We climbed up mountainsides, unshaven and sweating heavily in the late summer heat – we must have looked like bandits – then picked our way down the other side of the mountain and visited remote beaches or tiny white churches. We drank, ate and swam, then set off in the opposite direction to try and walk a different way back. One evening we were returning from a long, long walk, towards the setting sun. We were dropping down from a high pass into the top of Apolonia, the capital of Sifnos. We still had some way to go to get back to our rooms, and the sight of a taverna as we entered the outskirts of the town, with a terrific view across the Kastro valley to a glorious strawberry ripple sunset, was too much to pass up. We fell gratefully into the seats on the raised balcony, under a canopy of bougainvillea and grape vines, and removed our backpacks and hats. We were tired but happy and this was just what we needed – a scene of earthly perfection.