Greece 2011: Symi walk, the old, the dry, the colourful

Tuesday dawned warm and sunny.  So what’s new?!  Only two things really.  I wasn’t around when it dawned,  I was far away in the Land of Nod after a heavy night’s partying.  Well, really just attending the opening evening of an art exhibition in the art gallery almost next door to the hotel.  But it did make for heavy duty conversation along the lines of  “Where are you from then?”,  “Which work do you like the best?” and, perhaps most up my nose,  “I can’t believe you’re Scandinavian, you sound so ENGlish”,  very insulting to the charming and intelligent Scandinavian lady being so superficially interrogated.  I don’t do parties, that’s why I’m a mountaineer.

It made a change but it did make it very late having my tea.  Gone 22.00 in fact which is why I slept so soundly and why the other new thing: I woke up and had no clue what day of the week it was.  In fact it took several seconds to work out where I was on the planet.  I guess it’s all to do with circadian rhythms.  I woke up at the same time because of the alarm clock but was still in deep sleep, the REM/Non-REM sleep pattern having been set back half an hour.

Equilibrium having been attained the usual routine then kicked in.  Early morning fruit juice on the balcony soaking in the view.  Breakfast on the hotel terrace.  High-dose caffeine injection (espresso to you) in the coffee shop opposite the hotel, accompanied by internet access to check e-mails, post blog and wonder why the money I transferred from one bank account to another on 01 September has disappeared out of the one account but not yet appeared in the other.  Where is it and who is getting the interest????

Then I headed off for a walk, rough direction and idea in mind but making it up as I went along really.  I was familiar with all the bits of the route I took but it seemed that at every turn there was something new and, occasionally, something even downright bizarre.

Basically I walked to an old deserted village, climbed the mountain behind it and then dropped down to the beach at Pedi for a swim before walking back up to Horio.   Once again, very enjoyable.  Here it is in images:

There are still colourful old buildings in Horio

The monastery of ‘The Waters of Life’ on the flank of the mountain has a great walled garden, very productive earlier in the summer, now cropped and dry

The path goes through ‘The Gap’, now, sadly, for ever empty.

Not hanging around waiting for Christmas: could this be the one I saw escaped on another part of the mountain last year??

The top of the long-deserted village of Gria

The first squill I have seen in flower this year

Just to prove that I got to the top of the mountain

Amazing patterns formed by about the most primitive life form. surviving in even the hottest, driest conditions

Symi is often said to have no water. Paradoxically this permanent pond is at Gria, the village abandoned because of lack of water. This is a Symi Pondwit, though the rest of the world may know it by a different name

Another of the pond-dwellers

Pond life bleached white in the sun

Sharp end of a boat at Pedi

…. and back into Horio, another bit of colourful dilapidation

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