Sunday, 11 October 2009

Probably the Best View on the Island

We'd spent the morning searching for a cave.

In fact we had looked for it the previous day but had given up and gone to the beach when someone told us that the cave was extremely difficult to find and definitely could not be accessed from this side of the hills. Unwilling to accept defeat so easily we had set out early to find the remote village of Giri and resume our search. Following some sketching directions from the owner of a local Taverna we drove causiously along the gravel track he'd discribed as a 'not very good road' until the surface deteriorated to a state unsuitable for our hired Hyundi i10! We continued on foot marvelling at the complete lack of man made sound. The Western side of Zachynthos is more sparsely populated than the east and we were about 3 kilometers from the nearest habitation. There was no farm machinery to be heard, no music from the tourist resorts, not even the faint hum of a distant road. Only the the gentle buzzing of insects, the occasional rustle of grass as a lizard darted away and intermitent bird song accompanied us. As soon as we crossed the summet of hill sounds of the farming community 600 meters below drifted up to puncutate the stillness; a dog barking, cocks crowing, the creaking and clanging of a tractor.

At the end of the track we found the foot path that wound its way down the steep hillside to our elusive cave. We might have been exhilerated at meeting our objective had we not been so underwhelmed by the cave itself. To be honest, that was not unexpected; this is not the first time we have spent hours searching for a cave that turned out to be little more than a small hole in the side of a hill and nor do I expect it to be the last.

Travelling back to our resort by the road that the previous day we had been told did not exist, we saw a sign for a taverna boasting the best view of the island.

Now we are sitting on a terrace that seems to be suspended above the roof tops of Agios Marina. To the north of the island Kefallonia is clearly visible, as is Laganas Bay in the south. Beyond the ancient bell tower in front of us are acre upon acre of olive groves, beyond them the sea shimmering in the bright afternoon sunshine, and beyond that the purple mountains of mainland Greece just showing against the purple haze of the horizon.

The tavern's boast may not be exagerated, this may well be the best view of the island. After our hot, dusty trek our plate of calamari is possibly the best in the Mediteranean and the cold beer we are drinking is probably best in the world.

1 comment:

Plays with Needles said...

ahhh...I did not realize you had an interest in caves, my dear?? I'm off to pop open a cold one in your honor. That sounds great!