40 degrees C is hot!

Trip Start May 27, 2010
Trip End Jul 15, 2010

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Where I stayed
stone house in Neohori, 3km above Stoupa and the sea

Flag of Greece  , Peloponnese,
Thursday, June 17, 2010

gOur daily routine includes watching World Cup games in a taverna grasping either an iced coffee or a glass of local wine, breaking down and deciding to order food there instead of cooking back at the house, swimming every day in the spectacular waters of the Messinian Gulf, reading Greek lore or literature--the house has an extensive library to use--deciding the next road trip to take.

We drove to the tip of the middle of the three southern peninsulas of the Pelopponese and finally became inarticulate as all the "Oh's and Ah's couldn't possibly express what we were seeing.  Drove the narrow winding roads in increasingly barren, rocky shorelines to Cape Tainaron and the site of the cave that provides the watery way to Hades, where supposedly Orpheus went to try and retrieve Eurydice.  We didn't dive in, unsure of whether the 3-headed dog Cerberus would allow us back up again.  Instead, we jumped in the vigorous waves (the first real surf we've seen) and laughed at how great it felt to be buoyant in the warm, salty water.

Tomorrow we'll drive around the tip of the westernmost peninsula, on the Ionian side and then on Sunday/Monday take a longer trip to the eastern one, on the Aegean, where ferries to the island of Kythera and Crete depart.  Jim and his kids will head to Crete that way for a couple of days, rather than moving their whole group over for 10 days as he originally planned.  There is so much to do and see here and  travels will be tricky with his granddaughter Kyva 15-months old.  We're getting the stone house somewhat protected--it is so hazardous for a toddler, but this gives us an excuse to explore the hardware stores to rig up barriers and baby gates,  And it gives me a chance to be the "expert" on tipsy toddler behavior.  Gosh do I miss Ellie and Isabel!!

The locals are also complaining of the heat and the KoffeeKlatsch of black-clad gossiping widows stays in the lane outside our house gabbling loudly until 11:30 at night now, too hot to go indoors I guess.  Trying to be culturally flexible and non-judgemental, we've given up with this group of widows.  Not understanding the words, I do get the tone and Deborah, the house manager, confirms that we're lucky we don't speak enough Greek as they're really vicious and nasty in their gossip.  Yep, you can tell a lot from intonation.

This morning I had the first riding lesson of my life, with Deborah who is a first-rate trainer and instructor leading the horse and coaching me in classical style riding.  Glad to have her hand on the bridle for the entire hour, still I plan to go on an evening ride up higher over an old bridge and maybe even the early-morning ride to a neighboring village for breakfast.  By 9 AM it's already too hot to ride, but 7 AM or 9PM departures are options and full moon may get here before I leave.

for some reason I haven't worked hard to learn Greek and still have about the same 6 words, though I can decipher most signs, or as Jim says, he can read most everything but he doesn't know what he's reading.  Hearing and responding in Swiss has led me to one very interesting couple here and French and German are also useful at times, but i feel like an idiot when the village folks speak to me as if I would understand.  Apparently I look Greek (who knew?) and people sometimes think I am someone they've seen before, which leads one to wondering about parallel universes, past and future lives, etc, easy steps in this area where spirituality and mysticism flourish.

Collecting notes on possible vacation options here another time--maybe an LLC meeting?:-)
love to all, Sara

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