Wednesday morning followed a similar pattern to Tuesday, early cloud clearing to leave a near cloudless sky by the time I finished breakfast. Posting the blog and the usual WiFix at the taverna along the coast road took a little longer so I wasn’t ready to set out for a walk until close to 11.00.
I was walking on my own today and had bought the only map available in the only local shop. It was pretty useless even at showing roads but it did show villages and approximate locations. The plan was to simply follow promising looking directions of travel.
On my own I moved fairly quickly on the lightly trafficked road and soon got to the top of the ridge behind the hotel but unlike Tuesday I turned uphill along the ridge and soon found myself in the small village of Kouspathes which was obviously considerably older than Boukaris on the coast which seems to consist only of newish hotels, restaurants and a few modern houses. I continued higher up through the village, deciding to keep always going up just to see where it led to.
Turned out to be a very good decision indeed. I soon got onto a narrow dirt track lead gently upwards along the ridge. As I ambled ever higher through olive groves festooned with rolled-up black netting the only two vehicles coming towards me were agricultural with loads of olive wood cut for the fire.
To cut a long but very pleasant story short, the narrow dirt track became a footpath and led into the village of Chlomos at the highest point on the ridge with great views all around. I sat outside a taverna basking in the sun, soaking in the view, had a sandwich and bottle of water and chatted to an English couple who were cycling around the area. Then I climbed up to the church at the top of the village and looked down over it to the coast 200 metres below.
I dropped back down into the village which turned was the best place to be because for 15 minutes it then rained. The streets in the village are very narrow and winding, typical of many parts of Greece but now confined to tourist honey-pots in the UK like Mousehole in Cornwall. Standing in one of the little ‘squares’ (‘plateia’ in Greek so not implying a geometric shape) only about 20 feet at its widest and sheltering underneath a canopy I was amazed at the number of swallows swooping around. I’m used to seeing them round here along the road and on open hillside but this was in a narrow street. I soon spotted why. There were nests under the balconies on some of the buildings. Fascinating. If it hadn’t rained any I hadn’t sheltered I wouldn’t have seen them. Serendipity certainly but as I see it as Providence as well.
Still buzzing from that, and long after it had stopped raining, from the village I walked back down the path which the English couple had suggested might be the southern end of the ‘Corfu Way’ which I hadn’t heard of but determined to find out more. At occasional points the path was marked. I spotted one red arrow and half a dozen red spots which served as confirmation that at the last junction I had made the right choice rather than helping to make the choice. It led me back to the ridge-top track I had followed earlier and then into Kouspathes again.
In amongst the many narrow streets and alleys of the village I lost the path but having determined to go down to the coast at Notos (South) Beach and the Panorama taverna with its magnificent gardens I simply followed the road. A bit boring but the sun was shining and it got me there trouble free.
Another good swim, drying off in the sun, a baklava and espresso on the terrace and I walked back to the hotel along the coast.
A thoroughly enjoyable day.