The journey from home, via Rhodes, had been uneventful once we had negotiated the flight delay accompanied by no less than four seat changes, both a hangover from the previous weeks’ air traffic control disruptions. Once we landed though, the journey was far more relaxing. Catching a ferry from the small port of Kamirou Skala made a pleasant change from the busy ports around Rhodes Town. The Althemenis restaurant makes a pleasant place to wait for your ferry and which has rooms if you need them (although availability may well be an issue and I would recommend booking ahead).
We arrived in Tilos after sunset, which was a shame but we were escorted seamlessly to our rooms in Ilidi Rock (luggage travelling in style in the minibus – some of us wished we were on that minibus as we struggled up those steps all the way to reception).
Next morning we woke to a picture-perfect Livadia harbour, framed by bougainvillea of course and we toddled off to the meeting from our Sunvil rep, Ian. Ian has a phenomenal memory, a gift for organising and a very big heart. After memorising an order for complementary drinks for 25 of us and delivering every drink to the right person, he announced that he had to leave immediately as one of our number had fallen and suffered an injury. Ian was to ferry her to the doctors for stitches. We also found out that he is the pied piper of cats; having set up the Tilos Animal Welfare scheme, he appears to be recognised by every cat on the island, and they follow him from restaurant to ferry port and beyond. Most importantly, he is a proficient teller of (tall?) tales as we were to discover on our tour to Nisyros.
The weather was incredibly hot for September while we were on Tilos, around 30° every day and walking wasn’t easy in that heat. If we’d been sensible we would have woken early and left by, say 8am at the earliest, to get a good couple of hours walking before retiring to a taverna. On our first day we walked to Agios Ioannes church, a deceptively simple walk up a very steep hill. we left it to the afternoon when the UV was lower, but, unfortunately the temperature wasn’t. Dehydration is not a pleasant thing. Half-way up the hill, I was short of breath, shaking and was that a pain in my chest? No it wasn’t, it was just dramatic tension. Nevertheless it wasn’t pleasant. But it was worth it for the view, the shade and the fragrant, cool, calming church at the top of that hill.
Further walks were shorter/undertaken in full coverings/earlier in the day and, always, slowly.
We didn’t eat much outside of Livadia. In fact the only exception to this was En Plo, the restaurant we stopped at near Eristos Beach – lovely fresh veggie dishes.
In Livadia we liked; Gorgonia Restaurant, Omanoia Cafe, Armenon, Kritikos and Taverna Michalis.
Sunvil Guide Ian arranged a trip to Nisyros. Perfectly organised by Ian, we were a small convivial group and we were entertained and looked after very well all day. We dined in the Taverna to Balconi Tou Emporeiou- great views and a fantastic story compellingly related by Ian. Anyone with an interest in Second World War history would do well to visit this restaurant with its incredible view of Nisyros’ volcano.