Lest you think that Greece is nothing more than a paradise where the sun shines 365 days a year - it is not. A couple of days ago, upon leaving Delphi and heading into the mountains of the Peloponnese Peninsula, we were caught in heavy fog and even heavier rain on our free day in the coastal town onf Kardamyli. Thankfully, the clouds broke today, leaving us with blue skies to explore the Mani Peninsula and our arrival tonight in Monemvasia.
Leaving Kardamyli this morning, we headed deeper into the Mani, first stopping at the tiny (population 40) hill town of Kastania. After a tour of the orthodox chapel-studded village, we sat under the trees for Greek coffee and locally made cheese.
Our lunch stop in the (almost) equally tiny town of Gerolimenas fulfilled everyone's vision of the sunny Greek coastal village that we had missed out on during our rainy stay in Kardamyli. Pale aquamarine water lapped over blindingly white, smoothly polished rocks. The restaurant terrace put us directly above the bay, where we could enjoy views of the water with our lunch of Greek salad, tzatziki, calimari, crispy Mediterranean anchovies (nothing like the kind that, as our guide David put it, "live on pizza in the U.S.A."), artichokes, and green beans in tomato sauce.
But the real entertainment came after lunch, when some decided to roll up their pants and test the water temperature. Lovely - yet treacherous. Those polished white stones proved to be quite slippery when wet, and one woman ended up thoroughly soaked after taking an unexpected tumble. Myself, I was safely on shore with my camera, documenting it all, of course.
But the excitement didn't end there. A Greek fisherman, enjoying lunch with his family, spotted dinner from their waterfront table and promptly went down to get it. The unsuspecting octopus he grabbed was soon the center of attention, trying vainly to wriggly out of the man's grasp. He ended up in a small blue plastic bag, and although he made a valient attempt at a daring escape, he was not fast enough to escape the fisherman, who prompty tightened the knot in the bay (and, we suspect, put the octopus swiftly out of his misery once our group had left).
The forecast for tomorrow is for clouds, but I still feel optimistic. And if it's sunny after all, you may just find me in the water as well - intentionally, of course. I have no plans to fall in clothes and all - I packed too light for that!