Monday, 4 October 2010
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
I want to thank those who supported me. I could not have done it without you, so it was your journey too. I hope that what I did on the journey, and what I am going to do with what I discovered or experienced on that journey is what you would do, if you were me. At the very least I hope I haven`t done/won`t do anything that makes you sorry you supported me.
Particular thanks go to:
Niko and Lily who have kept George for me all these years. Without you I couldn`t have kept George. Without George I couldn`t have done any of this stuff.
Shuna.. who put the backbone into me when it was lacking just before I started off from her house near Pylos.
Vasso and Christos Nikolopoulos who very kindly invited me to stay at their house in Keramidia and also allowed George to stay in their paddock (see photo)
Jiannis Baltis who met me near Stymfalia with the intention of filming our docu.. but actually caused me to have a day`s holiday and to get calm after the loss of Bling
Eva and Babis Bakas who comforted me greatly after I lost Bling.
Vassili Thanos and fellow villagers at Nereida (AKA Spinaza) who were so hospitable and kind
Foteini at Prosillio who was so kind and gave me coffee when I needed it most..
Aegistos who became webmaster for the blog and made it a lot of funKatie who was my only CASH sponsor.. thanks to her I could have a marsbar whenever things got bad, and it didn`t have to be a marsbar.. she agreed that a kitkat or a twix were valid under the terms of our agreement.. Anyway thankyou Katie.
Everyone who followed the blog and who sent me encouraging emails and posted comments thankyou very very much for your support.
George.. without whom etc etc
Also in memory of an innocent,naughty little dog who brought such energy and enthusiasm to the project, and whose absence was mourned by both George and me for the remainder of the ride. She was so proud when I could say "Good dog, Bling" to her. Because she really tried to be a good little dog. It is so sad that she didn`t have time to hear those words very often. But I`ll say them now - in case her spirit is listening:
"Good dog, Bling. Very good dog"
I hope her sad fate has alerted many many people to the dangers in the hills.. not just to our beloved companion animals, but also to those iconic and necessary wild creatures..bears, wolves, jackals whose very existence is threatened by the insane uncontrolled use of poison by people who really "know not what they do"
I wrote the blog to let as many people as I could know what was happening to the Greek wilderness- I was trying to protect it. But even so, me myself, I harmed it while I travelled through, even though I really tried not to. This, I suppose, is just a metaphor for all our journeys. And for the harm we do, unintentionally, to the world as we travel though our lives.
Sorry to sound pretentious, but I don`t really know how else to explain my feelings.
Saturday, 12 June 2010
Nikos and Lily gave me coffee and food.
Friday, 11 June 2010
It took us a while to get on the road, but once there it was great. Except that after two or three hours I got this feeling that some things about the valley we were approaching were familiar. Yes! my famous sense of direction had ensured that we were almost back where we started from.
It was worth it just for the VERY disgusting spider (see photo) I mean bloated and revolting.. and much worse because white. He (or she) was hiding in a specially rolled up leaf, but I saw a white awfulness protruding. I stopped and looked, and immediately the spider leapt out of its hiding place, and suspended from a single thick and ghastly strand of white silk, it made a break for the undergrowth. When it thought I had gone it started to climb up the stem of the blackberry bush back to its folded leaf. It seemed to be too fat to climb up its own strand of silk, even though, as I say, the silk was like a steel hawser compared to what most spiders climb up. And so I was able to photograph it in its full dreadfulness.
So then I turned back and followed the river- what river? dunno- and squeezed past several barriers to get along a track by the river. Soon we had no choice but to get on to asphalt. A signpost told us that we were a few kilometres from Pertouli, which was the village I suspected we were near when we found all the bear tracks.
There was a church, and grazing so we stopped for lunch. There was also a war memorial to the andartes in the soviet brutalist style. But I liked it with its hammer and sickle and its Fidel Castro lookalike unknown soldier.
There was something else that I liked less. A cloud formation. Oh no, thunderheads. SHIT, thunderheads. SHIT.
Thursday, 10 June 2010
The shepherd had rigged up a hosepipe arrangement for his sheep, to circumvent the problems of traditional watering holes having had their water removed and put into a system of pipes and then switched off, so the animals had nothing to drink.
When the trough was empty they moved off.