I left my splendid and friendly Hotel Parthenon in Rhodes onboard Dodekanisos Seaways who operate ferries in the south-east Aegean. The sky was blue and the sea turquoise as we set out at over 30 knots from Rhodes harbour and a bit of island hopping, eleven stops if I remained on board. www.12ne.gr
First stop was picturesque Halki with its harbour, Emporia, little cafes and white houses dotting the hillside, and only 330 inhabitants, making it the smallest in the Dodecanese archipelago. The ship only stops for three minutes as passengers, motor scooters, farm produce and household goods are loaded off and picked up.
Next is Tilos and off to the match go the local football team from the south end of the island of Rhodes, resplendent in their red tracksuits and kitbags. They play in the 2nd Division of the league. They had a match that lunchtime with the local club, FC Tilos and hopefully there was no delay, because the return ferry leaves for Rhodes at 15.30, in 5 hours, with the next one not for two more days! I found a site called www.octopus-in-my-ouzo.com by resident travel writer Jennifer Barclay, daughter of renowned football writer for the London Times, Patrick Barclay. www.thetimes.co.uk She describes a match and the local 'stadium' , 10 minutes from the harbour in Megalo Horio. which has artificial turf, and how she bought pork souvlaki from the grill. 553 inhabitants in Tilos.
By the way, The Rhodes All Island team competes at www.islandgames.net, which I wrote about a few years ago when I visited Gibraltar. The next games, featuring many sports, are in 2013 in Bermuda. I was on board with Steuart and Linda Welch from Marton in North Island, New Zealand. He is a steel sculptor and also has a dairy farm. They were returning to tour central Turkey later.
Next stop was Kalymnos, and the port of Pothia. A very affluent island so I am told with sponge diving and fishing and a 'huge' population of 16,500. Thats where the floppy eared white rabbit in it's cage was unloaded.
We arrive in Kos and I disembark with The Welch's at the harbour next to 14th Century Castle of Neratzia, built by the Knights of St. John, and we have a four hour wait before we all go on a one hour fast ferry to Bodrum in Turkey. We relax in the sunshine and do lunch at my favourite spot, in narrow Ant. Ioannidi, 100 metres from the sea, half way to the town square. www.kosinfo.gr
I had eaten there before and my cheerful waiter Jaime serves my favourite, the mixed grill special with a glass of wine and a salad for 11 Euros. I nickname him BILLABONG, because of his designer T shirt. Also my favourite two cats show up for morsals of pork, chicken, souvlaki, lamb etc. We all dine well and we all lick our lips in satisfaction.