Chris and Alison
Wed 21 Jun 2023 13:18
14th June to 19th June
After a few days in Milos we moved on to Kimlos and Pyrogonisi Bay. Kimlos is a low lying island and the small population only live in the chora. Formerly it was called Echinousa on account of the sea urchins found here, Pliny and Argentiera on account of its silver mines. In the Middle ages it was an infamous pirate haunt.
We spent the night there before moving onto Polyaigos, a very small uninhabited island however there is a delightful secluded anchorage with clear blue water to swim in.
With strong westerly winds forecast we sailed back to Kimlos this time to Prasonisi bay for a bit of shelter. The Meltemi appears to have settled in now and we are in the middle of its path in the SE Aegean.
From Kimlos we sailed across the often windy Sifnos channel (this time it was benign) to the south coast of Sifnos and a bay called Plati Yialos for some supplies. Another delightful bay except it had an uncomfortable swell that creeps round the headland and with very little wind Muskie was beam onto it.
Supplies topped up we headed off further East to a bay between a very small island called Despotikos and Antiparos this time for some shelter from from some very strong north winds.
The island of Despotikos is uninhabited except for some goats and a very large contingent of archaeologists who invade the island between the hours of 1100 and 1400 excavating the sanctuary of Apollo. The sanctuary is the largest Cycladic sanctuary besides that on Delos. There was cult activity here since the 8th c BC. The God mainly worshiped in the Archaic period was Apollo and possibly his sister Artemis. The whole site is thought to have rivalled that of Delos for its size and importance.
Antiparos is separated from Paros by a very narrow and shallow channel. In the centre of the island, on the edges of the mountain of Ai Yiannis there is a cave that is said to be one of most beautiful and mysterious caves in the world. The cave was used a refuge during Neolithic period and later on became a cult place of Goddess Artemis. The cave has 3 levels, “KalimeniPlatia”, covered square, “Krifos Thalamos”, secret chamber and the 3rd is known as “ Kripti, Crypt. Separating the 2nd and 3rd chamber is huge stalagmite which is the most ancient in Europe and has been dated to be 45 million years old called “Peoria Kentriki Koloa”, Huge central Column.
The Sanctuary to Apollo on Despotikos being restored by archaeologists
The elevation during the walk to the cave in 30’c heat.
The walk to the cave.
The 45 million year old Stalagmite (not me, the rock!)
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