Here then is a truth many expats discover, usually a little while after burning their boats by selling their house in England, buying or renting here, and simply not having the cash to go back. Holidays are fun, but turn your entire life into a holiday and it soon starts to get boring. Unless you’re and alcoholic, or become one, booze has its limitations. Very few people will find interesting a career move into lying in the sun. In my case, half an hour on a sun bed is about my limit before I want to do something else – the only time I’ll stay longer is if I read something or fall asleep. Really, doing nothing stinks.
This, for some reason, I found quite difficult, so diverted myself by cleaning my house. It was about time. Though I’m quite neat when it comes to putting things away and washing up etc, I have been neglecting the dusting and mopping. Next, at about 3.00PM, I felt hungry again so made some sandwiches. Obviously, this was Mr Brick-in-Sock’s cue to pay a visit again because after eating I collapsed for a further hour.
It was hot right from the start as Chris (The Rock Bar), Mark, Kostas and I set out (this picture is a later ‘selfie’ from Kostas).
Consider walking up 3.5 miles of staircases, with some occasional easier bits where you aren’t watching your own sweat drip on the rocks. About halfway up my T-shirt was dripping and this time I really did need the water I’d brought along. And most of this route was in the shade.
Yet again the scenery was superb. I can ramble on about it but these pictures tell that story, and as always they don’t quite capture the scale. Kostas immediately adopted my use of the word ‘glorious’ here.
Mark, meanwhile, true to his name, dryly informed us of our present elevation or how many kilometres we had to go, usually when we were sweating up some steep slope.
At the top of the gorge we stopped off in the village of Pervolaki for the obligatory beers and mezes. The guy on the left is Tim from Armeni, whom Kostas didn’t allow any of the first bottle of water since he didn’t deserve it, having driven there.
Next came a schlep up another mountain followed by a walk down a winding goat track back to Kapsa Monestary. Here there was no shade at all but luckily a breeze had sprung up.
In all the distance covered was about 8 miles, but I’m guessing because my pedometer packed up on the way back down. I think I’ve worn the thing out.
After this I returned to Makrigialos and swam maybe three-quarters of a mile. This was okay. It was only on my second swim that cramp hit first my right calf muscle then my left. In each case it was like I’d been whacked there with a hammer. Later I ordered a gyros and found I simply could not put too much salt on it – my body was crying out for the stuff.
This Wednesday I met Chris, Brian and Margaret in Makrigialos. Margaret drove us up the Pefki road and then up a fork from that, up and up until it terminated at a point where you just turn round and drive back. On the way up Chris pointed to a church and said, ‘We’re going a thousand feet above that (first picture below).
As we set out along what was effectively a goat track I realised this was going to be no pushover. Oh-oh, I thought, I’m about to be taught a lesson.
First stop was Vreiko Cave.
Here’s that church viewed from above on the other side – the white speck on top of that distant peak:
Here are Brian (with the hat) and Chris.
After Pefki we walked down Pefki Gorge to Makrigialos with the temperature steadily rising all the way down. Up in the mountains it was cool. Prior to this walk I was worried that I might get overheated walking ‘down there’. What a prat. This walk was mostly ‘up there’ compared to where I walk behind Papagianades.
Finally arriving back in Makrigialos I went for a much needed swim. My pedometer read 10.3 miles. The things aren’t that accurate so it could have been less could have been more, but it was certainly one hell of a walk. Two days later now and I can still feel lead shot in my calf muscles.
Thanks Chris, Brian and Margaret.