So we’d just arrived on the Greek island of Kos, we were partaking in our first Mythos beer at the local taverna and waxing lyrical about how marvellous island life was (Gav: “I could live here!” which he says about almost everywhere that we have ever been!), when a little beach buggy sped past.
“HEY” I yelled at Gav. “HOW COOL IS THAT? LET’S GET ONE!”
So a couple of days later, we forked out fifty euros and took off for a day of island exploring in a cool little beach buggy.
WHAT A TERRIBLE IDEA.
There are so many things about these buggies that make them awful:
- You can’t hear one another talk, because they are loud and the wind is whistling past your ears.
- You can’t read a map because of the aforementioned howling wind.
- They are automatic, and when they change gears, they clunk and jerk spectacularly.
- You spend half the time worried that your bag is going to fall off the little bag rack, and turning around because you thought your sunscreen has just bounced along the road (I was right about this, by the way).
- They have no guts, so climbing up big hills is a tedious affair.
- There is no protection, so you risk getting hideously sunburnt particularly if your sunscreen has fallen out of your bag and bounced along the road.
- They are very low to the ground, so getting in and out of them is a challenge for your core.
- They are completely open, so you can’t leave anything in the vehicle at all and expect it to be there when you get back (if it’s not stolen, it’d be blown away in the wind).
- The seatbelt is a full harness, which makes for extra sweatiness.
- And, as we discovered a few days later, for EXACTLY THE SAME PRICE we could hire a small air conditioned car. It was an amazing experience to be able to chat to one another about where we were going and what we were seeing. We made it up the mountains with no dramas and left personal effects in the back while we explored on foot. And you know what? With the beach buggies, you get twelve hours for your fifty euros. With the car, you got it for twenty two hours.
To be fair, if you were using it for driving very short distances, say to the nearest beach, there might be some appeal. But for longer distance sightseeing, especially if you’re headed into the mountains, my advice (to myself, mainly, but feel free to learn from my mistakes) is to hire a proper car.