Lazy morning with a swim in the pool and a longer breakfast followed by a stay on the beach chairs on the black sand. Gave the phone card to the guy at the hotel. Called Thrifty to tell them that I would like to bring the car around 5:30pm and they agreed with no fuss and no extra charge. It is an American company but still it is operating in Greece!
We left at 10:00am to buy tickets for the boat to Heraklio and to my surprise there were cheaper than the prices quoted the day before. There is only one slow boat in the middle of the night but not every night, and 1-2 fast boats leaving late afternoon, 17 45pm, that take 2 hours. Price is E36, as they repeatedly told us, but they sold the ticket for E24. We left at 11:00am to the Red Beach and took a bath in a super crowded and not so clean sea. From there you are able to take a boat, the only access, and go to white sand beach but we did not do it. We left the crowded beach that is really red from the red stone surrounding the area and stop for a beer and some pies at one of the stands near the beach. These stands that abound in Greece are a blessing with fresh cheese and spinach pies and cold beer, frappe and ice cream at relatively low prices. From there we drove around the end of the island and arrived at the lighthouse, beautiful but very windy. We returned at the hotel and spent some time on the black sand beach where the heavy wind that started in the morning was blowing everything away. The wind was present all the time in the islands and it was a blessing toning down the scorching July sun. The previous day was a windless day and it was almost unbearable hot. But starting this morning the wind began to blow wildly and the sea was extremely choppy, a bad day to go with the small boat to the islands.
We left the Blue Palace Bay hotel and drove to Athonis Port on the winding road going down the caldera. We dropped the Matiz that had no AC or no inside lights to the guy from Baltimore who said that for E25 it was OK this way. Used car salesman attitude! This is the price on the entire island but the advantage of getting the car from the harbor is that you don’t have to take another bus to return to the boat. The boat was delayed because of the rough sea. Another boat came, going also to Heraklio, but is hard to know all your options when you buy a ticket. .Many times are more than one boat at the same time and prices vary. I had a Greek coffee whose price jacked up 5 times since I was last time in Greece. I got some info about boats coming back from Heraklio to Piraeus in an agency in the harbor but the price that I got the night before in the agency in Fira could not be found on the charts. A cabin for the night ride is around E65.
Finally the boat arrived and left with more than one hour delay and after a smooth ride in spite of the choppy sea we arrived after 2 hours in Heraklio together with a large group of Romanians. After some confusion regarding the location of the boat in reference to the city center and a quick discussion with a cabbie who wanted to drive us to Agios Nicolaos, we got on the main street and we bumped in the first car rental place, MotorClub, where we rented a Hunday for E40 per day, double than prices in Agios Nicolaos, bought tickets for the returned boat to Piraeus, and drove on the coast to Kokini, about 20 minutes out on the coast on a highway that did not look for a while to have any exists. In Kokini we stayed at Marilisa apartments E45. We had dinner at a nearby Greek taverna of fish and wine ending with Cretan rakki that no matter that they say is not strong, it definitely is. I took a pleasant walk on the beach, located one block away from the hotel, before going to bed.