On your bike, then
ONE day of wild wind, a restless roiling sea, sleeping and reading in bed, then you’re ready for supper with friends.
The sun goes down late here so you go out at about half past nine, pm.
And there they are, two of the Norwegian women you met last year: Miss Muscles and The Librarian.
You take gifts for them: kaftans from the African market in Rosebank, Johannesburg, and a hippopotamus key ring, made of beads, from the bead-makers in Melville. You can get just about anything in the Big Smoke, South Africa.
But for now, you’re in Pizzeria Vento, Skala Eressos eating a delicious salad.
The food here is excellent, anywhere you choose to eat.
It’s an exciting and interesting mix of indigenous and world tastes thrown in to the Skala mix.
It’s served in the style to which you become accustomed, to which you submit with a sigh and a smile.
It’s nice and easy, nice and slow. Fresh. Your palate zooms into its seventh heaven.
Even Soulatso gives you free Greek desserts, the night before, you and Madame X eat Greek.
This morning you wake up.
You know today why you are here: to be happy, to be you. To flourish.
You feel a bit like a flower in bud, ready to bloom. You wonder … will you?
Ha ha. You’ll see. Of course, Time will tell. She always does.
The morning sun warms you.
You’re stretching this way and that, outside your room, on your little patio.
You’re trying to remember the yoga poses Champa showed you in those 90-minute classes in Joburg.
Twice a week it was, with the Hindi women and their lazy soft smiles.
Then you get on the bike, and ride into the Kampos, a rural area that starts about 100m from the Kouitou Hotel.
The gravel road draws you further and further into the world of bleating sheep, and goats that have a lot to say too.
It’s your first day though, on the bike, and boy, you don’t want saddle sores ….
You turn around and change gears to go up a little hill, back to the hotel.
Ah, the Kouitou (kwee-TWO) Hotel. Vasi and Alex.
The wire for your computer is kaput but Vasi says she’ll drive you to Eressos, to Antonius.
Twenty minutes, she says. And laughs. It’s coffee time now, and that’s gossiping time, she says.
Twenty minutes? You’re a fast learner.
You know, time is of no consequence here in the Eresosses.
You tell her yes, 20 minutes to two days.
How the cars and motorbikes and bicycles don’t crash on the narrow road to Eressos, Sappho alone knows.
But alas, Antonius can’t oblige today.
He holds the computer lead and examines the broken part.
He shakes his head. Kalloni it is, the nearest bigger village.
You’re going to have to get there. Sometime.
For now, and for however long it takes to get the cable fixed, you’re at the Sappho Hotel writing your blog.
The sea is crashing into the shore not even 20m away.
It’s sunny. Two women you recognise from last year are sitting on either side of you.
The world comes to Skala Eressos, time and again.
It’s that sort of place.
The owners give the three of you cherry liqueur, on the house, and pretty branded key rings.
It feels good.
Miss Muscles and The Librarian have a bicycle for you.
Marja’s bike. She died last year, after 27 years with the The Librarian. She misses her so.
The bike’s rusty. It needs oil, and cleaning, some serious TLC.