So in our group of about 12, there were 3 people kayaking with me. The others were hiking or kayaking and camping. We were to stick close with the hikers, but eventually part ways with the camper/kayakers.
Today after a breakfast of fresh fruit, greek yogurt (I could swear it was sour cream), fresh bread and strong coffee, we got together on the shore for our review of kayaking safety procedures. First question was “who’s done it before?’ That’s when I realized I was the odd man out. Just to fill you in, my sons regard my adventures as ‘yuppie travel’, safe thrills – organized and protected. After all, I’m a Jewish girl who lives in Beverly Hills – even if it is lower BH. I live my life in a temperate zone, which is why I chose Crete in October… perfect weather – not too hot, not too cold. The others, mostly mid-westerners, walk their kayaks to the local river and go. I sign up for a trip, drive or fly hours, sometimes both, then join a group. VERY DIFFERENT
Between us, we had thousands of river kayaking hours. I had ZERO and the other three women in my group had the rest. I have ocean kayaked for a total of 12 days, half the time off the northern tip of Vancouver Island, and half the time in the Sea of Cortez. Still, we were ocean kayaking and that was new to my roommate, Christy. I kept my mouth shut and nodded a lot as we reviewed the procedures. Then we went out and paddled to Red Beach, a bay around the corner.
Who knew we were out for a spa day. Our guides brought us buckets of clay/mud. We slathered it on and let it cleanse our pores and dry, as we laid in the sun. BTW, before the trip, I spend about a week developing a fake, but safe tan. Once dry, we went into the sea, exfoliated with sand as we scrubbed and washed off the clay… and my tan! Pasty white, I got back into my kayaks and set off back to our beach. But by now it was late morning and the wind kicked up. We were paddling into the wind and had to get around a point before heading back into the bay. I was in a single kayak and it was tough. I trailed behind the group a bit, but slowly progressed and made it back in respectable time. That morning was the most challenging kayaking of the entire week. Our guides told us that if the sea was at all rougher, we would not have gone out. I was just happy that I made it back without help.
The afternoon was uneventful, some swimming and a welcome nap. By late afternoon, we were refreshed and ready for a hike. It turned out to be an easy hike up the hill behind our hotel. When we got to the top, our guides pulled out wine, beer, snacks and a guitar. As the sun set, a few of us moved through some yoga poses to the sounds of the guitar. Still together with the whole group. we ate at the last restaurant on bay. It was my least favorite, food wise, but the view was everything.