Sometimes it is essential to pause, to take a break from something and continuing a journey sometimes takes longer than anticipated. The journey to Paros from Naxos was not a long one, it has just taken longer to tell it. Paros is typical of many of the islands in the Cyclades, peppered with whitewashed buildings, blue domes and Taverna tables. It is one of the lesser known and comparatively quieter islands but its hub at Parikia is a vibrant port, a key transportation route and fishing base for the island.
It was down the road from here, close to Livado beach, that I stayed in a modest but beautiful boutique hotel, owned and managed by two brothers and their father who had fished the seas around Paros for over 30 years. He still dressed in the uniform of the seas and every morning as he served breakfast he looked like any minute he was off to captain a boat.
I should have known that with his experience and probably his sons too, their understanding of what might be regarded as choppy seas might be different from mine. I do not have good sea legs but I wanted to take the opportunity to see other islands. The short boat ride to Anti- Paros had probably lulled me into a false sense of security. But still I found myself making my way to Naoussa for a ‘cruise’ to Delos and Mykonos.
The boat looked substantial which reassured me and as we sailed away from the harbour I took comfort from the gentle waters. Inside the music played as we lounged in something reminiscent of the 1970s Loveboat. As we took to sea though, the calm changed as we crashed over the seas. Soon the sick bags were out and I was hoping for the destination to arrive quickly. It truly was a surreal moment as Zorba the Greek played through the boat and a Mr Bean film played on the TV.
Delos, the first stop for the boat was an island that felt like a living an evolving museum, a place of artefacts and emerging excavations. In its heyday, the houses would be filled, the markets full of traders, theatres packed during celebrations. Now it has no inhabitants, just a steady flow of archaeologists and the curious. If this was as an island of celebration of Apollo in years gone by, its nearest neighbour Mykonos is now an island for present parties. It was a pleasant place for lunch and a few hours but I was glad that I had stayed on the more authentic Paros.