Ticket to Paradise – Paradise Beach

27th June 2006

I had a much-needed sleep in as I was on my own time and then went down to the jetty to see if I could get the boat to Delos. I bought my ticket and had a little time to kill before boarding so I walked around for a bit. When I went to board, I was told that the boats would not be running today due to the windy weather. I was devastated as this was the only time I had to do this. I went and got a refund on my ticket and sulked on the towns beach for a while. I eventually decided that shopping would cheer me up and went for a walk around the shops and bound myself a Cycladic Idol, some more pottery and a flag with the emblem of Alexander the Great on it. I trudged back up the hill back to the hotel and pondered what to do with the rest of my time here. I got out the good old Lonely Planet Guide to Greece and found there were some beaches around about worth seeing, although all required at least one bus to get to from here. The bus trip from the Airport to Athens, not knowing where to get off, in the middle of the night flashed before my eyes. I decided to take the chance and make for Super Paradise, which sounded nice.

I would first need to get the bus to Paradise beach, I bought my ticket from a nearby convenience store and when the bus arrived it just said PARADISE across the front of it and I looked at my ticket, which said PARADISE on it and immediately started singing “I’ve got a ticket to PARADISE….” And laughing to myself.

I thought about how perfect this all seemed and not for the first time felt like the character of Kate Wheeler in my favourite film Bandits, fleeing from monotony and living life from one adventure to another. As the bus took off I sang quietly to myself All good children need travelling shoes, drive your problems from here, all good people read good books now your conscience is clear….. When I arrived at Paradise beach, I decided to give Super Paradise a miss and stay there.

I walked down to the beach, which to my surprise not only had a bar but a DJ as well. I stepped onto the sand which felt hot and gritty under my bare feet and headed for a free spot. The sand was very pure, and the water looked amazingly green, there was no surf at all and the beach itself was secluded in a little alcove in the rocks. If I had been here alone it truly would have been paradise.

Ticket to Paradise Beach
Ticket to Paradise

Now up until this point I don’t know what I was thinking, maybe I was just noticing the scenery, but up until that point I hadn’t even realised that most people here were naked! I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised, I was in Europe after all. I gingerly sat down on the sand, next to a naked French lady who asked me to move my boots, typical French I thought to myself. I put my Egyptian towel on the sand and got straight into the water which was lovely and warm.

After sunning myself for a while with a towel over my burnt shins I decided, to sun bake topless, something that I had never done before. I took off my bikini top feeling very self-conscious and no one even batted an eyelid. Of course, they didn’t there were people three times my age bearing all! After sun baking topless for a while I decided, oh to hell with it, when in Rome and off came the bottoms as well.

I sun baked on my belly and a young man came up and started talking to me commenting about the tattoo I have on my back. I thought to myself, you’re only talking to me because I’m naked and then felt silly as he was also naked as was everyone else. At that point I hadn’t actually been in the water or stood up naked but managed to convince myself to do so and I swam naked in the Aegean Sea. This came to a rather abrupt end when a man who must have been in his eighties came ambling towards me completely naked, I don’t like to be unkind, but it startled me somewhat. I returned to sun baking and set myself up on a sun lounger which I was promptly charged €6.00 for, which I thought was a little much. I decided to leave after sun baking for a little while longer and purchased a Coke and an ice cream from a nearby convenience store and hoped back on the bus to Hora.

I let the bus take me all the way back to town and walked around the little shops again. As I walked back up to the hotel, I noticed the sea was getting increasingly rough and was actually crashing up against the buildings of the town which were almost in the sea, it was an amazing sight. I bought some postcards from a street vendor and watched the splendour of the sea in front of me, before going back to the hotel and watching Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, who’s Greek and Italian attitudes I could now relate to in spades. I went for a swim and laid by the pool and outside the beautiful Veinoulas Gardens I looked up at my wonderful white and blue hotel in my fabulous surroundings and thought to myself, I wonder what all the little bitches who tormented me in high school are doing now, oh yeah that’s right they’re all losers, single mothers, on the dole or chained to a kitchen sink somewhere and I’m off to Santorini tomorrow. I don’t like to gloat, but exactly what I told myself to keep myself sane in high school had come to pass, I was out here making something of myself and they, just as they were then, were nothing.

Naked at Paradise Beach
Evening out my tan at Paradise Beach

I decided to go for a walk down to the town at night after swimming and the movie, it was now around midnight and very dark and once more my mother’s words echoed through my head once more “Don’t do anything stupid!” I walked down the slope towards the town and admired how beautiful it looked all lit up. I went for a short walk and ended up in the gay district outside Club Ramrod. I decided to go back to the hotel at that point. The desk clerk grabbed me on the way back and said that my hydrofoil tickets to Sanotorini had arrived. I thanked him and took the envelope. I got back to my room and thought to myself, I wonder what ungodly hour of the morning I will have to get up to get to the Jetty. I opened the envelope only to find that my hydrofoil didn’t actually leave until 2:30pm. I realised then that this meant I had been given a second chance to get to Delos, the reason I had come to Mykonos, I was so grateful to fate at that point I thanked God.

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