Friday, May 8, 2009

Cars and Sand Don't Mix

In Naxos we decided to rent a car in order to have more freedom to beach hop.

Or to get lost, depending on whether you see the glass half full.

After driving aimlessly for about an hour, we managed to find one nice beach and proceeded to lay there for about 2 hours.

When our bellies started rumbling, we drove off to try to find some lunch.

As it's still the off-season in Greece, and as we were on some very obscure, deserted beaches, finding food proved harder than just saddling up to a McDonalds or even a gyro stand.

We searched for at least an hour before finding a local who directed us towards a restaurant he assured us was open. We didn't find the restaurant, but did find another local who drew circles in the sand for us to follow.

The last set of directions led us to yet another non-restaurant, where the man encouraged us to follow not the main road, but the "other" road to get to the restaurant.

As soon as we turned off the main road and onto a loose sand road, I knew we were in trouble. We all knew - but we drove down it anyway.

We giggled and awed in amazement at how well our little Ford Fiesta was standing up to the loose sand we were driving through, until...


Stuck in the sand.

We all got out and pushed, but the wheels only spun deeper into the Earth. As we were pushing, "The Final Countdown!" came on the radio and we all gave one last, strong push - but it was like pushing a boulder. That car wasn't going anywhere.

So...we hiked about half a mile back down the beach to the non-restaurant and admitted our story of irresponsible tourism in hopes that the Greek locals would know what to do with us.

Five minutes later, George had his dad's tractor pattering down the sand and headed to pull us out. I steered as George's dad pulled the car about a mile out of the sand road and back on to the main road.

As Chris walked alongside the car, George remarked to him that "we got very far! How did you get so far?"
Way to go us.
He also confirmed that only 4 wheel drive vehicles are suppose to drive down that road.

All in all the detour only cost us about 45 minutes, but a lot of pride. Lesson learned.

You would think that next we ate lunch, but oh no. We got lost, again. This man in an orange sweater had to lead us on his motorcycle about 30 minutes along some winding mountain passes before we finally found food.

Our "day on the beach" turned into about 2 hours on the beach. But hey, if your car is going to get stuck in the sand somewhere, it might as well be a perfectly beautiful beach populated by helpful Greeks.

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