Navajo, the shipwrecked bay. The Blue Caves, the Kerry Caves, the Bay of Turtles – Geraka, Porto Voromi; and the face of Poseidon. This is the plan for the places we want to visit. That is the intention, but is it possible?
Zakynthos Island is a remarkable place, but it is one of the open islands exposed to winds that can thwart any intention. Our first meeting with Zakynthos proves it. You can watch all kinds of forecasts, but it’s time. The waters around this island greet us with beautiful colors, but the waves of the sea do not bode well.
On our first entry, the kayaks bounced on the waves to the beat of the stormy waters. At such a time it is not only difficult to row, but to enter caves is not just unreasonable, but dangerous. When nature dictates the rules, there is nothing more sensible than obeying it.
Sometimes it’s not easy and you want to shout out of anger that you’re not doing well. These are the moments when you just have to be humble. Nothing can be done but ask Poseidon to give us a chance.
It’s funny, but the lord of the winds hears us. The weather calms down and the azure waters reveal themselves to us with all their beauty. Thus begins our true journey around this remarkable island.
The Venetians called it the “Flower of the East”.
Every place we get to is remarkable, not just by sea. Olive forests, orange orchards and the type of old and newer houses, delicately located here and there. The feeling is even more pleasant because the tourist season is over. Now the islanders are busy picking olives, which alternate with long pauses in sweet talk.
To be born in such a place is luck and people do not hide it. The owner of the campsite where we are staying tells me that it rains from time to time, but that’s for variety.
In fact, if there’s one thing that doesn’t leave the island, it’s the winds. They are also our biggest problem. None other than the wind from the northeast does not allow us to moor the Navagio with the kayaks. I succeed by swimming. The waves do not even allow the cruise ship to approach.
For the second time I step on this beach after swimming in a stormy sea. This place is emblematic of Zakynthos. The view from above is especially remarkable. The feeling on the beach next to the rusty ship is magnetic.
I’m sorry I only have the underwater camera in my hands. In unison with the place, it gives a defect and the result is quite disappointing. This is the difference between us and those lucky ones who have big budgets and enough time.
However, after Navagio for compensation we succeed in everything. The beach of turtles welcomes us with fantastic conditions. Hundreds of sea turtles come to this place once a year to lay eggs. That is why the place is under special protection. It is not allowed to moor even with kayaks, but we find ourselves in this place just when it is the first day on which there is no ban.
Time flies for us and we are in a hurry. “Kerry” and “Blue Caves” follow. The places are remarkable and the hours of rowing and effort fade before the emotion of the views.
Going around these places on water can’t be compared to anything. Tourist boats are noisy and still leave you with the feeling of something commercial, and going out on one of the pristine beaches does not happen. You just see them. This is the difference between classic tourism and this one looking for a presence in nature and traveling in it in a different way.
You move quietly. You are present for a while. You leave as if you weren’t there. In practice, this is the best way to feel the power of nature and learn to respect and appreciate it. You are grateful for her hospitality. You feel obligated and learn to value and cherish it.
Zakynthos Island is remarkable. The Ionian Sea itself is perhaps the most beautiful part of Greece and is worth seeing. We are lucky to be neighbors with the Greeks and their gifts. We also have our wonderful places, but they are just different. In the end, the more places one visits, the more Hemingway says: “The world is a wonderful place, so it’s worth keeping.”