Julia Bueno found the ferry journey to her romantic Greek island just a shade too relaxing
Sunday 06 June 1999
The ferry turned out to have no outdoor space. I had visions of having to make do with mere make-up, when I spotted some steps to sunlight cordoned off by a sign in silly lettering. Despite many hisses from the hairy men when I ventured near my route to beauty, I managed to seize the moment when one of them produced a pack of cards and distracted his companions. I clambered skywards with my handbag. Being the organised (some would say anal) traveller that I am, I had put on my bikini underneath my dress, so it was a question of peeling it off, making a pillow out of it and kicking back with Neil Diamond.
I am a notoriously bad sleeper. Sleep clinics could run successful seminars on my ability to wake with a start at the sound of a feather being dropped in the next street. This special talent left me that particular day, and when I woke (feeling crusty), the sun was cunningly low. I vaguely remembered some noise and hooting during my "brief rest" and then the penny dropped - I had missed my stop.
Despite my newly developed pink crust, I managed to leap up so quickly that my dress/pillow flew behind me and into the winds of the Aegean. I calmed myself down with the thought that the colour didn't suit me anyway. I had plenty more garments in my suitcase beneath me, amongst the hairy men. Or so I thought. When I sneaked down to retrieve it, someone had made it invisible. After two seconds of yoga breathing, I used my best Greek to find out where we were heading. "Somethingos" was still far away which meant that, to the fascination of the hairy men and some baskets of fish, I had to sit anxiously fighting back tears and nearly naked for the journey to end.
Three-and-a-half months later we arrived. It was dark and I was losing industrial quantities of heat from my crust. I scanned the port for someone not dressed in a long black dress, who could, perhaps, restrain their mirth and help me. My knight in shining armour turned out to be a grumpy, tortured artist who had lived on the island for a number of years.
His boundless generosity consisted of handing me a copy of the ferry timetable and sloping off to his easel in the hills. Of course, this schedule proved academic because the ferry operators were on strike.
The net result of this fiasco was three days and three nights alone, fuelled by retsina, and dressed in the bikini (or a nylon number acquired from the only shop), negotiating with a hairy policeman for a stolen luggage report. When I eventually made it to meet my man, he'd taken a shine to Stella, the island beauty, and the last thing I heard he's returning to see her this summer.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...
Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...
£45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...