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The New Face of Baby Beach

Castello Beach, pretty packed even on an overcast late afternoon
Summer bathers coming and going from Kamini’s Baby, aka Castello, Beach

To be fair, Castello did a grand job restoring Kamini’s old armory to its former glory, and the initial worry about an excess of skoopethia (garbage) and sewage pollution in the little bay of what was known as “Baby Beach” has not materialised. In fact kudos to the Castello gang for setting an ecofriendly example when it comes to takeover bids and development projects.


A smattering of sun worshippers in mid-summer, 1984

Raw sewage is extracted from the cafe-restaurant’s vothros (septic tank) with the aid of a noninvasive, high-powered electric pump, sitting up the hill behind the establishment; the waste then passes through a series of sand filters, and then recycle water is used to irrigate the land behind the valley in which Castello is situated. It’s similar, our sources say, to the “grey-water” systems used throughout the Caribbean.


Subtle blue piping carries waste water away from the sea to be recycled for
irrigation in the valley behind Castello.

However, as local full-time residents (or “old timers,” that is, decades-long punters of the tranquil little pebble beach in Kamini), we were personally disappointed by this onward march of “progress” into our little village. It’s like a little piece of Mykonos has landed in our immediate vicinity.

Brollies and chaises, occupied by spectators and packed sardinelike all along the back of Baby Beach, make one feel like one is on-screen at a drive-in (lie-in) cinema. Once submerged in the water and off snorkelling though, one can ignore the sensation.

Still, one cannot help but feel a little sad. Even if we did sport a large holiday wallet, we would rather have gone to the Cyclades for such service. The music, too, is unintrusive—but why is it necessary? It’s certainly not our semideserted family beach anymore.

Optimistic waiters hover behind the umbrellas, hoping to bare trays of expensive cocktails … and, well, you know the syndrome. A step forward into luxury for some is still a step in the wrong direction for those of us who prefer the status quo.


Status quo ante.

<<–Comments–>>
I totally agree with your comments about Baby Beach, even though they are too light. Kamini’s Baby Beach is dead! It has been trasformed into a very poor-tasting Greek Salad. Children playing, mothers and grandmoms screaming at them to be careful, loud music in the background, nice women and middle-age Greeks pretending their are Onassis, teenagers peeping at the women’s bodies … ALL OF THEM crammed into 50 meters of beach!! I can’t imagine who is gonna prevail! It was the only beach in Hydra that could be accessed by parents with young kids and babies … too bad!! Anyway, the fact is that we have almost destroyed our country and now we are struggling to survive. Kamini beach is a minor example of what we have done to ourselves. —Nikos
Jennifer
Jennifer first arrived on the Rock at the age of 10, after her father, Michael, bought a house above Hydra’s port. While she lived in Virginia year-round with her mother, Jeanne, and stepfather, Steve, she visited Hydra with her father every summer for a month, in her younger years tripping along the port chasing kitties, then later tripping home from Cavos to make her curfew (father had threatened to call the “police” if she was even a minute late).

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