Thursday, 25 September 2014

Day 4: Jeep Safari Time

Today was Jeep Safari Day and I opted to wear my Blue Rose print dress; I have been obsessed with baby blue this summer. We arrived at Luxury Island Events to meet the jeep and our appointed driver at 8 am sharp. The jeep wasn't as sturdy or massive as I expected it to be, so I was slightly apprehensive on how this rickety thing that looked like it was held together by duct tape was going to cart us around the island; up and down mountains; and to and from beaches.

The driver is nice, unfortunately his English isn't very good but he tries to tell us things about where we are, he just struggles with answering questions. We are sharing this day trip with a middle-aged, somewhat snooty couple from Nottingham. My sister and I are sitting at the back of the jeep, where ordinarily the boot would be, facing each other. Our view of the gorgeous landscape is marred by the black horizontal lines slashing across the rear window, but even with that it is still breathtaking.

The jeep reminds me of India, when you’re in any kind of transport on a road in India be prepared for a bumpy, uncomfortable ride, that’s actually quite funny. I hit my head off the roof several times.
Our first stop is a winery. We have a good view of the mountains and there are some crops and flat grass, we wait patiently for the other jeeps to arrive, and once they do Marius, who appears to be the owner of the place, is talking about the wine. It's all natural: there are three different types and we get to sample them all. The best thing about the vineyard aside from the free wine, cool location, brilliant view, free cheeses and pork  samples, is the kitten. It’s the tiniest, skinniest little kitten here which I took a video of; he's so cute! His name is Mitsos; and I think he must be the cutest kitten ever.

We did get to try the wines, I tried white and rose, the rose was incredibly sweet and nice, I have the worst sweet tooth. I also had the pork and that was really rich and chewy. We spoke to some people there which is always my favourite part, I love hearing about different people. We met a South African man who was very talkative and a Russian kid who helped me pick grapes from the vineyard. The grapes were really small and purple but sweet and refreshing.

The next stop is a coffee place, the driver told us as we returned to the jeep. The view from the jeep is otherworldly and I wish pictures could do them justice, you can see everything, the coast, the trees, forests, villages. We even drove past a farm and saw goats and chickens.

The cafe is in a quiet and small village, we had to walk up some steps and then we sat in the sun on a little wooden kind of porch/balcony. I had a Coke and just relaxed soaking in the lovely green view overlooking one of the villages. We have driven past so many villages and there are so few people living there it's actually astonishing. One village held just twenty people and that's less than half my family! One had sixty residents and another three hundred, they are all quite old but it seems to work.

This jeep is the most precarious ride I have ever been on, the driver avoids rocks and stones on the road like some kind of ninja swerving this way and that. I am certain that I will wake with bruises the following day, it’s definitely more treacherous than India. The next place is one of the highest mountains (758m) and it's supposed to have surreal views overlooking the whole of Zante, which it did. A man called Pierre talked us through what we were seeing, you could see farms, beaches, towns, and cities. It was beautiful and I wish we could have stayed longer.

Following the mountains we went to get some lunch at Galaxy Taverna which was a nice little restaurant with outdoor seating and shelter from the sun. I had Zakynthian rabbit which was very succulent, it tasted similar to pork, it came with rice and a few chips and the sauce with the rabbit was really nice as well. Naturally, I had some Peach Lipton Iced Tea as well, couldn't get enough of the stuff.

Now we are off to the beach, I hope it's Navaggio though again we don't have anything, no costumes, no blanket, nothing. So unprepared. It turned out not to be Navaggio anyway. It was a similar beach, however, with strikingly white and pale pebbles, the water again was endlessly blue and my brother had a lot of fun swimming in the sea. We tried skimming the pebbles but we failed miserably. The pebbles were so glossy and perfect they looked fake they must be man-made.

Behind us a woman had been carried onto some sun loungers, she was shaking uncontrollably and clearly something was very wrong. She might have had heat stroke or a scare. It was quiteworrying. The ambulance came to get her eventually and that was the last stop on the jeep safari, we returned to our hotel at around half seven in the evening.

On the way to Laganas Beach it was around quarter to 8 so we got to see the sun setting on the sea. It was so beautiful, the sky looked like candyfloss streaked with pink and purple: so lovely. We went into the water a bit and it was really warm, it felt so nice eneveloping my legs I wanted to stay in forever. We went to Vraxos Beach Restaurant with the beautiful d├ęcor and three cats and I had the Chicken Ceaser Salad. It was simply amazing, the best salad I am probably ever going to have let's be honest. 

Thank you so much for reading, the next post will be our last jampacked day in Zante with jet skiing, turtles and beaches galore. Thank you so much for your patience.

Kiran xxx

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