Day 14: Backlion to Heraklion

On the way out of Chania, which we only recently learned is pronounced ‘Hania,’ we stopped at a beach side taverna. Which taverna is unimportant. There were a dozen such tavernas dotting this long stretch of beach. We chose this one because it had very few people and we had a long day of shooting ahead of us. Today we would get that elusive bikini shot come hell or high tide. We also lucked into having four of the cutest kittens of the whole trip as lunch guests. I guess what I’m saying is there’s something for everyone in this post.

It started out simple enough, we rode our bikes down the sandy drive and parked them bikes near a low rock wall. We unpacked the gear we would need. A little cat walked up to Joe.

Cats love Joe

I went inside to see if I could rouse a staff member to take our order. The interior was poorly lit and I didn’t see anyone at first. As my eyes adjusted, I started to make out the shape of an old man sitting on a couch taking in oxygen through a face mask. He saw me and removed the mask to grumble further into the gloom. He summoned an older lady who spoke very little English but asked me if I wanted café and food or just café. Food, I told her. We would like some food.

Everybody does their greek salad a little differently, and we’ve tried all of them. This is an unusually thick slab of feta.

As we sat at the table we were joined by a second cat.

Then a third.

Joe’s favorite

Before we knew it there were four kittens, all the same age running around our table, begging for food, fighting each other, and pouncing on grasshoppers in the long weeds. It was a real show, and Joe was on the scene.

Joe and his mewses

OK! That’s it for me. I started writing this post jut so I could make that one cat pun. See ya later.

Oh right, the bikini shots.

We changed into our swimsuits. For the first time I noticed the one Joe was wearing was cut much higher than the one I had on. I found this to be hilarious and Joe insisted that I had known the whole time and had purposefully given him the ‘sexier’ suit. I promise this is not the case. Pure luck of the draw.

We set up the camera on a tripod made up of Joe’s bag stacked on top of my bag with the camera perched dangerously on top. We played with the light, position, and poses for a while, no real idea what we were doing, but now, I’m able to present the results. I give you, Joe and Devo: The Grecian Bikini Sessions.

Wham
Bam
You’re welcome

We got some pretty good ones next to the scooters as well but, something happened between the beach shoot and the scooter shoot and they ended up a little NSFW so we’re holding those for our Patreon subscribers.

We packed up all the gear, said so long to our cat friends, and hit the road. We also changed back into regular clothes. Now that I’m thinking about it, though, a 75 kilometer bikini ride would have been the talk of Crete.

On the road, we passed an old man riding a bike on the freeway, a dog crossing the freeway – not a good idea, dog – and I almost ran out of gas. I actually pulled over to tell Joe that I was about to run out of gas and to look up the nearest gas station. It was sixteen minutes away. I made it but the needle was deep into the E by the time I got there. I didn’t know the E was in play. I thought I was toast on the last hash mark. Then they guy overfilled Joe’s tank and spilled a bunch of gas. I’ve overfilled my scooter tank before but never like that. He seemed to think it was no big deal so we paid him and got out of there.

Riding back on the national road was fun, lots of smooth slow curves to speed through. When we got within view of Heraklion it was from a big rise, the road running right along the ocean. We were looking down the coast from an elevated vantage point and the city was etched into the rock some miles in front of us. I would have loved to get a photo but it was the highway and there weren’t any good places to stop. The shoulder is part of the road here. People pass whenever and wherever they want so most people drive with their passenger-side wheels over the white line to give everyone plenty of room. By the time we got back I was mentally labelling everyone who was driving fully in the lane a tourist.

We returned the bikes to a lady we’d never met before. She asked us for our copies of the contract and to see the pictures we’d taken of the bike. This annoyed me. Those are our copies. You have your own copies, find them. And I’m not about to be accused of damaging the bike because there’s a scrape that doesn’t appear in the pictures I TOOK! I’m an asshole, I can’t be expected to take comprehensive pictures of everything! Everything went fine though. Joe did the talking and we made it out of there.

Checked back into our Airbnb from the first time we’d stayed here. We’d rebooked it. Felt like home. Didn’t need the tour. Already know the whole bathroom is a shower. Bird party was still happening, two days later.

Went out to dinner at a place called Magos. Skurrrr!

Staples: Greek salad and house white
New addition: cheese plate

Joe said thank you to our waiter in Greek and the waiter said you’re welcome, also in Greek. Joe was so proud of himself he almost split down the middle. I was proud of him too. We’ve not been confident with our Greek niceties so this was a real win for us.

They brought out dessert. Ice cream with four slices of what Joe called a “Snickers loaf.”

“This is dessert, but it’s also an appetizer,” I said. “For the ice cream we’re going to eat later.”

We paid the check and Joe thanked our waiter, again in Greek, not quite nailing it on this attempt. The waiter did not respond.

“What was that?” I asked.

“I think I said Wiz Khalifa.”

After dinner we went back to the Route 66 bar and had a drink. When I picked up the keys, our Airbnb host had told me about a food festival happening down by the natural history museum. I told Joe about it at the time but hadn’t done a good job communicating, I guess. He remarked on the people walking down our street holding drinks and bags and I reminded him about the festival, this time managing to get the idea across. We decided to make a move. Heading down the hill to the beach road, we quickly started to hear the music. We found the enclosed area and approached the entrance. It looked like they were maybe taking tickets. This girl stopped us and handed us a slip of paper each. She rattled of a long spiel in Greek and we nodded and smiled. When she was done we said, “Thank you” and here eyes went wide and she says, “Ohhhhhh! You don’t speak Greek?” and then proceeds to go through the whole thing in English. Something about a lottery ticket and a concert.

We entered the grounds and saw the band set up on a large stage.

Greek Phish

They played traditional Greek music at a rapid clip. The tempo was quick. The songs were looooong. We were there for an hour I think they played 6 songs. In a semi-circle out from the stage were booths selling foods made in Crete. Spices, olive oils, jams, wines. It was at this last one that Joe made his stand. It was 2 euro to taste five white wines, but the girl liked Joe so much that when he finished his whites, she just moved right on to the reds.

Taste of Crete

She asked us where we’d eaten dinner and I showed her a picture of the sign on my phone.

“Ohh,” she said. “That’s not a real restaurant. That’s a very small restaurant.”

That is, how you say, a pig trough?

Then she recommended us a REAL restaurant which we will never try unless we come back here someday.

When they were closing up she wanted to give Joe the last half bottle but he politely refused. Probably the right call.

We walked home, got gelato, and were in bed by 2330 which I was personally thrilled about. People think modeling is easy but it’s actually really hard work. We leave Crete tomorrow but not without some very fond memories. You’ve been great, Crete.

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