The ferry slows its speed to a point where you’d question whether the boat was even moving. Santorini is a speck on the scale of the earth, but that didn’t stop my surprise from the massive black, stair-like cliffs that climb their way up to a blur of white buildings.
We spent five days in Grecian paradise, but the first full day I spent there is the one I remember most.
Courtney, my travel buddy and I, rented ATV’s. As two Canadians, this activity was thrilling because stuff like this just doesn’t fly as a casualty back home. We were basically tossed a couple of helmets and told everything would be O.K. as long as we were back to return the machine by 9 p.m.. Besides a couple of short trips between lakes at the cabin, neither Courtney or I were savvy on the how to use the machine with any authority.
More culture shock for two Canadians: at home ATV’s are for fun and being rebellious somewhere on the farm or in the forest. In Greece, we were fair game with everything else: mopeds, Corolla’s, Toyota’s, semi-trucks, tour buses…We travelled around the entire island in one day. We visited Santorini’s Red Beach. It was too hot to even stand on the sand; I burned my feet.
We beach hopped (or quadded) to Perissa, one of Santorini’s beaches famous for its black sand.
We had only been at Perissa for an hour when when heavy clouds creeped their way over top of us and we were saying, “Yeah, maybe we should head back now…”
We ATV’d in the pouring rain all the way back to our hostel. I could barely open my eyes because rain pellets were stinging my face. A domino line of traffic was backed up on the pencil-thin undivided roads, and Courtney and I were both soaked to the bone. Sounds uncomfortable? Yeah, maybe. Do I remember the day? Well, we’re I’m writing this story aren’t I? A regular, uneventful venture back to the hostel wouldn’t be etched in my memory like this day is.
I pushed away the feeling of being annoyed. I wanted to remember those moments in a foreign country, in the pouring rain, pretending to be a badass who knew what she were doing behind the wheel of an ATV.
I couldn’t see, I was cold, and I was too impatient to read a map. I made the conscious decision to acknowledge the experience for what it was, and make a positive out of what could have been a reason to complain.
Everyone has a memory they laugh at in retrospect, which in the moment, wasn’t all that funny. My ATV ride back to the hostel was one of those. It wasn’t all that enjoyable and it would have been easy to complain. But, I knew Courtney and I would laugh about it the next day, so I soaked up the moment (and the rain) instead.