We drove long, winding roads lined with wild marjoram and sage and dried-out pom-poms of woody fleabane through which unfazed goats looked at us with yellow eyes. The wind-borne clouds cast sporadic, aquatic shadows over the gray road. The sea itself, far below, was so churned as to seem snowcapped. Close up, the wind silvered the clear water’s surface, like light flashing over fish scales.

We plopped down on beach beds shielded by rustling, well-grounded thatched umbrellas. We read our books and took our dips at Isteria or on the beaches of Kardiani Bay or Agios Romanos. One gust sent flying two of the beds, an ice cream stick, Luca’s book. Other times a napkin spun like a Chinese star. Still, the water was cool and turquoise. The beer cold. The Greeks inexplicably chill.

We were slightly more uptight. First, having the combined complexion of a Kleenex, we required constant applications of sunscreen. Second, because we were constantly hungry. But, for a place known as a dining destination, eating wasn’t always easy, because there is often only one good taverna per town. On our first night, Claudia called one in the cliff-side town of Kardiani. We had previously booked for 8 p.m. and she asked if they could seat us an hour later.

“Better,” the waiter said.

“No food,” he said when we got there.

“But we would have come at 8 if we knew there was not going to be any food,” Claudia said.

“I didn’t know that then,” he explained, adding that more people than expected had shown up. I looked at the full tables, many filled with the French who have for decades made Tinos a favorite destination. I asked him why he hadn’t held the table and some food. “It wasn’t my choice.”

“Whose choice was it?” I asked.

“I cannot tell you that,” he said.

Tinos was a mysterious, windswept place.