Healing waters of Kios beach (jordanwelcomes.com/blog/)
As tourists head for sunsets in the Cyclades, the native Greek go to Kios (also known as Kos). The pebbly beach in the finger of the Peloponnese isn't much to see. The semi-smooth rocks are separated from the sea in a thick line of seaweed, dead bugs, and the occasional floating plastic bottle. The boulder-sized submerged rocks come next, followed by the demi-jungle of long, stringy seaweed covered in unidentifiable brown goo. At waist deep you can almost see your toes—it certainly doesn't compare to the crystal clear waters of nearby Nafplion.
But on any day of the week this beach is filled with elderly locals seeking the healing power of this Greek fountain of youth. It is the murkiness of the extra-salty water that gives this part of the ocean power—the plants and mud give the water life. In what I have come to call the Peloponnese retirement center, it is here in the grime and grit that people wade out to 100 meters where the water is waist deep. There they dig up earth from the bottom and slather their bodies with the ashy mud.
Several people have told me stories of the healing powers of Kios—it can help relieve arthritis, cancer, skin problems, and chronic back ache to name a few. The belief is so widely held that many area doctors refer patients to Kios beach over prescribing meds. I met a 70-year-old woman who drives 50 minutes one-way each day, passing a plethora of stunning oceanfronts in favor of muddy Kios. She swore her ritual was the reason she had not developed cancer like her mother and sister.
If you decide to test the legend, I have a few recommendations for healing-water seekers. Bring a pale or asking one of the beachside restaurants (none have food anything above ordinary) for a serving tray so you can collect mud. The water tends to be calmest before 12:30 P.M., and buses from Naflion (where you should stay, no questions) and Argos come every half hour.
About the author: Somewhere between swimming after turtles in the Virgin Islands and experiencing an Ecuadorian meat market, Caitlin Byrnes developed a passion for international culture. Though raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, Caitlin went to the deep south to get a degree in journalism and international affairs. While in school, Caitlin lived on a coffee farm while spending some time studying abroad in Costa Rica. Desperate to not return to NASCAR country after graduation, Caitlin is trying her luck in Europe. She is now an au pair in a Swiss ski town where she is learning French, attempting to ski, and absorbing as much European culture as possible. She will be blogging about her adventures for Away.com. More information can be found on Caitlin's website.
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