The first of the season’s walks with the intrepid Hilary Paipeti, author of the Corfu Trail, kicked off today along the Ropa Valley, starting from the Dizi Bar where we met for coffee.
We wound our way in to the back of the Theotoky Estate, admiring the vines and olive trees, so beautifully tended. At this time of year, the olives are not yet ripe, but the grape harvest is in full swing.
At every step is a flower you never noticed before, wild mint or aniseed flavouring the air or a lizard disappearing into the undergrowth. The Walnut and Quince trees are laden this year, with Persimmon still too green to pick.
It was a warm day with a balmy breeze, the ground dry and easy to traverse. Conversations flowed as old aquaintances were rekindled and new ones made. About half the group repaired to Nafsika restaurant for a lazy lunch on the verandah, watching the waves roll on to the beach as a strong breeze started up. The sun shone with a brilliance on the undulating green/blue of the sea and the waves thundered in. Everyone left looking forward to next week’s walk from Sinarades. 10.30 meetup at the square, for an 11am start.
Visiting my friend in the country before all this quarantine began, I took myself off to a midland Forest for an extended walk -( extended because I couldn’t find my way back to my car). My mind was searching for nature and fresh air. What used to be called a walk in the woods is now known as ‘Forest bathing’ becasue of the infusion of fresh air from the oxygen released from the trees.
It made me remember that swimming in the sea is now called ‘Nature Bathing’ or ‘Wild Swimming’ or something. While my mother made sure I learned to swim in a pool, she refused all her life to immerse herself in water that had chlorine in it. Taking the plunge in the sea was a regular thing for us and the best way to ‘get down ‘ in the icy water was debated hotly (forgive the pun) within the family.
Halfway through my walk, I felt the ‘call of nature’ – what would we do without euphemisms? , and it made me think how strange it was that noone had given the obeying of that call ‘en plein air’ a gritty, hipster title. ‘Wild Peeing’ comes to mind. Surely the freeing experience of hunkering down among the vegetation and making sure the flow does not go downhill and wet your feet deserves some lofty title., some daredevil, living on the edge descriptive catchphrase?
The phrase ‘ Keep Nicks’ was a well worn in our house among the females. The person with that job had to warn the person peeing that someone was coming and to hurry up. Why is it that such jolly traditions and activities have not been romanticised into a desirable, coming of age experience?
In days gone by, the back field outside a pub was the Lavatory or ‘Wild Peeiing’ location and as a gesture to the rare female who was allowed a glass of lemonade, the location was ‘Where the nettles were cut down’ as a gallant and gentlemanly gesture to the needs of female anatomies.
I digress. I want to share with you what I saw as well as what I thought about on my lengthy perambulation that day. For the moment, think Fallen Branches, Beech seeds with lofty ambitions and three separate encounters with dogs, each encounter as diverse as the dogs themselves. These adventures, as well as the chat I had with a horse or ‘Equine Interaction’ in modern speak will be developed and laid out in my next blog.
Until then, we all will be no more than 2km from a lavatory so I expect no immediate break through in the eulogising of ‘ Wild Peeing’.