Greece 2011: Symi – much alone in the open air

Monday and it didn’t take a genius to work out that my body would rebel if I tried to do another walk like yesterday.  Nor could I just mooch around all day and do nothing.

Strange how decisions can be made by the apparently trivial.  I always take bananas to eat when I‘m out walking over here, they are ready packaged, loaded with energy and have high levels of potassium to ward off muscle cramps.  The bananas in the nearby supermarket where I do most of my shopping were this morning very decidedly past their best and would certainly not survive a trip in a rucksack.  Logical conclusion, buy them in the supermarkets down at the harbour, which meant that it made sense to do a walk from there.  So I did.

I devised a walk that would take me to familiar places and take me to the beach at Nimborio for an afternoon swim.  I didn’t fully appreciate how it would all click into place until I was sitting in the taverna afterwards having a beer and reading ‘Icons of England’ edited by Bill Bryson with contributions by many other people some of whom I knew of, others I didn’t.

It was when I read the chapter on ‘Those Special Places’ that it clicked. The author, Robert Blythe, calls them “privately claimed territories” , “small consoling geographies” …… places which have special association for us as individuals but may not in themselves be intrinsically special and probably mean little to anyone else.

There are many such places for me on Symi, places which Enfys and I visited over the years and became special to us both. I hadn’t appreciated when I worked out the route that I was stringing together a number of such places but I guess subconsciously that is just what was going on.  It didn’t amount to much in distance terms, a mere 15 kilometres, the same as the day before when I went up Vigla though immeasurably less strenuous, but I went from place to place stopping for a short time in what I was later to realise are indeed privately claimed territories” , “small consoling geographies”.  No point in listing them or including photos, they would be just ordinary to anyone else.

Ronald Blythe concludes his chapter by saying that he has many such places, spread himself widely  …. “and been much alone in the open air”.  That resonated very deeply with me.

I suppose because I was sitting quietly, in the shade of an olive tree for example, that I saw more of the wildlife too.  It is more difficult photographing small creatures at a distance without an SLR, the S95 is very good for many things but not for shy things which move around a lot, but I got a few shots.

A memorable walk.  A great swim.  One more day to go.

Fluoro-green tailed lizard

What do dragonflies do on these twigs????

Sheep come out of hiding and rush to the gate presumably hoping for food rather than a date with a slow-cooker

... and back in the main harbour

Cormorant or Mediterranean shag?

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