This day, Tuesday October 4th, Linda and I had wanted to go on an excursion “Santorini by boat” but unfortunately it was already full way back when and so as an alternative we decided to go for “Volcanic Santorini”. I was apprehensive that either one of us could do it because everthing indicated that it was only for the very fit.  But……if you know anything about me, you know I will try with everything not to give in.  Well……both of us made it to the top and back.  Yeah for us!  We were huffing and puffing, sweat was dripping off my face and into my eyes.  Coming back down was equally  as difficult for me atleast…..because of knee issues.  It was an endurance test for sure.  I am so glad I had my walking poles.  There were three calderas to this island of Nea Kameni or “new burn” in English.  The last still being active with sulphur smoke escaping out of the cracks.  In this area there are hundred of “statues” created by tourists out of the rocks (which are plentiful).  Also in several areas, there were scientific gauges and whatnot so that they can determine when the next eruption will occur.  It was totally barren ….absolutely nothing for anything to exist on.  I think our guide said only rats, lizards, snakes and a few rabbits survive there because there is no water only that that is created by the humidity deposited under or between the cracks in rocks. It is an ugly environment…….the view though is quite spectacular.  

Also part of the tour was to stop near the “old burn” island as opposed to the new burn where one old hermit lives with his goats, to swim I n the sulphur pool.  I don’t think any of us realized that we had to either dive or climb down by ladder and then swim 50 metres to get to it.  Only three of us….all women chose to swim to it.  Again, I made it.  Yeah!

After we returned to the old port of Thira, we had a choice of riding up  to Fira the town via the trail by donkey (We looked at those poor animals and said no way),walk up this trail or we could take the cable cars.  We took the cable cars.  As we were getting off we realized that that was a mistake to venture there.  The lineup was horrendously long.  Upon seeing that we just couldn’t relax enough to really look around and/or shop.  We had something to eat…a smallish pizza that left a lot to be desired that we shared, an ice tea and Smirnoff Ice.  The bill…32€ or about $45+.  We then got in line to get back on the cable cars…….a ninety minute wait.  If there are many ships in port….(there were 5, most being bigger than us.  Probably with an excess of 10,000 passengers), I would advise against going up.  I would say never again.  I had been here before….in 2011.  It didn’t impress me this time as it did my first time.  I don’t need to come here again.

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