Fresh & Salty

Most of Kythira looks like a moonrock – it’s mostly covered in low scrub – so the village of Milopotamos is a breath of fresh air. While there’s still plenty of scrub, the section of the village that runs along the river has actual trees! Jocelyn and I explored this area in a hike to the town’s waterfalls and ancient watermills.

 

This hike is well-marked and not overly strenuous, though we did not take it all the way to the bottom. The first thing you pass is the Neraida waterfall – at 30 meters, the largest of the bunch. At this point in June, it was little more than a trickle, but it was still beautiful.

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This trail has all sorts of unexpected features. You might stumble on things like this door to nowhere …

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… a plum tree …

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… a closed up taverna with a beautiful garden and great views …

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… and unlabeled walls (this might have been an old watermill, or a house, or something else entirely – we’re just not sure).

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Eventually you come to what appear to be the ruins of watermills. In total, twenty-three mills line the trail, though in turning back early, we think we missed most of them.

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Our favorite part of the hike was this second waterfall, unmarked and unnamed (and impossible to photograph). Mossy rocks cascaded into a perfectly light jade green pool.

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We swam and had a great time there.

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On our return to our Airbnb apartment, we were thrilled to find that our hosts had left us a bowl of fresh strawberries from their garden!

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These were excellent strawberries of the melt in your mouth variety. We have no idea how much irrigation it takes to grown them in this dry region (though we did see our hosts checking the town cistern down by the river), but we were grateful for the gift.

Our next excursion took us south to the small town of Livadi, where we stopped in at a taverna called Pierros. If I could return to just one restaurant in Kythira, this would be it. All of their food was delicious.

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That eggplant with tomato sauce was out of this world. It mystifies me how they make such good eggplant around here.

Most excitingly, they had figs! We have been missing figs on this trip, because we loved the figs that we found all over the place when we were last here in late July/early August. So this was an exciting dessert.

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After lunch, we headed down to Kapsali for a swim.

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This was by far the most organized and crowded beach we saw on the island.

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The area just behind the beach is lined with wall-to-wall tavernas, ice cream shops, and coffee shops.

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The beach has a great view up to the old castle of the capital city, Chora.

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We retreated from Kapsali after an hour or so, looking for someplace a little quieter. We found it at Chalkos, which we really loved (it’s in our top three beaches of Kythira, with Kaladi taking first place and Kalami taking second).

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I had a great time swimming out to and diving off of the rocks!

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On our way back up the road, we stopped at a tiny farmers market in Livadi. They were selling products that were clearly very local.

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We bought some cheese, honey, walnuts soaked in honey, and a local cinnamon liqueur.IMG_2304

For dinner, we drove back to Avlemonas for a mediocre dinner at Skandia with our new British friends Jacqui and Guy, whom we had met on the ferry from Neapoli to Kythira. The food was ok — if you go, it’s worth trying the eggplant cooked with wheatberries that have been soaked in goat’s milk — but the conversation was great. It’s always fun to make new travel friends.

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