Our hidden gem swimming hole

 

 

Koutalis is another place you really cannot find unless you have coordinates and a trusty GPS device. And even still, look at that steep road, a 220° degree angle, practically straight down off the cliff! You'd be crazy to follow it. But crazy not to, as well. And this is the best swimming on the island – crystal clear turquoise water, so clean, so fresh, and the occasional sponge growing out of the rock. It's usually just us, a pod of scuba divers either coming or going, and a small smattering of other people. This time it was us, two couples, and a family of cousins. As the high-school aged boy cousins took turns scrambled up the mountain wall to jump off into the water, their aunt scolded them, the girls teased them, and everyone else winced nervously. Once they were done grandstanding, an elder local man, no less than 70 years old, quietly began to climb up the mountain. With the ease of a mountain goat he went to a ledge higher than either of the boys, paused for no more than a second or two, and then took the most perfect, elegant swan dive, head-first into the sea. As soon as his he popped back up out of the water, everyone erupted in applause and cheered. The proud-but-humble "I still got it" look on his face was priceless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another short drive that gives you the most incredible and incredibly varied vistas over just a handful of kilometers. We stopped more times than we could count to take pictures.

  

 

 

 

 

 

The amazing landscape, stunning views, but with tattered flag in the foreground, sadly, felt so appropriate.