I'm undecided if I should stay up for the couple of hours before the ferry or get some sleep. Finally I lay down and constantly dream of missing the ferry. Loud thunder outside.
2:15 in the night and Kos does not sleep. From a side street comes a women with rolling suitcase, couples walk on the beachfront and disco leaks out from a door. Otherwise there are splashing of waves, full moon and sweet wind.
All in all is Kos a rather awful place. Full of bars and playboys. I guess that main customers define the services on offer. I simply don't belong to the target group.
A yellow vest approaches in the harbour and says that the direction is correct but recommends to wait in the café. The ferry will be one hour late. Damn, I could of slept for one more hour. Then again it is more convenient to reach Tilos 6:40 instead of 5:40. The ferry is actually only half an hour late. In the big cafe on the ferry people sleep on couches. I also find a place. When loudspeaker announces Nisyros and I lift my head, I see hair. A young man has appeared on the other half of the couch. He sleeps, clutching a rosary.
A little after six the ferry enters the dark harbour of Tilos. There is a surprising amount of people and something is photographed. I start a search in the village. The address of the hotel in booking.com was rather laconic: Livadia, Main Street. Difficult to guess which one of the tiny alleys is the main street. No sight of the hotel although there are a lot of other hotels and from a window a lady enthusiastically offers a room in the same house. On the background is colorful sunrise and rainbow. Smells of incense. In a rather hopless mood I reach the highest house of the village and around the corner see the sign 'Sea View Hotel'. Well, well. The doors are locked, I break in to the terrace café. A sign on the door asks people to feel at home. Birds and crows sing. At around nine comes a young man. We manage to have quite a long dialog before I have to admit that I actually don't speak that much Greek. He's a truck driver and came to the island because of work. Lives in Athens. Shakes his head for a long time wondering about the fact that someone has arrived from the country of penguins and intends to go back there. He has been to Canada with 10 degrees Celsius below zero and got a psycotrauma because of it.
Finally comes Sylvia, the hostess. She explains that she was in the harbour in the night to send someone off to the ferry and waved with the hotel sign. Nice, but if someone is taking pictures then I escape without looking around. I get an awesome room, big balcony with wicker furniture and sunshade, kitchen corner, two tables, sofa, view over the village and bay. Cool. And I can get breakfast right away.
Two young ladies have also come to breakfast and are deep in discussion with the truck driver. So I get to look around in peace.
Seems like it will be a nice day despite the clouds. I take some stuff for a walk and go down to look for Omonia taverna. The trail should start next to it. The taverna is there and the trail comes back to the hotel to pass it. But I need the taverna in the evening anyway. Most of the trail is monopati, narrow path fringed with stones through an olive grove. Lizards escape from the way, some of them are huge. Cloud comes and goes, promised heat is nowhere to be seen. After some while I arrive in Mikro Horio or small village. It is abandoned and mostly in ruins except for the church and a few houses. Young local people have parties in summer in one of those. There's a scooter in the end of the road. Looks unnaturally bright next to the gray houses. I can hear a child crying and some other voices. Try to convince myself that these belong to the scooter. I wonder around, voices appear and disappear, a twinkle of a goat, then two people. The church is locked, next to the chapel is a small cemetery.
The trail continues in a dry river canyon that is described as 'wildly romantic' and one has to climb around boulders and oleander bushes. The place is especially romantic for a goat herd that escapes from my way. I manage to get them into a nice tight group in the end. The trail should be unmarked but is pretty well treaded and marked with some crains. Only once I loose the right path and have to crawl under some trees. There are occasional flying cockroaches, especially near to the water. A lot of tall white flowers.
I reach Lethra beach with ink-blue water. On the other end are two people, otherwise only the sound of the sea. I stumble on the rocks, it goes deep fast. It is not exactly swimming, more like trying not to hit myself against the rocks in moving water. The water has an Estonian-summer-temperature. I hang around for some time but then continue following the promise of a more deserted beach ahead. There's a wide nice path on the side of a mountain. Unfortunately I miss the turn-off for the other beach and are too lazy to go back. Before Levadia there's a gate with a sign "Don't walk on the path to Lethra". Already done.
Siesta in the village. I still manage to get iced coffee and sandwitch. A lot of cats here.
I settle on on my balcony until the sun disappears around the corner. White houses glisten below between trees. A small bus wrattles up the hill. Some yachts have arrived to the harbour.
Between seven and eight I have to meet Lyn and Iain in Omonia taverna. They are Scots who live already 18 years on Tilos and organize treks. Also to places with no trails. Around the table are four people, two of them from Finland. Anna and Akseli. We form an Finno-Ugric brotherhood during which me and Anna drink many beers. Akseli drinks coke. I have seldom met Finns who are glad to see Estonians but Anna had an Estonian boyfriend once.
We will meet at half past seven tomorrow morning. When back at the hotel I tell Sylvia not to think that I'm dead or escaped when I don't come to breakfast.

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