Wow what an amazing trip! Warm clear blue water, pleasant air temps, great food and to top it off an incredible group of people. The group this year was a mix from all over, we had four people from Israel, two from Sweden, four from the US, my self and Omer.
I guess the best way to describe the overall experience would be to say that it was relaxing in its intensity. The paddling pushed the limits of everyone at some point whether it was sea state or the distance covered, everyone’s skills were tested and improved. Throughout each day and at the end of every day we ate and ate and ate, this is the only expedition I have ever been on that I have gained weight. Did I mention that the food was incredible?
About the Paddling; basically we traveled along and around three beautiful Islands, Leros, Kalymnos, and Telendos. On Leros we paddled around the base of a 12th century crusader fort that overlooks the sea for many miles. Kalymnos is probably remembered most for its beautiful cliffs and rock gardening. The cliffs go up hundreds of feet and plunge down just as far into the water. We were gliding along right at the base, in some cases touching them as we went by. Telendos was a great time, we stayed here two nights and so we were able to have a play day. Some took the day off and went hiking up into the caves that overlook the Telendos Strait, the rest of us circumnavigated the island. The trip around only took about two hours but in that time we were exposed to all kinds of conditions, flat calm, into the wind, 3 to 6 foot swell “ you didn’t tell me my boat would fly”, same swell with rebound waves and cliffs, 4 foot following sea (good for long rides), back into flat calm. The day finished at the On The Rocks Café where the owner, George, took very good care of us with great food and spirits.
The trip wound down with us finishing out the bottom part of Kalimnos cruising along the cliffs, stopping in at cafes along the way for the occasional espresso or lunch break.
We ended in Vathi, a small fishing village at the end of a little fiord, a fantastic finish to a great trip. Many thanks again to Omer Singer of Terra Santa Kayak Expeditions for providing us with an incredible trip.