Aug 26, 2017 - Sea Cloud

After a lovely and relaxing day at sea, we awoke yesterday in the port town of Katakolo on the island of Amorgos. Amorgos is one of the most remote of the Cylcades Islands and it showed, since we were lucky enough to be the only cruise ship in town. After a scrumptious breakfast, we donned our skirts, long pants and covered shoulders for our excursion to the Hozoviotissa monastery. We loaded into the tender to shore and embarked buses, winding up the switchbacks, until we crossed the island and the dramatic cliffs came into view. We parked in the tiny parking lot, down below was the crystal clear blue Mediterranean where part of True Blue was filmed. Up above was our destination, a white monastery pasted onto the side of a cliff at the end of 300 steps.

The climb was well worth the sweeping views. We entered into the small doorway and made our way upstairs. To the left the wall was the rock of the cliff painted white, which we held onto as we walked up to where the famous Icon was kept. Our guides told us about the 2 pieces of an icon of Virgin Mary that were found here in the water below the cliffs, and put together. The pieces are said to have floated over from a city in Palestine, and made it to Amorgos where they constructed the monastery in her honor and named it after the city in which it came from. It is still a working monastery so we were able to visit the monks and drink some of the sweet honey Racomalo that they make. With a little alcohol in our system, the climb down seemed much easier, we boarded the buses and headed to the cute little town of Chora.

In ancient times, most of the islands main towns were built high on the highest hill for protection, with the houses facing into a central area and their backsides forming a walled fortress to outsiders. Inside are small meandering stone pathways twisting and winding through the whitewashed houses with bright blue doors and window shutters. We had free time to enjoy freddo cappuccinos, to shop and explore the pathways shaded by vine and flower-covered pergolas before catching a bus to take a refreshing dip down in the port. After our swim, we headed back to the Sea Cloud for another tasty lunch and an afternoon of fun activities including Dr. Rebecca Ingram’s presentation on the Bronze Age.  Thanks to the fascinating details of her lecture, we were excited to explore the next day’s stop, Akrotiri.

Before bedtime, we relaxed under the stars as our Expedition Leader John taught us about stars and the phases of the moon. It was another long, but fun-filled and fascinating day on board the Sea Cloud

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About the Author

Alisha Kilgore

Assistant Expedition Leader

Born and raised in Eastern Washington and North Idaho, Alisha Kilgore has possessed an appetite for adventure from a young age. When she and her father weren’t backpacking or kayaking in the stunning mountain ranges around them, they were chasing the next adventure throughout Canada, the United States, or Mexico. The farther Alisha ventured from the Northwest, the more intrigued she became by the people and landscapes she encountered.

About the Photographer

José Calvo

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Nicknamed “Indio” (Indian) because of his powers of observation and quiet nature, José has almost two decades of experience working as a naturalist and photography guide; as well as being recognized as an expert birder and nature photographer in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity — over 893 bird species have been recorded in the country. Since very young José spent all of his free time in the outdoors in the forest, where he soon fell in love with the birds. He particularly enjoys listening to their calls, and watching their behavior. Oddly enough, another one of Jose’s passions is science and technology, and because of this, he was among the first in Costa Rica to experiment with digital photography. As the technology quickly improved so did his love for it.  He truly believes that nature photography is the perfect combination of both of his passions.

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