meeting on a sandstretch

In the morning all places are still closed. I read in the café to kill time and so surprise the owner when she arrives. Today we speak English for some reason. So she still didn't believe that I could be Greek.

I take some pie from the bakery and a car from next door. The man asks if I like the car outside. I don't have any feelings for this car, it is a small weird thing. I guess it goes where I want to go. The car comes with a sketchy map where the red line marks a paved road, yellow line a non-paved road where I have to be careful and a black dotted line a very unpaved road where I have to be very careful. A big part of my planned itinerary goes along the black dotted line but I don't tell this to the man. He marks the most popular beaches on the map where I don't intend to go and shows me how the car works. The car works as usual.
A couple of times I drive past the road to Agrelidi before I understand that it's a road. Signs are obviously for the weak.
I have a map with hiking trails marked on it and it says proudly that the trails have been designed in collaboration with the municipality of Astypalea and waymarked with red-white signs. Not a word of the Swiss volunteers. The beginning is hazy. Certainly there have been goats and not someone with a paint brush. Knowing a bit of the work and bureaucracy style of the Greeks the goats could well be on the payroll of the municipality. They've done everything within their power but used excrements instead of paint. Junipers and sharp rocks. Some cliffs. A bird panics above, later others join it. Panicking birds are not aggressive here like they are in Iceland. It must be a medical condition to compare everything with Iceland. Then again, the thorny plant is the same that grew in Dasht-e-Kavir desert in Iran. Anyway, it does not look like I'm on the trail. But the funny thing is that where the map announces built steps there is a man-made row of stones and where should be caves are two holes. I've just localized the road when a minibus drives past. Someone leans his head out of the car to look at me. There shouldn't be anything so special. The road goes to Panagia Poulariani church from where the trail continues to the beach. The bus stops at the church and now everyone is looking at me. I try to behave naturally until someone says hello in Estonian. The woman whose children yelled on the terrace in the morning is also with the group. They are all Estonians and on their way to the same beach where I'm going and where kayaks wait for them. They got the kayaks from a bearded guy who appears to be the leader of the group.
On the beach there really are kayaks and a lot of items hanging to dry. Beach is of course an overstatement. There's a minimalist stretch of sand, a bit of unruly water and a microscopic island on the other side with a chapel. Agios Fokas. Waves are high and conditions not good for swimming. I walk to the other shore and back. Then I drink coffee with the kayak party and eat their salad. It is a kayak camp of Kormoran Kayaks and they hang around here on the island for some time already. Now they wait for the wind to die down so they could paddle to Analipsi. The bearded man is called Mikk and he recommends me to go to a bay where I was planning to go anyway. First time I meet a person who knows Tilos and Nisyros. They kayak also in Norway and Greenland. Again it turns out that people are rather nice. Who wants to see Mikk can have a look at
I go back along the road because maybe it will rain and who knows what the rocks will be like when they're wet. It is longer but goes faster although there are a lot of picture stops. The views are new. Patches of light on the sea and sun rays in style of halos. No sign of the kayakers. It starts to rain about 200 meters before reaching the car.
No reading on the beach today and also no reading at dinner. I suddenly hear schwyzerdütsch and the Swiss invite me to their table. We talk endlessly about Greek islands and how as well they as me met a bunch of Estonians in the middle of nowhere.

lot of sand

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