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. We started up the hillside that had no trail.
Megan, Julian, and Jeremy taking a ‘vista break’.
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
On the mountainside while waves broke below us
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.”
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
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 and found Euphorbia was named after Euphorbus, a Greek physician who supposedly discovered the plant in the 1st century AD.
Megan at the wall on top of the mountain
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
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…
…a baby goat, not even a kid yet.
Aww, he’s so little.
I was surprised how light he was – about the weight of a small cat.
Needless to say, I loved this.
So did Megan
He sounded almost like a baby and didn’t want to leave our sides.
Eventually, he seemed less afraid and there were other goats nearby. See you later baby goat.
Although we were trying to leave him, we realized he was scared. We tried to keep walking him down the mountain toward other goats.
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
Mom is proud of her son.
Bye bye baby goat camouflaged somewhere up there on the mountain. Thanks for making our day.