Between cycling a rented bike in the Akamas National Park, hiking along the coast, and feasting with friends, I hardly had time for writing. Nevertheless, the TV was in Greek and as exciting as Gibraltar TV so I did achieve some lowly fiction targets. I managed to find an internet Café (when will cheap hotels wake up to their guests’ needs?) in Coral Bay, so that meant another bike ride or two. I downloaded batches of stories I am judging for this year’s Whittaker prize and spent evenings reading and grading them.
It was a thrilling moment to huff and puff the rented bike up to Pegia (sp?) where Eleanor was married and have a snack lunch of banana and nuts at the actual spot. My bike can be seen in the photo.
We writers explored the 6th century ruined Basillica at Agios Georgias, only 100 metres from our hotel but the event that intrigued us the most was an abandoned hotel next door. The pool contained about a metre of horrible murky water. We had to investigate because at night the frogs made such a din. Of course they stopped when we closed in but soon started again when we froze for a few minutes. We couldn’t figure how they got out of the pool. We didn’t see even one of them, only hear what seemed to be hundreds. Unless those frogs have learned to jump out of water and up the pool ladder at dawn, we remain mystified.
The meat-eaters and drinkers among us made the most of the tavernas and told me the food wasn’t cheap but tasty. The only vegan food I found on the menu was Village Salad, and only then when I asked for the Feta cheese to be excluded. What remained was a bowl containing tomatoes, lettuce, onion swimming in a tasty but samey olive oil and vinegar dressing. Occasionally an olive or celery snippet would be in there. You’d think that a society that had evolved into civilization 2000 years before the Brits were living in mud huts, would know to add peppers, avocado, fruit, houmous, cress, nuts… Never mind, it was tasty and healthy. I expect if I paid more than 5 euros and travelled farther than the local village, I’d have found more vegan variety.
I swam every day but only in the hotel unheated pool (approx 15C brrrr at first but Ok for vigour). The sea attracted one of our number who’d brought flippers and snorkelling gear. Temp he estimated at 18C but he found no life in the local harbour though we saw tiny fish in sunnier spots.
I’m glad I went. Talk is of Kerala in India next year.
There are some photos on a page in progress here
I have enough photos to throw together an article for Cycling World and I made some progress on my fantasy, Xaghra’s Revenge.