Greek island scooter trip
Two-wheeling around one of Greece's tiniest, prettiest islands.
It’s got to be an insurer’s worst worry – travellers who would never normally ride a scooter back home hiring one on an overseas holiday; fizzing around without helmet and wearing only shorts and thongs (as in the flip-flop type), often with predictable consequences.
I’m mindful of the old saying, “There’s no fool like an old fool”, so for years I’ve resisted joining the hire queues, but with a warm sunny day and quiet scenic road beckoning, I weakened.
We’re on a little slice of heaven (no, not New Zealand), the tiny island of Symi, 45 minutes by ferry from Rhodes, in Greece.
Coincidentally, I’ve just hired a scooter by the brand name of Sym, more specifically a Symphony SR 150, down on the delightful waterfront.
At just 7.7kW of power to play with, it’s with an embarrassing wobble that with pillion aboard, we take off, me fumbling for the non-existent foot pegs. Doh!
It turns out I don’t really need trainer wheels and in surprisingly no time at all, we’re high up on the steep mountainside overlooking Symi town.
It might lack endowment, but the Symphony’s CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission – no need to change gear) works well in extracting all 10.6Nm of torque and it pulls out of the uphill corners without complaint.
Then, we come to the proverbial fork in the road.
Which way to go? We’ve got a 50% chance of getting it correct (ha!) and take the right, signposted ‘something’ beach.
The bitumen road becomes dirt, downhill and steep.
With all the weight transfer to the front 16-inch wheel, it’s a tough test of rider and machine.
Soon, we’re no longer even on a formed road.
Eventually, we make it to the beach which doesn’t really appeal as a place to swim.
The only thing around is a residence with bar and café (not open), so we prepare to turn around and leave.
A frantic baa, baa catches our attention.
And here’s a kid – as in baby goat – with its head somehow caught fast inside a roll of concrete reinforcing mesh that has been placed around a tree trunk.
They say nothing squeals like a stuck pig, but a stuck baby goat does a pretty fair impersonation.
Luckily, its horns are not fully formed and thus still pliable, so by pressing down on them with my thumbs we’re able to pull the little sucker free.
Animal rescue completed, we ride back up the road to ruin and stop and enjoy the stunning views.
Then down the mountainside to the tiny waterfront locality of Pedi.
There we have it all – restaurant built over the water, private beach with lazy lounges, hardly a soul around, quiet and tranquillity personified.
Time to relax, chilled local beer in hand and kick back.