Tasting Ouzo in Ball-Sack Cove

Yes, the title of this post has the word “ball-sack” in it. Yes, it’s relevant.

private beach in samos
Panorama of the private beach in samos

Neo Karlovasi, Samos, Greece | 6/29/15 | 8:47 PM
Today I experienced many things – both good and bad. We went on a long hike through the forest/mountains and ended up on a beautiful private beach with huge waves… good. We came face to face with a tan, leathery, naked, old man…not so good. We tried Ouzo for the first time…bad.

It’s the climb

The hike began as a shallow incline up a dirt trail. Soon I was pushing leaves out of my face. And before I knew it, I was using my hands during some parts, just to stay upright. On the way, we ate wild pears (or some other sort of wild fruit, not entirely sure), heard stories about the olive trees and anticipated the refreshing ocean water that would be waiting for us at the end of the hike.

hike to a private beach in samos

The surprise encounter

Towards the end of the hike, we were all hot and sweaty and so ready for the cool ocean and the private beach at the end. What we didn’t anticipate was the old, leathery man who also occupied the private beach. What we didn’t anticipate was him naked, spread eagle, tanning his “boys.” Awkward…

Thinking back on it now, it made sense. It was a very secluded beach. He probably didn’t expect a whole family to come charging down the mountain to his place of solitude. And I get that. But he didn’t seem very phased by us. In fact, he seemed to flaunt it even more. He started walking around, he laid in a more obvious position, all of it. And I don’t remember seeing a bag of clothes or anything with him.

Which means he did that whole hike naked. Even more awkward.

Ouzo…or should I say ew-zo

private beach in samos 5
The hole-y boulders we tried throwing rocks through

After we accepted the fact that we were in ball-sack cove, we started to enjoy ourselves. We splashed in the water for a bit, tossed rocks through the open hole in the mountain (correction: attempted to toss rocks through the open hole in the mountain), and finally turned in for an afternoon lunch. My aunt Paula, a Greek native, decided to show us noobs how it was done, and she brought a water bottle full of ouzo, for us to try. Just ouzo. No juice or anything to mask the taste. Just ouzo and water.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried ouzo before, but it’s not good…at all. I had the smallest sip of it and immediately spit it out. I had to cover the taste with the almonds and cheese that we had left. Thank God for those almonds and cheese. RIP taste buds.

Building a cairn

You’ve probably seen a cairn before. And possibly even attempted to build one. If the latter is true, then you know how difficult they can be. During some point in my life I had seen small cairns, so on this day I had decided to build one. It’s just stacking rocks, right? Wrong. My friends and I had to build and rebuild it repeatedly. We would finally be making some headway, and then one rock on the bottom would shift, and they would all go crashing down, causing us to restart. In the end, I thought it turned out pretty great. But then a few days later we saw a giant one at a different beach. Totally put mine to shame.. *smh*

cairn comparison
My sad little cairn on the left vs. the beast of a cairn on the right

Have you had any awkward encounters on the beach? Share your story in the comments below!

 

 

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3 comments

  1. Not quite so dramatic, but when your dad was a little boy and we drove from CA to AZ almost every summer for vacation, we had no AC in the car so always stopped at the Colorado River for a quick swim. We had located a very private beach at the river’s edge. On one trip, there was nobody else on the beach except for one lady, lying on a beach towel, reading a book. My boys dragged their two little dogs into the river to cool them off, then let go of their leashes so they could swim back to shore. So where did they go to shake off the water? Straight to that lady’s towel. She did not appreciate the cold shower.

    Like

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