We are still in the harbour of Katapola on Amorgos. It is raining. First autumn rains, good for the biological gardener that we discovered when we came back from our trip to the monastery Chozoviotissa and Chora, the village above the harbour on the mountain. Otto had been visiting the two before and was very enthusiastic about it.
Kees, Akul and me went up the mountain on the old road, partly with steps. There was a beautiful view on the harbour and the villages below and after a bend we could see the snowwhite village on top: Chora.
We passed it because we wanted to reach the monastery before closing time at one. The road went down towards the sea and after a while we saw it: high up on the rock, a white spot. When we came closer we saw how a very high, narrow building is leaning against the rock, melting into it and on the very top the church.
From the parking lot there were many steps going up and more steps to the entrance and inside a narrow staircase to the kitchen and living room, from there another stair to the church. I was attracted to the breathtaking views from the windows down to the turquoise sea before I gave attention to the inner rooms and the icons.
A young man explained how the icon of the Panagia, all covered in silver besides the face, came from Palestine to be safe from the Turkish. The seamen were attracted to the rocky coast of Amorgos and brought their precious Madonna on land. Because of the existence of the icon a monastery was build. It was started in 812 and finished about 250 years later. Now there are 2 monks living there, in good times there were about 70.
Kees involved the young volunteer in a talk about spiritual questions while we took the spirit in form of a liqueurtje, that the visitors got from one of the fathers. A thank you from Kees in the guest-book was what we left behind.
Now the steps up to the village, quite a challenge. The reward was a very nice Taverna we found and guess, who has found it before us? Otto was there already. We had lunch and a cappuccino and a beer and the sun was shining and the music a mix of New Age and Mozart. We felt like in heaven.
That was yesterday, now we are in another small harbour, still on Amorgos, with an old village towering above it. Before sunset I went up the mountain and was in awe again about another Cycladic village, no cars possible, just steps and small pathways and again steps leading to the houses, white cubes with blue shutters and doors and the magenta of the bougainvilleas in front.
Before we came here, Otto and Akul went to the biological farm again, Nontas and Valeria and Sofia showed them around and they came back with more goodies.
After the rain stopped we went on the motor towards Aigiali where we are now and did a “man over board” exercise. The sea was quiet, so the challenging part of high waves and wind was missing, but it was still challenging enough. First without sails, the main thing was how to steer the boat in such a way that we ended up with the ladder towards the drenkeling so that we could pick him up. Of course we had sent him all kind of helps like a buoy and a floating rope, but he could not use them because he was a jerrycan. After that we did the same with sails. After the motor had been started the genua had to be rolled up, so that the boat could be manoevered easier.
Then a little wind came up and we sailed with genua and mainsail towards our destination Aigiali on the eastern end of Amorgos.
Now we have to go to bed soon, the plan is to leave tomorrow early to where the wind takes us, either Patmos or Leros.