The Day We Tried to Be Grecian Mountain Goats

The Day We Tried to Be Grecian Mountain Goats

If you picture Greek islands to be sunny with sandy beaches below hillsides of blue and white painted buildings, I’m sure you are correct somewhere. Here on the island of Naxos it is staggeringly mountainous. While we were there in late March, it was unseasonably rainy and cold. Nonetheless, it didn’t stop us from hiking. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe started up the hillside that had no trail.

Megan, Julian, and Jeremy taking a water break

Megan, Julian, and Jeremy taking a ‘vista break’.

It continued to be a steep uphill climb. 10 year old Julian led the way.

It continued to be a steep uphill climb. 10 year old Julian led the way.

We were literally climbing up the steep mountainside like goats, all the while hearing goat bells in the distance.

Julian and Jeremy at a landmark we could see from the beach

Julian and Jeremy at a landmark we could see from the beach

Megan and I on the mountainside while waves break below us.

On the mountainside while waves broke below us

With the wind blowing, and the clouds rolling in, it was sure to rain momentarily.

With the wind blowing and the clouds rolling in, it was sure to rain momentarily.

The clouds descended upon us and we were rained on. Luckily, just then, we found a shepherd (goatherd?) shelter made from stone. We took refuge there until the pouring rain passed.

Jeremy said during the rain storm, “The good news is that it will be nice and slippery on the way down.”

Jeremy said on the way up as it started to rain, “The good news is that it will be nice and slippery on the way down.” We got fairly soaked.

We got fairly soaked. Coming from hot Thailand, I was wearing all the layers I had.

As we hiked it smelled of goat poop and the occasional hint of sage.

Goat poop was everywhere

Goat poop was everywhere

Slippery, rocky, bushy, and thorny outcrops

Slippery, rocky, bushy, and thorny outcrops. While slipping, I got a few of these stuck in my hand.

The great thing about hiking with a 10 year old is discovering things that I wouldn’t notice as an adult – bouncy bushes.

I was surprised to see euphorbia, the alien looking plants I knew from Portland. I wondered about the name, so I looked it up. Euphorbia was named after Euphorbus, a Greek physician who supposedly discovered the plant in the 1st century AD.

I was surprised to see euphorbia – the alien looking plants I knew from Portland. I wondered about the name, so I looked it up and found Euphorbia was named after Euphorbus, a Greek physician who supposedly discovered the plant in the 1st century AD.

Megan when we reached the wall at the top

Megan at the wall on top of the mountain

Our nearly vertical descent

Our nearly vertical descent

although we could hear the sound of goats everywhere, they gamboled away from us and seemed to be very camera shy

Although we could hear the sound of goats everywhere, they gamboled away from us and seemed to be very camera shy

Julian, being the most agile of the four of us, scampered down the mountainside in no time. We lost sight of him for a while, but weren’t worried. We made up stories that he was out fishing on the beach. No, he’d caught two fish and was back drinking ouzo and playing backgammon with the locals while learning the Greek alphabet.

As we were nearly at the bottom of our descent, we had a wonderful surprise…

As we were nearly at the bottom of our descent we had a wonderful surprise - a baby goat, not even a kid yet.

…a baby goat, not even a kid yet.

Aww, he's so little.

Aww, he’s so little.

I was surprised how light he was. He was about the weight of a small cat.

I was surprised how light he was – about the weight of a small cat.

Needless to say, I loved this

Needless to say, I loved this.

So did Megan

So did Megan

He sounded almost like a baby and didn't want to leave our sides.

He sounded almost like a baby and didn’t want to leave our sides.

Although we were trying to leave him, we realized he was scared. We tried to keep walking him down the mountain toward other goats. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEventually, he seemed less afraid and there were other goats nearby. See you later baby goat.

Although we made up stories about what Julian was doing during the time it took us to get down the mountain, when we arrived on the beach we found he really had done something impressive.

Julian and his rock sculpture

Julian and his rock sculpture

Mom is impressed with her son.

Mom is proud of her son.

Bye bye baby goat camouflaged somewhere up there on the mountain. Thanks for making our day.

Bye bye baby goat camouflaged somewhere up there on the mountain. Thanks for making our day.

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4 thoughts on “The Day We Tried to Be Grecian Mountain Goats

  1. Hey, I was in Naxos less than a year ago! Thanks for the nostalgia. We didn’t hike, but rented bikes one day and an ATV another. The mountains are beautiful.

  2. Pingback: Timeless Naxos | Land of Infinite Possibilities

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