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Heidi's Diary of a Backpacker.
By Bus to Lefkada...
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Agios Nikitas Beach.
Agios Nikitas Beach.

After arriving to Lefkada, Im not quite sure where to go. I had planned to go to Vassiliki in the southern end of the island but the bus timetables convince me otherwise. There are only a few trips per day and even less on holidays and Sundays. Since it was to be Sunday when I would leave the island and I had a scheduled flight to Athens, I decided to stay either in town or some other resort closer to town with better bus timetables. I started walking towards the central square and looking for hotels on my way there. As soon as I reached the square, I spotted some very familiar looking uniform in one of the cafés I met a guide from Finland having her breakfast frappé. I asked if she knew any nice resorts close by. She had a group of Finnish tourists in Nidri, on the south-eastern side of the island. Nidri is the biggest holiday resort on Lefkada and a very lively place. But I dont feel like going to Nidri, because its too touristy for me. She also told me about Agios Nikitas, a small resort on the north-western coast. I was interested immediately when she tells me about the great beaches there. So, I decide to go to Ag. Nikitas. I walked back to the bus station and on to the bus. The bus is crowded because beaches on the north-western coast attract many people. The bus ride to Ag. Nikitas took about 25 minutes and the scenery on the way was spectacular. While the south-eastern coast is mostly flat, here on the north-western side the cliffs are higher.

Agios Nikitas.
Agios Nikitas.

Agios Nikitas has basically one main street and practically everything is situated by it. There are small alleys to the sides but there are only a few smaller hotels and local residents. The bus stop is by the Lefkada road and the villages main street starts from the bus stop. Cars are not allowed on the main street at certain hours in the evening and night. The main street leads to the beach. There are several hotels on both sides but restaurants are few. There are also some cafés and restaurants by the beach. There is no harbour in Ag. Nikitas, but small taxi boats to the neighbouring beaches dock here. The beach in the village is very narrow, but long, sandy and very nice. I found a hotel half way between the bus stop and the beach. I had a big room with a nice little terrace. There is a café downstairs and the owners also serve breakfast. For the first time I had my own boiler in the bathroom and the owner gave me very detailed instructions for its use. While sitting on my terrace I got to know my neighbours, there were 3 families living behind my hotel and our terraces were face to face. Kids play hide and seek with me, they are too shy to come say hello.

Agios Nikitas village from the seaside
Agios Nikitas village from the seaside

As I was getting to know the village on my evening walk, I noticed that all the people that I had seen during the day had left and it was so very quiet now. A lot of people just come here to spend a day and then leave. I was kind of relieved because this was exactly what I was looking for. Quiet, Greek atmosphere to enjoy just by myself Almost all the restaurants seemed to be specializing in fish dishes, so it was even too easy to order fish. Fish can be very expensive in Greece but its delicious! There is a lot of choice in fish as well as in all seafood; shrimps, crabs, lobsters, etc. Ordering a fish dinner in Greece is a ritual of its own. You always have to go and you should go to the kitchen yourself to choose the fish you want to have. The waiter then measures the fish and thats the price for your meal. The menus show only the price for a kilo. There is usually a huge variety of fish to choose from but not once did I see any fish that I recognise.

Milos beach looking left.
Milos beach looking left.

Next morning I woke at 9 am and I was a bit confused I dont know if I had dreamt it but I was convinced that it had been raining hard last night it had woken me in the middle of the night but I was too tired to check the weather outside.  I had fallen asleep again almost instantly thinking that a perfect beach day was to be ruined. But in the morning as I opened the terrace doors the weather was perfect and sun was shining. I was relieved. I walked down to the beach and boarded the taxi boat that would take me to the Milos beach. After a 10-minute ride we came to the beach. It was the most beautiful beach I had ever seen. There were three passengers on this first boat and the beach was massive.  I started walking in the opposite direction to the others and I was convinced that others wouldnt bother me all day. More people came every half an hour, but still the beach stayed half empty. There are no facilities on the beach and some people even camped there. I had closest people to me some 50 meters away. That was real peace and quiet! I took a boat back late afternoon very happy after such a successful and relaxing day. A return ticket with the taxi boat cost 3 euros. I got back to my hotel for a shower and a drink on the terrace. As I was sitting there I got an explanation for the rain I heard last night. There were bamboos on the yard of the neighbouring house and when the wind was harder, the leaves made a sound that was exactly like rain I had to laugh at myself! Now I was in a bit of a hurry for the bus because I had to go to Lefkada town for the ATM. There was none in Ag. Nikitas. And while I visited the town I checked the town itself. The town didnt appeal to me though. I dont know what it was but I found myself disliking it. I had read about the houses in town and how they were built after the last earthquake. They are seldom higher than two floors and the second floor walls are very light painted sheet metal or corrugated iron. In case of an earthquake people trapped in falling buildings wouldnt get crushed under heavy concrete. A quick look around and I was off to the bus and back to Ag. Nikitas.

Milos beach looking right.
Milos beach looking right.

I spent my last evening relaxing and enjoying a great dinner. As I got back to my hotel, I had a chat with the owner Kostas, about my problem. I was leaving next morning so early that there were no busses going to the town, or at least I would miss my 11.30 bus to the airport. He offered to call me a taxi and I agreed. This night I slept well, even though it was 'raining' again. In the morning I had breakfast at the hotel café. I paid for my room; 30 euros per night and then Kostas called me a taxi. The taxi came in less than 10 minutes and I was off to town. He dropped me off at the bus station from where I would take a bus to the airport. The taxi to town cost me 10 euros. I left my pack bag at the bus station and went to town trying to find a bottle of Soumadia before I would leave. There was no Soumadia, almond liquor, in the shops in Ag. Nikitas but I was told that I would find it in town. I found it easily in a small store for local goods and souvenirs and bought it for my friend in Chania. I return to the bus station and as I try to buy a ticket to the airport, Im told that there is no bus going there, not until 12.30. Im surprised to say the least! The clerk advises me to take a taxi and so Im by the road trying to flag one down. There are a lot of taxis in town I assure you yet I flag down the same taxi in which I had arrived just an hour before! He agrees to take me to the airport for 20 euros. And so I will catch my flight after all.

 

 When leaving Lefkada the airport at Aktion was so crowded with tourists returning home that at first I had to stay outside. It felt like there were hundreds and hundreds of people waiting to check in with their luggage and the facilities simply can't handle this many people. I have an Olympic Airways flight to Athens and on to Chania. My boarding goes much faster than the Charter ones and I'm relieved to get through the security control and find a place to sit down. Now its only waiting till my plane leaves. Its only a half hour flight from Aktion to Athens and then again hours of waiting. At the Athens airport I have plenty of time to wonder around and have a bite to eat. Its fascinating to watch people going by, running to catch their flights, strict security controls, people explaining their missing boarding passes, people missing their stuff or flights airports are so full of life all day around, and its always, all the time the same yet so very interesting. My flight was to leave at 6 pm and 40 mins later I was scheduled to arrive to Chania, on Crete. There was not much use for a window seat on this flight because all I could see was water. The only islands I spotted were Milos and Kimonos. Refreshments had to wait during the flight as stewardesses showing the security details took up almost the whole flying time. Thank goodness the flight doesn't last any longer.