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Europe 2011: Day 05 (Greece 03): May 17

Everyone had a good long sleep, woke up at 11, which was nice but unfortunate, being in Santorini and all.

After planning our moves for the next day and the ferry to Mykonos, we went across the street to rent our ATVs!!! Wheee. After applying a layer of sunscreen of course.

After a brief ‘lesson’ of how to drive it, we went on our way and then found out that we cannot reverse – -; and had to either take that into consideration when parking or manually pull/push our way into the right direction… We had the 100cc ones while mike got the 150cc, having more power and acceleration.

Destination:… Beaches? Mike had the fastest ATV so he was almost always in front, but Karen had the directions… So we got ‘lost’ a number of times, but great photo ops and vantage points of the town below. Made a stop at the black beaches, which were basically black gravel-type sand, nice and hot from the sun.

Continuing to drive through the island, we eventually stopped at a dirt area beside a church and took more pictures. And then. My ATV wouldn’t start 🙁 the engine would ignite then pressing on the accelerating pedal, the engine would cease. Even with a starting push, it didn’t help. We were about to find someone to call the rental shop but Mike somehow got it to work again. Driving around in circles, still working. Gave me the advice of not turning off the engine, as to keep the motor running, hopefully no more problems but having to keep it going.

The next couple of stops the ATV was doing fine, just sticking with it to press the brake (we didn’t have a parking brake either) to keep it from rolling down and hills. And then finally, on the side of a hairpin of a path leading up the mountain, the engine stopped itself. Uhoh. After some experimenting mike found the technique of starting the engine, while still holding the ignition, begin the acceleration and rev up the motor, and it worked! Albeit not the best solution since it was working fine before, but it kept us moving and exploring.

We made a pit stop at the gas station for mike to fill up, so we asked the mechanic there about what was wrong with my ATV. He came by and basically tried some things and did the same technique and said ‘okay!’ and went on his way. Meh. If it works.

Several twists and turns later, we ended up on the other side of the black beaches to a place recommended, Yazz’s. Nice ‘homemade’ greek food. Our waiter is actually from Chicago, staying in Santorini for the summer and then back to the states. We had a greek platter giving us a range of foods and we each had our own entree and smoothie, good food.

We’ve noticed that the bottom parts of trees, about waist level, is painted white. At first I thought it was to help drivers cause the roads are so damn narrow sometimes, but apparently it is mixed in with something else that keeps bugs from infesting it. Hmm.

Next stop, Red Beach. Oh, there are three ‘beaches’ black, red, white. Black is the largest, spanning a sizeable chunk of the southern coast. Red is a small area, and white was far. On the way there, while trying to catch up with the others, apparently karen and michelle slowed down a bit too quickly and I… Nudged them. Strongly. Good thing they had their brakes on, or they’d be sent a bit farther away. Oops 🙂 No damage! Anyways, after nearly getting lost once again we found our way to the Red Beach around sunset and we had our fun with photoshoots along the rocks and beach.

After the Red Beach we had to make our way back to the ATV rental to return them by 9pm. By this time, there were a lot more cars on the road, making sure to keep to the side as I could imagine how annoyed they’d get with all of these tourists on ATVs blocking their way. This ride back was very exciting, somehow I ended up in front and we were entering a hairpin zone, speed and turns, great but dangerous and sometimes scary fun. Whoooot, and before you know it, we’re back at the rentals and the sun is down, oh so very cold from the ride back, windy = cold.

Going back into the villa, we decided to jump into their ‘hottub’. Which ended up to be preeeeeetty cold. About the same as DDH’s, *sigh… The warmest water we’ve encountered was on the beaches during the day. Unfortunate. After suffering through the cold cold water, we headed into Fira to find some dinner (10pm-ish) and to browse any of the shops still open.

My arms, just my arms, now sting from the sunburn. No doubt added to by driving an ATV with rolled up sleeves on this day, and the bike on the two previous. Ow 🙁 more sunscreen tomorrow I guess.

ATV Breakdown

Red Beach

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