luggage through the halls and toward their cars on the vehicle deck. A family is applying suncreen at the stairs to the exit. It’s not yet 8 am but I’m not the only one salivating for gyros on shore.
Swimming a few hundred metres from the shore of Perivolous beach, I pause to look back to shore. The early evening sun is still warm and bright and soaking everything in a luxurious, golden hue. The water is calm and exquisitely refreshing after a day spent lounging on the sand.
I came to Ayvalik, Turkey, for a photo. A photo, more specifically, of the incredible beach with its coloured umbrellas and food and mountainous Greek isles on the horizon. This is the image on the cover of my guidebook, and I’m clearly poaching their idea.
Despite the theft of my wallet and the ensuing hassle that caused, Lisbon (are its residents called “Lisbians”?) was nice. Any city moves up in my rankings when it can offer me an enormous meal of a whole fish, soup, potatoes and vegetables for less than five dollars.
Run to the ocean, run to the sea.” Or, in my case, run straight back into a major snowstorm whose howling winds scream “Welcome back, sucker!” The yin and yang of travel continued to the end. The bitter, cold, snowy, icy, sucky end.
Abel Tasman National Park has golden beaches and water so clear that kayaks in shallow water simply appear to be floating in space. I bask in the sun and climb some of the 57 km of trails that wind and twist through dense trees. I wander beaches and explore tiny side trails.