On the very same hiking initiation in Greece (mentioned in the previous post) I became an epicurist. Being spoiled as a child and then having gone through periods of deprivation and poverty, my conclusion was that postponing gratification makes it all the more pleasurable when it finally comes. The first hike with its strenuous mountain climbing, waiting long hours for food and drinks, its hot weather and sleeping outside turned out to be the justification for this idea. Until today it would be my general attitude in life. Maybe in the course of time there was some modification: the goal is not so much enhancing the pleasure but welcoming whatever comes. Even when it doesn’t come. EXIF_IMG

The evening in Volos, I took a promenade along the embankment  like everybody else; a good Mediterranean habit. In the morning there was time for another stroll along the fishing boats and the quay. Later I heard music and singing coming from the church and coming closer by I saw it was packed. It was like an old fashioned Sunday in Belgium. The parks were full of dead dogs… I know they are not really dead, they just act like it while being asleep but it always gives this first impression. Dogs who sleep like this are a sure sign one is in another climat zone.

At noon the boat took me to Alonissos, the fourth and last stop. I was waited for by Maria, the woman who owns pension “Votsi” which Christel booked for me. It was strongly recommended by our colleague Hilde who has been coming here for 12 years now. And indeed, from the balcony the view on the bay is marvelous and the sea is less than a 100 meters walk from my room. Trying out the clear inviting water was the first thing to be done! Just in time I spotted the sea urchins (hundreds!) before I put a foot into the sea and luckily a bit further along there didn’t seem to be any. Not that I noticed, that is.

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I went on exploring the island the last three days: the charming old village with its miniature 17th century churches of which I have no photographic proof, because my battery of my camera went flat. I walked the North East, the North West, tried Milia Beach and Rousoum Beach. Both are great. Today I was heading North, a steep road which gives a beautiful panoramic view over the many bays. Alonissos is merely a rock thrown in the sea, as so many of the small Greek islands are. It was a good day for hiking; the wind and the cloudy sky made it cooler than the last hot days. Was it my guardian angel or was it some remains of my time as a mountain-guide that made me decide to go back a few kilometers before Kalamakia? Anyway, it turned out to be a good decision because I barely made it to Patitiri to do some shopping before the first ball of thunder announced a real storm. Soon rain poured from the sky… an excellent excuse to shelter in a bar with a lovely café frappe!

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