A view of fishing boats docked near the Venetian fortress at Naoussa harbour just as sunshine begins breaking through thick morning stormclouds
[This is the third and final instalment of my report on my May 2012 visit to Paros. The first part included photos from my arrival day on the island, while the second segment featured extensive photos and information about a day I spent exploring the town of Naoussa, where I was staying.]
Thursday May 24 2012
Sudden storms: Much to my chagrin, the weird weather pattern I had experienced on Mykonos — no more than two consecutive days of sunshine — continued on Paros. After two beautiful bright clear days, clouds had rolled in and completely filled the sky.
I should not have been surprised to see the grey sky and dull light when I opened the curtains in my room. After all, stormclouds had moved in during the previous evening, and it looked like Paros was going to get a downpour at some point. But the stone floor of my terrace was dry, suggesting there had not been any overnight rain (I doubt I would have heard rain in any event; I had been so tired from all my walking on Wednesday that I slept like a log, and probably would have snored through a hurricane).
Photo features: There are more than 692 million photos in hundreds of thousands of separate albums on Webshots.com, and today my “Cats and kittens in the Greek Islands” collection from 2009 was named Featured Album of the day! I have a second Webshots album of cats and kittens from 2011 which I published in an April 21 2012 post, and I am currently compiling a third from pics I took during my trip to Greece in May. I’ll post a link to that album once it’s ready for viewing.
My photos have been enjoying a good week on Webshots. On June 17, my pictures of Kolimbithres beach on Paros, which I had featured in the blog only one day earlier, were named Member’s Choice Beach Album.
Unfortunately, the company that owned Webshots decided to shut down the photo album website effective December 1 2012, so my albums are no longer available for viewing on that site. I have recreated them on the mygreecetravelblog.com Facebook page, however, so you can now view them there — even if you don’t have a Facebook account. To access the albums, click on the link provided under each photo below.
This photo of two cats near Gagou Beach on Samos island is among dozens of cat and kitten pictures in my Cats in Greece #1 album on the mygreecetravelblog.com Facebook page.
Dozens more photos of the beach and surrounding Kolimbithres area can be viewed in my Paros 2012: Kolimbithres Beach album on the mygreecetravelblog.com Facebook page.
One of the sandy beach coves at Kolimbithres on Paros
Cozy coves: As things turned out, May 24 2012 was not a good day to hit the beach on Paros. Although it was sunny when I went for breakfast, a rainstorm gave Naoussa a brief but thorough soaking in late morning before strong winds blew the clouds out to sea. It turned sunny again, but the winds refused to let up. Because of the blustery conditions, it wasn’t a good day for cycling, either. But since it was my last full day on the island, I decided to rent a mountain bike from a cycle shop in Naoussa regardless, and rode off to see two beaches on the far side of the bay.
The mainly downhill bike ride to from Naoussa to Kolimbithres took only 15 minutes, and I arrived to find the area completely deserted. I shouldn’t have been surprised — it was just too damned windy near the water! In fact, when I stopped riding and hopped off my bike, I nearly got blown over by a fierce gust of wind that sprayed me with a light mist of salt water. Since I had come all that way, though, I thought I would tough it out for awhile and see if I could at least take some photos and videos of what people have told me is one of their favourite beaches in the Greek Islands. I could see why they liked it so much.
Smooth brown sand and crystal-clear turquoise water
Kolimbithres “beach” actually is several cozy coves nestled between grey and brown coastal rock formations that have been buffed smooth by centuries of wind and waves. From certain angles, the smooth-sided stones on one of the long rock outcroppings looked organic, resembling the body of a giant beast like a rhinoceros or a dinosaur that had collapsed face-first into the water. Each cove has a beach of hard-packed soft brown sand (with some pebbles in places) leading into the crystal-clear shallow waters of the bay, with excellent views of Naoussa, farms and hillsides.
If it had not been so windy, Kolimbithres probably would have been packed with people that day. The beach and the gorgeous greenish-blue water looked so inviting, I was tempted to take a dip, but I knew better than to challenge the fast-moving waves. As it was, my ears were throbbing from the relentless blasts of wind, and it actually felt cool standing near the water’s edge. I had to pull on my windbreaker to keep from getting a chill, and the steady gusts of wind made it difficult to hold my camera steady to take photos. It took several attempts to take short videoclips, which I have published in the post below this one.
Only three other people showed up — and promptly left
At one point a man and woman arrived at the beach on a scooter, and started climbing the rocks near the coast. But they hopped back on the bike and disappeared only five minutes later. A woman arrived next, and waved at me as she claimed one of the empty lounge chairs close to the seaside. But she didn’t look comfortable as she lay in the sun, fully clothed in sweatpants, running shoes and a hoodie. She gave up and left soon after, too. I found shelter from the wind in a few nooks and crannies in the rocks and boulders beside the beach, but those weren’t comfortable places to sit in the sun, either.
After about half an hour, I left the beach to continue my bike ride down the coast. I considered myself lucky to have seen Kolimbithres while there was some sunshine and only a few clouds. Just 20 minutes after I rode away, heading to Agios Ioannis beach, dark-grey stormclouds started streaming over the island, and the wind grew even stronger — and cooler. I cut short my bike ride and raced back to Naoussa, reaching the shelter of a café terrace mere minutes before a massive thunderstorm pounded Paros with heavy rain, thunder and lightning for over an hour and a half.
Kolimbithres truly is a beautiful beach area. Be sure to check it out if you’re ever on Paros. Just don’t go there on a windy day!