My dad is from an Island in Greece called Santorini. And in particular from a small village on that island called Mesa Gonia. After the earthquake of 1956, the village of Mesa Gonia moved to Kamari. As a child and an adult I spent most of my summers on the island swimming in the sea, drinking at the clubs, relaxing under the hot sun.
One of the peculiarities of Greece is that poor roads magnify distances. For example, 10km in the US tends to be a 10 minute drive whereas in Santorini it’s about 30 minutes. So everything about the island in particular and Greece in general feels bigger than it really is.
For example, in Santorini the town of Kamari is, as the crow flies, very close to the town of Perissa
But the road to get to Perissa from Kamari goes up and down mountains and twists and turns and takes about an hour .. So Kamari is very far from Perissa.
Ever since I could swim, I’ve always wanted to swim from Kamari to Perissa. That distance felt mythic. During the summer, there are small boats that for a nominal fee will take you between the two beaches. This is not the kind of distance you think about as being short and easy…
So last night, out of sheer curiosity, I decided to find out how far it was.
I was expecting to see something in the 5-8 km range.
The distance is less than 1500m. Put differently, my Olympic triathlon is a longer distance.
I always imagined the distance of Kamari – Perissa to be mythic, and now I intend to swim further, and then go for a bike ride and a run?
For the first time, the task at hand is terrifying me. And this whole Iron Man swim? Well it would be from Kamari to Perissa and back… edit: And after I wrote this I realized that I had underestimated the swim again… an ironman swim is from Kamari to Perissa and back again to Perissa…I’m starting to feel like Michael Phelps in the Visa Ad for the Greek Olympic games…