Guillame Parent

Guillame is a quadriplegic wheelchair user from Canada, who traveled with us for two weeks. He got married two months ago, and wanted to have his wedding trip here.
Guillame, our new friend from Canada

Since he would be here for two weeks, we had lots of time to arrange explorations of the whole Aegean Sea, with our ultimate goal being to reach Santorini, where Guillame would be able to scuba dive, with the help of a diving school that we are associated with.

We did not immediately leave on the first day, because they were tired from the trip here and the jetlag, so we toured around Athens, Plaka, Thisio, Monastiraki, we visited the Parthenon and its museum, got rested in the night, and then began the trip!

The journey commenced on August 28th 2006, the winds were 5-6 beaufort and the mood skyrocketed. Our first stop was Tzia, and we visited Bourkari, where they make the infamous spaghetti with lobster. Many hours of trip and the jetlag from Canada was still obvious, so we rested.
On the second day, after an amazing time spent swimming and nice sailing, we reached Loutra, on Kithnos Island. There, our skipper caught a couple of big fish, which we cooked and had a grand time.
Next stop was Serifos island, and Sifnos. We stayed in Sifnos for two days, as the winds were getting stronger (7-8 beaufort), and we rented a car and visited all the local areas. Afterwards, we sailed for Milos, and we stopped at Kleftiko, a place of unmatched beauty.

Since the weather forecast predicted strong winds for the next days, the weather conditions were not formidable for the trip to Santorini. So, we decided to visit the Saronic Gulf Islands which would be better. After 11 hours, we reached Leonidio. We visited the Monastery of Mary Elonos, and then we went to Hermione, where we visited the completely accessible forest. Next stop was Hydra, with the beautiful paved streets, an island that has stayed the same for over 100 years! Then, we went to Poros. The yacht got moored next to some others that had reserved accessible mooring docks for Guillame. The near by yachts had arranged a bachelor party, and Demos, one of our skippers, entertained all by playing his accordion and guitar. The party lasted until 4am and then they all together went to the bride’s house to sing to her from outside. Of course, they also got invited to the wedding, and the bride was escorted to the church by Guillame and Demos, who was playing music. Guillame had the experience of a traditional Greek wedding and festivities.

When they got back to Athens, with a huge grin on their faces, I asked Guillame to share with me his impressions from the trip.
He said that when he began the trip, he wanted to visit Myconos and Rhodes, because these were the islands that he had heard most about. He had no idea what to expect when he chartered the yacht, as he had heard bad things about accessibility in Greece, but he dared to come and didn’t regret it.
“I experienced the most beautiful vacations of my life. Even in my wildest dreams, I didn’t expect to have such a great time. All the places I visited were beautiful; the skipper was amazing, a good cook, and a good human, very helpful and talkative! I visited Monasteries in beautiful locations, archaeological sites and monuments, I tasted the Mediterranean cuisine, swam in beautiful places, mingled with the locals, got to know their culture. I recommend this trip to everyone. Going back to Canada, I told my friends about the trip, and no one believed me, because they didn’t experience it the way I did, and they don’t have all these memories.
I am thankful to Demos and Antonis, for all the things they did, for me and my wife to have such a nice time.”

Such are the vacations on a yacht. You start to go somewhere, but the sea also has a mind of its own. When the weather allows, you can reach your Ithaca, but if not, you will see other Ithacas, similarly beautiful. What counts it the trip and not the destination.

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