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By Whitewater Voyages founder William McGinnis
Contents:


  1. Authentic, Wild and Beautiful: Serifos Island
  2. William McGinnis
  3. Contact Me
  4. Serifos, Greece
  5. Best Sellers

I compiled a comprehensive list of all of the beaches to suit your beach style at: Best Beaches of Serifos. If you love walking to great views, it happens to be one of the top things to do on Serifos. The view on the short hike up is simply stunning. For more on this experience and tips, check out my post: The Venetian Castle of Serifos. The Chora is divided into two sections: There are also wonderful cafes and a shops around the square to check out.

In the lower part, called Kato Chora , you can simply walk through and admire the Cycladic style architecture and see locals going about their daily business. The houses are tiny and incredibly cute! You may even peep in a few — if the windows or doors are wide open. The Church of Evangelistria is also located in Kato Chora. For more on this experience and tips visit: Hiking the Mining Caves of Serifos. I often see them trekking it from beach to beach just a few kilometers rather than waiting for a bus. For more on this experience check out my post: Hiking the Monopati Trail in Serifos.

Another one of the top things to do on Serifos is to sit back and enjoy a lovely Greek meal with a beach view and peace and quiet. The island has a few wonderful quiet beach tavernas, each one run by a local family. There are two on Psili Ammos beach, one is called Stefanakos and the other is Manolis. On the western side of the island, I always love the sand at your toes atmosphere at the tavernas on Mega Livadi beach. It has a fun atmosphere and where everyone gathers.

The DJs play funk, rock and some pop. By midnight, in the summer, most of the seats will be taken. There are more than ! The most important monastery, which you can visit, is the 16 th -century Monastery of Taxiarches near Galani village, pictured below. Check to see if any delicious homemade pastaki Serifou Serifian pie is left. This dessert either made with chocolate pudding or fruity gelatin. For a full rundown of the best restaurants in Serifos to visit check out my earlier post: Best Restaurants in Serifos.

To get to the Greek islands, many international travelers arrive by air, usually with a change in Athens or another major city. There are some direct seasonal flights to certain island destinations too. You can find the best flight deals with Vayama.

Authentic, Wild and Beautiful: Serifos Island

The island does not have an airport. The frequency of ferries depends on the season. Ferries leave from the port of Piraeus in Athens. The trip lasts anywhere from 2. I usually take the SpeedRunner which is about a 2. There are regular connections to the other west Cyclades, including Milos, Kythnos and Sifnos. Coco-Mat , the luxury Greek brand, also has a small boutique hotel right on Vagia beach.

For a basic clean rooms, no frills, I recommend Ms.

William McGinnis

This post sums up my top things to do on Serifos, an island I know very well. Have you been to Serifos? Please feel free to comment by scrolling down to the comment box below. What a great post! Hi Bex, Ha ha, yes! It will be great to see you. This is a very good guide to Serifos for the adventurers. Grabbing my binoculars, I locked the doors and started walking along the edge of the mountain freeway, and then onto a rocky promontory jutting over the river.

In the brilliant mountain light, I gazed at the undulating river far below, the tree-dotted, boulder-strewn slopes, the majestic Greenhorn Mountains to the north—technically considered the southern end of the Sierra Nevada—and the Piute Mountains to the South. The silence was absolute, as, through my binoculars, I studied the cathedral-like canyon.

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A thousand feet above, a California Condor, with wings spread incredibly wide, effortlessly floated on the thermals rising off the southern-facing rim, eyeing and apparently grooving with this slice of creation that had been carved out over the eons by the Kern River. Sounds of screeching and crashing ripped me from my reverie. Metal resounding on metal mixed with the cacophony of imploding plastic and shattering glass.

I spun to see a black humvee repeatedly side swipe and rear end a white Prius, obviously trying to run it off the cliff. The Prius dodged this way and that, but despite the efforts of its driver, it could not outrun or outmaneuver the much bigger, more powerful jeep on steroids. Frozen, I watched the two warring vehicles as they approached my promontory. Then the humvee exploded forward like a moon shuttle booster rocket, and rear ended the Prius in a homicidal acceleration that sent the small vehicle straight toward—and off—the edge just a few yards from where I hunkered.

She—a raven-haired woman—was there for an instant, then gone. Riveted, I watched the Prius make a short arc through the air, land right side up, and slew wildly, skidding down the long scree slope. Dense clusters of bushes slowed the little car. Damned if the woman was not only keeping her wheels down, she seemed to be exercising some degree of control.

I watched in admiration as she steered into soft bushes, avoiding trees and rocks which certainly would have killed her. Incredibly, she even had the presence of mind to aim for a gap in the dense tangle of trees lining the riverbank at the bottom of the slope.


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Whipped by bush after bush in its path, the hybrid slowed, then slowed some more. Still going way too fast, it swept through the gap in the riparian vegetation and slid into the water, disappearing below the surface. The black humvee had skidded to a stop just before the cliff edge. Two muscular men climbed out, one tall, the other short, both sporting square-edged, flat-topped haircuts and thick black shoes.

Both gripped rifles with large scopes which they aimed at me, and I knew that, as their only witness, they intended to shoot me dead. I dropped my binoculars and flung myself down the steep incline. Shots exploded around me, two within inches of my right ear, sending concussive shivers down my spine.

Serifos, Greece

Dodging this way and that, I ran wildly, skidding, scrambling and sliding down the inclined plane of the canyon wall, avoiding the bushes, trying to put trees and rock outcroppings between me and the shooters, all the while praying the girl had managed to escape drowning. I slid, first on my feet, for a moment on my belly, then on my back. My senses sharpened, I spotted the car below me and dove down. When I looked inside, the woman was not there. Had she been washed away? Knocked out cold, maybe drowned? I surfaced, gasping for air. Swimming at a right angle to the current, I stroked back to the bank and burst up onto a small grassy beach.

The dripping-wet body of the woman was lying in the shelter of a huge sycamore trunk. As I leaned over her, first one blue eye, then another looked up at me. Bright red blood oozed from her left forearm and from her right leg above the knee. A smart cookie, she had clamped her right hand over the wound in her left arm and with her left hand was staunching the flow from her leg, but the bleeding continued. I pulled off my t-shirt, tearing it into strips.

Pressing the patches of cloth over her wounds, I had her hold them in place while I checked for broken bones, concussion, and spine and neck injuries. Making it down that slope! And getting your car through that narrow gap in the trees! Being careful to stay hidden, I peered around the massive sycamore trunk up at the two guys who were now out on the promontory scanning the canyon for some sign of us.

You okay with that? Why the hell not?

It only makes sense to equal the odds a bit by calling in some cavalry. I helped her to her feet. With her wet, faded-red t-shirt and shorts clinging to her body, she brushed her hair back and drew a deep breath. Although she limped slightly, she moved toward the water with animal grace.

I was glad to see, though, that she knew her stuff. Staying close to the right, where the dense, intertwined willow, alder and sycamore trees lined the bank screening us from the riflemen above, we silently floated downriver. Back in the water, after years away from it, I experienced an upwelling of my old love of swimming in nature, plus a new sensation. This woman kindled a spark within me. As the current carried us, I became aware of a dull roar growing louder and louder. Tripnee moved into position directly ahead of me. I was hypnotized by the rhythmic stroking of her lithe, sculpted arms.

As the current swept us toward the horizon line just ahead, she assumed a feet-downstream, toes-at-the-surface position, and I followed suit. Picking up speed toward the brink, up to my neck in this surging river, I could see nothing but spray and mist thrown up by the cataract into which I was about to be hurled. With the speed of a projectile launched from a catapult, I shot down into a wild orgy of sucking, squeezing currents, probing fingers of foam, and thrusting tongues of limb-bashing whitewater. Tumbling along submerged, I thought everything was pretty much fine, except for the no-breathing part, when suddenly my right foot caught in a slot between two big rocks on the river bottom.

I hung by my ankle face down, stretched out in the driving current like a Raggedy Ann doll in a hurricane. The harder I struggled, the tighter my ankle wedged into the vice-like grip of the rock crevice. Desperately I tried to move back upriver to free my foot, but the current was utterly relentless and overpowering. With my lungs screaming for oxygen, my strength waning, and my mind starting to black out, it occurred to me that I was going to join my mom and dad very soon.

Suddenly, amazingly, I felt Tripnee pushing me back upstream. While I was immobile underwater, she must have realized I was in trouble, swum for shore, run back up the bank, figured out where I was, and dived down to catch the small underwater eddy created by my entrapped body. Now she was under me, facing me, with her head pointed upstream and her feet somehow braced on the riverbed. She pressed her body against mine, held me tight, and somehow propelled me little by little, inch by inch, back against the current.

As soon as I was free, Tripnee unbraced her feet and we shot off down through the rapid. Frantically, I stroked for the surface, where I filled my lungs again and again with delicious, life-giving air—each lungful a treasure beyond price. Soon we were sucked under again—and still again. When at last I surfaced below the rapid, I looked around for Tripnee, but she was nowhere to be seen.

House-sized boulders of salt-and-pepper granite glided by on both banks. The Kern rounded a bend. The riflemen now had to be out of visual and rifle range. Then, there she was, rising to the surface at my side. In that same moment my vision shifted and I was struck by the greens of the willows and alders, and the blue of the sky. Can you swim to the bank? We were in a long, quiet calm, and stroked for the right bank, the bank nearest the highway, where we would be most hidden. In the shallows, I stood up and winced as a throbbing pain radiated up my leg.

My entire ankle was chafed raw and bleeding. Seeing this woman in her nicely filled out red bikini top and matching shorts further eased my pain. Feeling a wave of shyness, we both looked out over the calm.


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  • We eased back in. Neck deep, slowly treading water with extended leisurely strides similar to the motions of a cross country skier, I ignored the ache of my injury, and inhaled long, slow, full breaths. Despite the fact that we were fleeing from crazed gunmen and our lives were in extreme danger, I experienced something that was rare for me: A sense of rightness, a sense that this was where I wanted to be.

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    We floated around several more bends and swam more roaring, electrifying, body-blasting rapids. I could tell Tripnee knew the river like the back of her hand. She led and I followed down through rapid after rapid. Some were too dangerous to swim, and needed to be walked around. Unfortunately I inadvertently swam a few of these anyway, because at times we got separated. But somehow we survived and kept going. To order your signed copy of Whitewater by William McGinnis now, now, click here. I really believe, however, that the safer and better all rafting trips and outdoor recreation experiences, the better for all of us.

    The more people who return home in one piece, thrilled and delighted with their river trip or outdoor outing, the more river rafting and outdoor recreation in general will be seen as a great thing to do and the more all outfitters, the recreating public and our recreation resources will benefit. Although the myriad users of this book are independent, far flung adventurers, guides, outfitters, tour operators and recreation resource managers, at the same time, ideally, we are all working together to enhance the quality of life on this planet!

    The highest purpose of this book is to contribute to this broad, growing effort—which is, after all, an ongoing quest of planet-saving proportions. Dealing with Serious Accidents. Entertainment and Interpretation Deep Fun: It is not enough just to get people as safely as possible down the river, it is also paramount for guides to enhance the fun, camaraderie, learning and openness on river trips. Answer all questions with thoroughness, care and appreciation. Realize that your caring answers can turn any question into a good question and can send the message that here, in this boat, it is okay and safe to know what you know, okay and safe to not know what you do not know, and okay and safe to be open and unguarded.

    In the beginning of each trip you are laying a foundation of seriousness that must underlie heartfelt silliness. Give an extra thorough safety talk with humor and supportiveness, and extra thorough in-boat training with a blend of humor, lots of positive strokes, nurturing and firmness. Thoroughly teach your crew everything they need to know to paddle well, stay in the boat, and cope with emergencies.

    It is only when everyone feels reassured that they are in good hands and know how to play their part that they can completely relax and really be silly—and, in a sense, build an edifice of silliness on this foundation of seriousness. Celebrate the fact that the river of each human soul tends to be deep and wide and multi-layered and ever flowing. It is normal for us to have multiple and even contradictory feelings about issues, ourselves and one another all at the same time. As guides we can model, and inspire in others, an acceptance and celebration of this ever unfolding, multifaceted, mysterious richness!

    As human souls, even with all of our differences, we have an infinite number of things in common. First, set an example of finding and focusing on things everyone has in common as humans in any setting but especially when working together to run a river, we have just about everything in common, fundamentally. When a group of us humans has a really good time together, our very differences, seen from the perspective of all we have in common, can greatly add to the fun we find in being together! Be humble, that is, include everyone in your coolness: Perhaps the single most influential thing a guide can do to inspire openness, trust and true camaraderie—and, hence, deep fun—is to simply be humble and appreciate others.

    When most people contemplate outdoor adventure activities like whitewater rafting, it is entirely normal to experience fear, consciously or unconsciously, on a number of levels. There is physical fear: Am I going to get hurt? Am I going to die? There is social fear: Am I going to be accepted or rejected by this group? And biggest of all, for most of us, are fears around issues of self esteem: Can I do this?

    Skilled river guides can implicitly assuage all of these fears in the very way they prepare people and guide them down the river. Every trip begins with a thorough safety talk and in-boat training which teach everything trip members need to know to make it safely down the river—thereby addressing physical fear. And by doing this with warmth, caring, good humor and respect, professional guides create an atmosphere of acceptance and support and good fun in which social fears and fears around issues of self esteem melt away.

    The goal is to include, accept and appreciate—and to send the message that everyone is truly OK and wonderful—just as they are right now! This is one of the most healing of all messages—and puts the group on the path to deep fun!

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    Cultivate an appreciation for the possibilities of human groups: Human groups, such as the circle of human souls in a raft or around a campfire, are capable of amazing quantum-leap magnifications of energy and aliveness. An amazing aspect of all this is that everyone, including the guide, gets to experience the god-like pleasure of hanging out with cool, god-like people. At put ins and early on trips, the inner question within most questions asked by clients is: Everyone here will be treated with respect; you will not be made fun of or put down; here you can relax, be yourself, let your hair down, expand, grow, and even be silly, and still be accepted and appreciated!