Saturday, 24 May 2008

Pilgrimage from Maronia to Makri 22/05/08

Getting out of bed by 7am we are on the road by eight. The country has made a dramatic change. Gone are the flat farmlands full with spring crops. Instead we are walking through dry rolling hills spotted with olives...and all the infrastructure has suddenly disappeared, even the roads are now dirt.

Before long we stumble across another piece of history, a big theater built in the Roman times...and now being rebuilt by a team led by a woman with an American accent who rudely tells us we can't take pictures before disappearing back into her bubble of self importance :)

The walk is awesome, passing rocky headland after rocky headland with the waves of the Mediterranean splashing up on the rugged coast. I'm in great spirits!

But of course our road soon ends! I don't know how or why this always happens...but it always does :) Our map marks this road as a major route so we were expecting an easy walk, but it's just not to be.

Luckily the vegetation is not very thick and we end up playing a fun little game...

Find a goat track...

Loose the goat track...

Find a goat track...

Loose the goat track...

After many wrong turns and a few dead ends we finally stumble back on to a road. Let's hope this one takes us to our destination! We are both sick of being lost for the moment ;)

Even though this part of Greece doesn't have any facilities at all, it appears this wasn't always the case. Passing archaeological site after archaeological site we ponder what happened to all these towns as we stroll along.

The only other sign of civilization is the occasional army base, but these aren't looking so inviting. I'm not sure what they would think if we asked for lunch ;)

Around early evening we come across our first holiday town. About time! But it looks like we are still a few weeks too early, no lunch here :(

As we head up the hill out of town I have my MP3 player on and am in my own little world. I glance around to check if Sabine is still with me but she is nowhere to be seen. I wait...and wait...and wait...

Ten minutes pass and I figure I better go back to ensure she is Ok. Dropping my pack I backtrack calling out every 30-40 meters, but no response...

Spotting her backpack lying on the side of the road things are starting to look a little strange...



Still no response. Towards the ocean there is a steep incline before dropping off to a big cliff. Surely she wouldn't have picked that side of the road to go to the toilet! Surely???

I sit and contemplate my options. How long do I give her before trying to see if I can get a view over the edge of the cliff? Where else could she be?

As I'm weighing up my options I see some movement in the town below. I can't quite make out if it is a person or not but after getting out my video camera it's confirmed, someone is walking down there. I can't see if it is her or not but I figure it must be. When we were down there we didn't pass a soul. She must have forgotten something pretty important.

Much to my relief, fifteen minutes later she walks back into sight.

"What did you forget?"

"The video camera!

I tried calling out but you didn't hear me and I didn't want to wait any longer. A car drove past which I tried to get a lift with but they couldn't understand anything I was saying and the old woman didn't move over when I tried to jump in. Then another car turned up and I stopped them and just jumped in even though they couldn't understand me either.

When I got to the bottom where we had our break the video camera was nowhere! I know I had it in this town but couldn't remember where I put it down. But then luckily I remembered that I filled up with water and when I went down there it was still sitting on the side of the road."

That was a pretty close call :) But all turned out well...

I start to run low on water so seeing an old guy working in his garden, head over to see if he can help out. He is more than happy to oblige and as we are leaving i hear him say to Sabine...

"Come, come"

Turning around to see where he is taking her I'm just in time to witness him present her with a gorgeous rose. That was super sweet ;)

After finally locating a restaurant around 6pm we have a well earned feed. It has been a pretty exhausting day!

We still want to get another 7 or 8 kilometers completed and once we get moving again start to feel OK. Passing a tourist sign all in Greek pointing down a little side street we figure we should go have a look. Wandering around, not quite sure what we are looking for we finally end up in a car park. It turns out we have hit another monastery!

I start taking some pictures and upon entering see a nun leading Sabine away making sleeping motions. This is looking good! Sure enough they are offering us a place to stay, and they don't even know what we are doing yet...I'm impressed.

The Sister rushes off and comes back with Sister Gregoria who speaks perfect English. It turns out they get a few pilgrims passing by every year and she makes us feel more than welcome.

We get our own little hut by the beach and a great dessert of home-made sweets. Falling asleep to the sound of the nightingales I feel very content :)

No comments: