Quietening down

Getting quieter. A holiday can involve relaxing. Who knew?

We managed a touch of running around all over the place though. After all, I’m one of the two of us. We found a lovely beach at Antisamos after rejecting all previous options. There’s a huge cruise ship in the bay nearby and it is sending coachloads of enthusiastic Americans to selected parts of the island. The skill of the game is to work out where they might be going next and RUN LIKE THE WIND from that area. We were caught once as the island almost sank in one corner as they all simultaneously lumbered into the queue for a cave. We immediately left the queue and got back into the car.

The road to Antisamos is not conducive to coaches. I sensed that we would be safe there, and Lou had it on her list. We walked away from all the people shouting about umbrellas and found a patch of peace on the marble stones. I filled my ear once more with salt water, and we flolloped about with the fish and the urchins until hunger forced us back to the madding crowd and we shared a bowl of pasta and a salad where the music was hypnotically awful del mar style guff. I would have spent too much on a jetski, but the too much was too much too much. €70 for twenty minutes and they can go and fuck themselves.

Afternoon exploring took us up hills and into close communion with the goats. We explored the various abandoned and largely uncared for ruined structures that make up what’s left of ancient Sami. A castle and an acropolis. Various monasteries, more recent than the ruins but equally ruined. It’s all just rubble now. Rubble and goats and olive trees. We picked our way through it all. The money we all spend as tourists isn’t going towards looking after antiquity on this island. It’s going into bulldozing more flats into mountainsides. The roads are already flooded with hire cars. You are as likely to hear English spoken here as Greek. Tourism, like it or lump it, is a huge part of the economy. But thankfully it’s not Zakynthos and it’s not trying to be the party yet. Long may it stay this way, with sleepy cats and goats and not much atrocious music like they had at the beach. I’m fine with all the friendly people marking things up a bit too much and smiling with dollars instead of eyes, just as long as they notice what’s unique about this sleepy place, and go towards that instead of the idea of party-money that zaps all character.

The highlight of my day was hanging out with a friendly cat at a monastery. I was lying on my side to let eardrops work. It decided it was going to be my friend – maybe it wanted to help make my deaf face better. I rewarded it with all the water it could drink. But… that was the highlight of my day. As I say, it’s a sleepy island and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We hung out for a while, that cat and Lou and I. The cats are everywhere and they’re a highlight. Here we are together.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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