Med – Milos Island, Greece

Chantal a friend of mine phoned and said why didn’t I go with her on a trip to Greece in the autumn around Milos Island? The weather would still be warm at the end of October and the winds would be variable. I had two friends from the Club who had been and said it was the best holiday they had ever had, so I was eager to go.

We met up in Athens before connecting to the Milos flights which leave before mid-day.

Rod Feldtman, a really good paddler, runs the Sea Kayak Greece company on Milos. He is a geologist who fell in love with a Greek girl when working in Milos, married her,and now has two children and goes back to Australia with his family in the winter. We were the last trip of the season although there was another group camping as they circumnavigated the island. Chantal and I stayed in studio apartments belonging to Rod’s Greek relatives and met up with the other people in the group in the evenings to visit the local tavernas. The others had rooms above the bar owned by Rod’s father in law who gave us ouzu in the evenings after supper.

Each day Rod took us to a different part of the island, we would pick up the kayaks, put them on his trailer and head for a beach. He provided packed lunches which he would spread out on the rocks with improvised tables he kept in various hidden places at the beaches. We explored caves, one of which was like a sauna with underground hot springs, old sulphur mines and an ancient house where shepherds have stayed since classical times surrounded by terraces stretching across the hills around. We wondered how they could have had the manpower to build these rows and rows of dry stone walls, presumably slaves did it in classical times.

There were varying abilities in our group, one very vivacious and fun woman came on her own from Alaska and was only used to still waters but after day three she had relaxed and was paddling like the rest of us. Rod took her in a double whenever it was a bit blustery. Two people were river paddlers from Basingstoke. Another couple paddlled in a double as the wife was a beginner. The rest of us were fairly experienced and had fun when he took us to the Bears, two enormous rocks where the water gushed through and we all tried to paddle through. Only one capsized a man keen to make it through whatever the height of the waves. That was the only capsize all week.

On Friday we paddled across to Kimilos island, all going in doubles as the wind was F5 gusting F6. We met a donkey on the beach there which tried to eat our lunch until Rod fashioned a great halter from his tow rope but the donkey did manage to give a nip to Bev our kayaker from Alaska on her lovely ample bosom.

At the end of each day we did rolling practice for those who wanted in the warmer sea than the Solent. We had varyiable weather but it was warm enough to swim in the lagoon beyond the caves on one day. The trips were planned to use the wind to help us. I think we only had one day pushing against the wind for more than an hour. Every evening we had hot showers and It was easy to dry all our gear in Rod's huge garage. We hired a car between four of us which cost us each about twenty five pounds so we could explore different places to eat and get to and from the airport easily.

Rod charges by the day so it’s easy to arrange a holiday. Flying back it is possible to connect with the flights from Athens without staying overnight. For anyone who is a beginner it is a good holiday as they could go in a double with Rod or someone else and not get too tired but still join in. He adjusts the trips to the skills of the group and you will be happy to know he was impressed with people who had come from the Portsmouth Canoe Club and thought we were star paddlers.

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