Rest days bring out the most interesting outcomes for some, others just sit and read and think about the four inches of stone that they could not hold on to the previous couple of days. Today was not one of those days and the goal was to head to Telendos for a walk up to the small chapel built on the northern face of the island under a huge cliff.
Heading off down the road with the wind in our hair on our little shitbox of a scooter we realised it was actually quite cold and even in the sun the cool wind was cutting into our souls. We pulled into to the jetty where the boats take us to the island and there were no boats anywhere. They were all gone. Pretty quickly I realised that the sea was too rough for the little boats to alight passengers on this jetty and they were using the bigger more sheltered harbour further south .
Karine was watching one of the boats come back across from the island and was looking a little nervous as it was being tossed about like a rag doll on the rough seas. The look on her face told me exactly what she wanted do……….Not go on a boat at all! Hopping back on the scooter, she hugged me and we headed off back to our apartment to get our helmets for a longer ride.
We decided on the way back to go up to the highest point on the island. this was a four hour round trip to one of the true spiritual places in Kalymnos. We stopped for a coffee at Ethereal cafe olong the way, hadn’t been their but the coffee was pretty good and its a nice setting looking over the Aegean…..as is everything here.
We rode through Chora (pronounced Whore Rah) and navigated our way to this dilapidated car park that has a rough dirt road on the far side leading into the gorge. We rode up this horrid little track until we could go no further as our scooter was basically dying. This is where the adventure truly began.
Walking past a local farm to locate the beginning of The Kalymnos Trail (yep they have trails that you can walk) I noticed this was a very basic set up. A few chicken, some sheep and a couple of goats. We initially went the wrong way and I noticed the yellow arrows on the rocks were a little more to the left………we headed left.
As we walked up through the gorge the landscape began to become more arid and alpine looking. It was amazing as we are on a beautiful island in the Dodecanese archipelago (well sort of….maybe?!?!) The spring flowers were blooming and the air was less salty. it was a nice thing to notice. We walked along side this old wall for the entire journey to the entrance gate where the sign read Prophet Ilais.
As we walked through the gate we were presented with two trails. We chose to head left and continue our ascent. Fortunately for us this was the right decision as the track continued to meander up and around the hill and down into a little gully. Up and over the top of the gully we walked. The sun was out and strangely we were getting a little cold as the temperature was a little cooler as we headed up.
Coming around the crest and over the next rise we were presented with a gorgeous alpine meadow that was in full blossom and at the top of the meadow I saw a little blue door that was built straight into the rock face. We had to investigate this strange phenomenon. What an amazing thing to discover this little door was indeed a chapel. So small that only a priest and maybe four people could stand in it………and they had to be very short as well.
After this we headed up the trail and as we rounded the first switchback we could see the chapel of Prophet Ilais. It was standing there beautiful blue and white. The archetypal Greek building that postcards display. As we arrived at the chapel the view was just incredible. This is the place to stand and see that Kalymnos is truly beautiful.