The sunsets in Oia are described as showstoppers. Oia is on the northernmost tip of the island of Santorini. It was once a center of trade in antiquity. The big earthquake of 1956 changed everything here. Restoration work has restored the beauty of the town and area.
The downside to Oia is the cruise ships, which hopefully will not show up until I am back home. They say the sunsets draw people to Oia like a magnet. But I also hear the village is cute, and the food is superb.
Buses leave my hotel area, Fira, twice every hour for the 15 minute drive to Oia. But it is a three hour walk if anyone chooses. Not me!
The 5 minute drive to Fira village is free on the hotel bus, but 10 Euro in a cab. Ten Euros would take me all over Athens!!!
I am not the type to sit around and watch a sunset, but I hear this is an exception to the rule.
So, I rented a little car to drive around the island. I went to Red Beach, Santo Wines, and all the way, might I add, the long way to Oia.
After my first two stops, I headed to Oia, taking the long, volcanic cliff road sitting precipitously on the hillside. Did I tell you I do not like heights?
But as I am slowly meandering on the cliffside road, the car starts beeping at me!!! Yes!!! It is telling me, I assume, that I am out of petrol, since the little gas pump light shows orange on the dash.
The car rental guy said the car has only a quarter tank of gas, and I must return it at least a quarter full. Well, WTH, crap! I am in the middle of nowhere, clinging to the cliff side, cars are buzzing by me, and I have no earthly idea where I am or where I am going!!!
I pull over, look at a map, and decide to head into Oia town. I am literally holding my breath, as well as some body parts, hoping I have enough gas to get there.
I reach Oia, a crowded little town with heavy traffic, where two cars cannot pass each other, looking for petrol. There are none!!!
I stop to urinate on the roadside and find a moto guy and ask him. He said there are no gas stations in Oia!!!!!!
I turn around, and as he suggested, headed back over the cliff to the previous little town for some gas. I am praying I have enough gas, or that I can coast downhill. But then again, I may lose my power brakes and power steering if the engine dies.
Cars and motos are buzzing by me, and I look like Elmer Fudd, or Mr. Greenjeans as I proceed down the hill.
Alas, I find a petrol station, and must have blurted out a big sigh of relief. The kid next to me getting gas said that a quarter tank should carry me 100 kilometers. And the light warns the driver that he has at least 30 kilometers of gas remaining. Wow!
I guess if a foreigner like me cannot read the dash board info, then he or she may panic like I did!!!
After the petrol station, I crawled along the narrow road, rarely wide enough for two cars, until I reach Fira, and my favorite watering hole. Apostolis gave me 4 beers, and some lamb ribs to calm me down.
I was swearing at the car rental guy for not explaining the petrol situation a bit more clearly.
Other than that, it was a fine day’s drive in paradise.