Monday, May 05, 2008

The second week here... and we decided not to start thinking about our final week in Greece until our stay in Paxos was nearly over, until we suddenly realised this drizzled- honey time of late patio breakfasts, strolls above cerulean seas, and easy evenings with new friends, is actually scudding past with scary speed, and our flower-filled days and firefly nights will soon be over. So we're going to extend our stay on the island for five more days…
I’m confident now I know the island paths, and stride off with the map, up past olive grove hill and donkey Hote (we feed her apples) to Ozias with the little bar that’s never open – which is open - and after a while Steve says
“Look! The sea!”
And I say “Yes! Isn’t it beautifu!”
“But it’s on our right!”
“Oh! It should be on our left!”
“Well it isn’t!”
And we’re lost for 4 hours on the hilltops of Paxos, above rock falls and mysterious cerulean sea inlets, until we finally arrive back at the bar that’s never open and it’s closed, so we go home for a Mythos on the patio.

As I've been rhapsodising about these cerulean waters, I should be honest and admit there’s the usual Greek scribble of wires across every vista, with villas plonked like trout-pout lips on the coastal face at every turn. The beaches here despite the beauty of the bone-white stones, are the dirtiest I’ve ever seen - the Germans didn’t need to waste ammunition when they invaded, they could have dropped the skiploads of plastic bottles that litter the island today and despoiled it just as thoroughly.
One of my poems about the frustrating and beautiful enigma of Greece ends:
"Greek islands are like that.
Tainted enigmas, sainted sluts,
Smells of jasmine and lust."

But my guess is, as Paxiots are nothing if not sensible to tourism, those beaches will be cleaned up by the time the season begins officially next week.
As Dionysis told us tonight at Anesis (“laid back”) bar: they are no more than 60% ready yet. Why, there’s still one day to go before the season starts!

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