After my scooter incident in Bali I decided to call it quits on my bike riding days. I went on a quad biking tour on Kangaroo Island in Australia thinking it would be completely different on four wheels, but instantly I felt apprehensive and nervous. I don’t have a problem with riding on the back of a scooter or a quad bike when the driver knows what they’re doing, but I’ve just lost my nerve when it comes to riding bikes.
In Ios and the other Greek Islands like Santorini and Mykonos, it’s pretty common to rent a quad bike to explore the island. It’s efficient, the distances aren’t too far and you get to see the dramatic scenery with the wind in your hair.
I said I would go quad biking around the island if someone else was to drive, and my new Canadian roommate Carlee volunteered to do it. Our quad biking adventure didn’t quite go to plan though…
We rented a quad bike from Farout in Ios, but as we got half way up the steep hill between Farout and Chora, the quad bike cut out for absolutely no reason and stopped dead in the middle of the road…and a bus nearly slammed into the back of us. Queue screeching of brakes and honking of horns. The bus was literally an inch from my rear and we had no way of moving in a hurry. People passing by probably thought “there goes two dumb chicks who don’t know how to operate a quad bike” but in fact, the bike was faulty.
A local Greek man helped us push it to the side of the road, and then we asked in Hermes hotel for some help. Initially we thought it was because there was no petrol in the tank, so the man drove Carlee to the nearest gas station to get some fuel. Meanwhile I took some shots from the beautiful terrace at Hermes (I never waste an opportunity for a good photo!).
It soon became clear though that it wasn’t the fuel at all, and that the quad bike was just completely FUBAR.
We called the telephone number for the rental place and the man came to see what was wrong. He was extremely apologetic and felt so guilty that he gave us a new bike with free petrol and extra time on the rental.
Problem solved…we drove to Homer’s Tomb in Plakato, which is supposedly the tomb of the famous poet Homer. You can pick up a rock from the dirt and put it on top of the tomb, and admire the spectacular views of the coastline and island interior. Ios is incredibly empty and rugged when you leave the bubble of Chora and Farout.
We then drove to Agia Theodoti, down a steep windy hill. Since everyone on the island is usually there to party and spend the days hungover at Mylopotas Beach, Agia Theodoti was completely empty.
A word of advice…riding a quad bike after sunset is absolutely freezing…so take a jacket!