When I have no plans on an island – Lemnos 2016

29 Jul
I was astonished to see beaches with fine sand and pristine water in Thassos, but sooner or later I had to face the truth of mass tourism present on the island. I had the feeling that I had to follow the crowds no matter where I wanted to go. Many times I had the feeling that I have no choice (although I had) but to accept that everywhere I go all the crowds go. The island is beautiful, but its authenticity is strongly affected by tourism.
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Lemnos was the second island from my Greek Aegean Islands circuit. From the beginning, I knew that it is a remote island where tourists don’t come very easy. The fastest ferry takes 3 h to/from Kavala (this one goes only once a week, all the other ones need 4h and a half). The guide I had 15 years ago about Greek Islands said the same thing: Lemnos is not very accessible, fewer tourists come here. It seemed great, but there was no camping and I was afraid I wouldn’t have a place to stay. The only camping I found on the internet was some kind of freestyle in the woods. I was suspicious, I was even afraid. When I arrived in Myrina port, I went directly to Keros beach on the other part of the island. I wanted to find the place described as a free camping. I lost a little bit along the tangled roads through villages, but in Kalliopi, near the beach, I found the place. It was full of tents near a sign with no camping. I talked to some people. “It’s fine, we have been here since last week. Nobody have said something to us” “Perfect, I’ll stay here then.” Problem solved. I felt saved. I could travel my way. It was so silent during the night that I even didn’t need ear plugs. Perfectly dark, perfectly silent. Archaeological sites and villages where more authentic, small chapels every kilometer (more frequently than the houses), beaches without crowds, fine sand, and pristine water. I couldn’t dream of more.

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The last night on Lemnos island was an amazing “mistake”. The midday ferry to Kavala was damaged and it had a delay of at least 10 hours. I had time to go to Gomati Beach and explore the sand dunes which I haven’t gotten time to see. The lady from the travel agency told me to stay in Gomati over the night and take the ferry the next day, but I was stubborn and I wanted to go as soon as possible to Samothraki. In the evening, I phoned at the agency to ask when the ferry leaves .…. “after midnight maybe” was their answer. That meant it would arrive in Kavala early in the morning. Thanks, but not for me. I didn’t want to loose one night on the road. Without any other choice, I decided to sleep on the beach with the other campers in Gomati bay. Sometimes, the Universe knows better what’s best for me. It was the most magical night and morning I ever had. At sunset, I watched the waves, then I moved 10 meters to sleep in the car. In the morning, as the sun was already strong, I had to get out of the car. I just rolled down 10 meters and I continued my sleep under an improvised shelter for shadow. It’s not much to say about it, but it was like the time stopped and it was just me and the universe. No sorrows, no problems, no thoughts. A part of me wanted to stay, a part of me wanted to go. When I reached Myrina, I missed already Gomati beach.

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In Samothraki, I looked for a beach like Gomati all over, but I couldn’t find it. Maybe those beaches where I needed a boat were the ones. Unless it was so crowded as Thassos, the atmosphere would be too touristic for me even even in Samothraki. My heart remained on Lemnos island, where a dream I never had, became true. It’s good not to have a dream but live it directly.

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