Breakfast at the farm; George stocked the house with provisions, so Pres was able to make French toast. Then we met George and drove down to Skoutari, a beach that’s about half an hour away (that’s at my driving speed – a Greek driver would make it here in twenty). Now I know why people flock to Greek beaches – I’ve never seen sea water so clear and calm, at just the right temperature. You can see the bottom perfectly at 20 feet – if there were any coral reefs, it would make for the best snorkeling ever. And when you swim out, you have mountains on one side, hills on another, and the village of Skoutari behind you. It’s an ideal beach experience.
The heat is blistering my mid-day in Greece (you may notice that the heat is becoming a theme in my posts), so someone has had the foresight to put a tavern right out on the sand. You just walk up in your bathing suit, find a table, and remain largely ignored for hours (this is the Greek style of service — you can hang out in a restaurant for as long as you like, and no one will pay you any mind unless you seek them out). We spent a couple of hours at the taverna, just relaxing and occasionally hopping in the water.
Returned to the farm via the scenic route (which Prescott calls “the hairpin switchback route”). We pulled over to look at one ancient tower, of which there are many in this part of Greece — the Greeks here spent a long time trying to protect themselves from the Turks (and the Greeks fought amongst themselves, too, for good measure). Our ride then took us through Vathi and two other beach towns I can’t spell), with brief stops for groceries in Gythio and for melons on the side of the road. The honeydew melons here have convinced me that honeydews are actually worth eating — in fact, they’re absolutely amazing, sweet and tender, something you’d never imagine from your average breakfast buffet at a conference.
George accompanied us, and while we still can’t really talk to each other, he’s been an incredible assistant. He’s very savvy at finding random people to translate for him, and he’s been a help at everything from selecting oranges at the fruit stand to helping me navigate my way past a truck on a road not meant to have a car and a truck on it at the same time.
Desperate for some time with the Internet (and not wanting to bother George again), Prescott and I have driven to the village of Xirokambi. We’re sitting in a cafe watching enormous storm clouds roll overhead. It’s a lot like Baltimore, but with much more sky: there’s a storm somewhere, but it’s not raining here. I’m just hoping this quasi-storm will cool things down a bit — we’ve heard we’re in the middle of a heat wave, and I’m ready for that to change.
Dinner time is is several hours, and we’ll be eating at Dimitri’s favorite taverna in Xirokambi.