Deciding quickly on my next island to explore I booked the ferry from Santorini to Ios . As this was my first ever Greek Ferry experience I did not question the sale clerk when she informed me I would have to book a berth on the ferry as the standard seated sections were full, I happily paid what was probably ten times the price for a berth that I would not be in long enough to appreciate, these days this would not happen!
As I had arrived in Santorini on an aeroplane I had not yet experienced the ferry port and the incredible view looking up to Thira which is very dramatic and how I would definitely recommend travellers to arrive on the island. There is a path leading up the cliff-side to reach the capital where donkeys will take locals and tourists up the steep hill at a price or you can of course walk (not ideal with a heavy backpack). There is viewpoints in Thira when you can watch the ferries arrive and the tourists and donkeys embark on the journey. For departure I decided to take a taxi round the modern road route instead.
On board I was escorted off to my berth, my backpack was whisked from me and it felt all very first class, I lapped up the luxury of it all but missed the wind in my hair and the freedom to explore that the normal ticket would allow. As it turns out I have been on numerous Greek ferries since and have never enjoyed the pleasure of a berth again!
My arrival in Ios began with the hunt for a bed , a bit like haggling at a souk or market but time is limited as the boats empty quick and the locals need ‘bodies in beds’ to make some money. I had already learned that a balcony was a requirement for time to contemplate life (with the occasional glass of local wine obviously!). Free transport to the hotel was also crucial. I quickly got won over at the thought of a sea view first floor balcony from a very smiley Greek man and agreed on a price. Myself and any others he had charmed were then driven to our accommodation where (to the dismay of all the others!) I got the most incredible room with a breathtaking view. After a short stroll and a Greek salad I slept like a baby with the sound of the calm sea outside.
Ios is very popular with young American tourists and backpackers and has a bit of a name as a party island (without the tack that British youth resorts have), so surely it would be easy enough to find a job here? I did not find this the case unfortunately. After a few hours on the beach (of course) I asked around in the resort of Mylopota where I was staying for work with no joy. The following day I headed to the capital Hora, this was the hub for the night-life. I travelled on what I will aptly name a local ‘party bus’. The happiest bus driver I have ever seen was singing along to the very loud music he had playing the full route. I walked around to bars, cafes, clubs looking for work for the next few days, had a lot of fun but no sign of any work. I then decided just to relax and enjoy the island for a week whilst pondering on my next move. I did my research and discovered Naxos, this is the largest of the Cyclades Islands and according to Greek Mythology it is the childhood home of Zeus. Craving some history and in the hope that larger island meant more chance of work, I decided to follow the Gods. (Part 3 available now!)