Pink sky after sunset with a view of Naxos

Time to Leave Paros: Weekly Update 6/3/22

After nearly four months on Paros, my winter accommodation was up this week. It was so nice to be in one place for a while and I enjoyed cosying up at “home”. Apart from a few day trips to Naxos and one to walk the Santorini Caldera I stayed close to my desk (oh apart from that week next door in Turkey). I used the winter to catch up on this site and do some volunteering for Paroscat.

My Beautiful Winter View

Logistics of Travelling with Pets

Getting ready to leave was a bit hectic. The logistics always take a bit of planning when I’m moving with the cats but I managed it. Monday morning was relatively relaxed. I packed the last bits and said goodbye to the outdoor cats (sob). I became very fond of the two black and white ones in particular – anyone able to give them a proper home?

I loaded up the car and we headed to the port making a quick stop at the couriers en route. I ordered a travel litter tray and collapsable bowls for the cats to make it easier when I get a cabin on the ferries. Then it was on to the port where I dumped my luggage before dropping off the hire car.

Winter Clothes = Too Much Luggage

A combination of winter clothes, being in one place for 4 months and acquiring a few more tech bits and pieces means that I currently have three bags of stuff. It’s too much and I’ll whittle that down when the threat of snow goes.

Anyway, everything was fine with the car – highly recommend Travel To Paros who did me a really good monthly deal for the winter. They also do tours and luggage storage so keep in mind if you’re going to Paros.

After leaving the car I walked back to the port with the cats. I waited with my bags close to where the boat docks instead of in the proper waiting area. We got a Seajets boat which is one of the fast, catamaran-style ferries. They don’t hang about since they have foot passengers only. So I needed everything close by to dash on and dump the cats and then run back for my luggage.

Travelling to Syros

All went smoothly and we started the first leg of the journey to Tinos. I sat up in the business section as it’s quieter and the seats at the front have a lot of space for the cat boxes. Thankfully the cats calmed as the boat started moving for the 50-minute hop.

Getting to Tinos in the winter means a stop in Syros as there are no direct ferries. If I’d been on my own I’d have got the evening ferry to Tinos. But again with the cats, there are extra logistics to consider. So I booked a studio overnight.

Car Hire Drama

Hiring a car was cheaper than getting taxis there and back. (I didn’t want to stay near the port as I needed somewhere with car access and there are lots of steep steps in Ermouploi.) But collecting it was a bit of a palava.

I’ve used Avance quite a bit recently as they’re on lots of islands and open during the winter. But there was a mix-up in Syros. They used to have an office there and their system still thought they did. So when I arrived at the third-party place that was providing the car, they have no record of the booking.

Syros Port in the Summer

I nearly cried just getting to the car hire place as I thought someone was meeting me at the actual port. It was only a few hundred meters to the office but it’s really difficult to carry 11kg of cat and three suitcases with two hands. I think the people sitting outdoors at the cafes must have thought I was mad, struggling with all my stuff.

Anyway Maistrali Car Rental sorted me out with an upgrade. And when I returned the next day the helpful guy dropped me at the port and helped me with my bags.

Travelling to Tinos

The next morning I got the cats back in their boxes, much to their chagrin. We headed back to the port, this time to catch the much larger Blue Star Paros boat. Usually, with the Blue Star ferries, I run on with the cats while the vehicles are being off-loaded and then go back for my luggage.

But at Syros they always keep you locked in the passenger cage until the last minute. (It’s a bit hazardous otherwise there.) I know it’s my choice to travel with cats but people aren’t at all empathetic. Everyone just pushes ahead so I was stressing about the plank coming up before I’d gone back to collect my luggage. But I managed it with the help of the port police and ferry officers.

Arriving in Tinos

The ferry was delayed and then the journey took a bit longer than scheduled. But after about 40 minutes we arrived in Tinos. I waited until the last minute to get off because the cats HATE getting off the ferry. It’s really noisy and everything’s vibrating and juddering about. The last time we were on the Blue Star Paros one of my cats got out of the box so I was having flashbacks about that! (A story for another time..)

After getting off the ferry it was time to pick up another hire car. I called ahead to the Avance office to check whether they were actually meeting me at the port. They said not but then called me back to say they would. In the event, they didn’t. So I had another HIIT workout dragging 40+kg of stuff up to the office (there’s a 12kg kettlebell in there don’t ya know!)

Summer Houses in Winter

I finally made it to the place I’m staying at for a couple of weeks. Tuesday was a bit miserable as it was so cold. A lot of houses on the Greek islands are summer houses only. This one supposedly had heating but the heating function on the AC unit doesn’t effectively heat up the room. So I went and bought a couple of fan heaters and that made things much better.

Luckily there’s a water heater and a good-sized tank too. Some of the houses only have solar water heaters so if it’s a rainy day you’re cold AND you have no hot water. In the summer it’s no problem but in the winter it’s not fun.

The Plan for Tinos

The plan here is to enjoy the hiking I couldn’t do in summer when it was super hot. I also want to finish up all my Tinos posts for the site. I’m in a lovely quiet spot with no other distractions so, weather permitting, it should work out.

What’s Next?

I’ll be in Tinos for another week although I’m thinking of extending that. It’s still early in the season to experience some of the other things I want to write about on other islands. I have lots of ideas and routes planned out but the timing is yet to be decided.

In the meantime, I’ll be sharing more of Tinos and I’ll keep you up to date with what I decide to do next when I know myself!

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