Our quest began with the rental car. Having a car allows for flexibility and adventure. My partner decided he want to see the pink beach in on the western side of the island of Crete. The drive itself proved to be phenomenal. What many do not realize about Crete is that it is a big rock - and there are few roads and in some places those roads are one lane roads... generally those are in the mountains - whoa be the inexperienced driver who meets a bus!
Our trek to the pink beach twisted through the mountains providing breathtaking vistas - if you like to drive and see beautiful scenery this is the place for you! Nestled in the mountains are villages ready for the tourists and locals to stop and take a little break. I declared an ice cream break upon seeing the first village! My partner said we had to eat real food first, so we sampled the octopus before the ice cream Sundays. After we settled in for our snack a huge bus came through the village and we wondered how it got up those twisty roads! And what would we have done upon meeting a bus?
After 3 hours of twisty turny roads, we arrived at the pink beach. Beautiful sand dunes and native grasses, flat horizon of the sea and various pools of water created a breathtaking landscape suitable for watercolorist everywhere... however, the sand was not really pink. Our trek to find a secluded spot away from the folding chairs and the sporty people on the beach ended at a stretch of beach nestled in the sand dunes, those were not pink either. We spent time relaxing and napping, then into the water! While in the water we found traces of pink ribbons of sand laced throughout the regular sand colored sand. It was lovely but... I am not sure it was worth the hype.
The following day we drove west from our humble apartment at Mike's and found a small fishing village where tourism had not yet come. The beaches were primarily rock but we drove the coast and found one of those cute little enclaves of private beach... you know the kind honeymoon ads always picture but you can never find because when you get there there are always people on the beach? Yes, we found one of those... at first we thought we were the only ones but we quickly saw that two other couples were nestled in private areas enjoying their day in the sun. We found our spot... shooed the scorpion away! And picked through the pebbles finding some of the most lovely rocks of the trip.
In Santorini, our next stop we played on a black beach and swam in water near a red beach. The water sang from the iron content and wild chickens perched on the ledge. Many more beaches were explored but I don't think anyone can beat the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean. After returning from Tulum recently, I realize the Americas must have appeared to be an incredible paradise to those Spaniards all those years ago.