As we weren’t compelled to do any more work, and as the first ones of us left during the day – June, Mike, Irati – we just took the day for ourselves, to hang around in Ysternia and chill.

In the evening we had another souvlaki, this time with sangria. We’ve invited Nikos to join us and have one last drink together. The girls also painted a nice wooden tablet with a “Thank you” message for him to hang on the wall of his taverna.

Also another painted thank you-tablet went to Panagiotis, for all the work he’s done to make and keep us happy.

There are no words now in this short blog post to describe the feelings we’re leaving with. But we know very well that this is one unforgettable experience, and that it will be not easy to return to our normal lives. That’s why we want to thank each other for the support and inspiration – and we really hope to meet again some time.

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Guest post by Natasha

Hey, everyone! Γεια!!!

I want to write a post about cats. The idea appeared when I found a postcard in Tinos city. There was a cat and above it was written: Silent appeal. So, somebody wanted to attract attention to this problem. Iolanda already wrote that there are a lot of cats in the Tinos island. The amount is really surprising. They are everywhere. For sure they are homeless, they have fleas, infections, and sometimes they eat garbage. Some of them are really wild, the others are really nice and wants to play, to sit on the persons knees, to be pated. Cats are different.

So are the people too. Some of the locals do a lot for the cats- they give them food, let to the house. Others just think that cats like any animals should get food themselves. Also some people are afraid that the cats have different diseases and it can be dangerous to touch them.

Read the rest of this entry »

This one’s easy: we’ve spent the whole day at the beach. An amazing beach somewhere further along the coast, pretty exquisit actually. Laying in the sun, enjoying the crystal clear water, sipping frappes at the only beach bar around, and enjoying ourselves.

They even offered us a cocktail on the house! Half of a water melon filled with vodka and ice cubes and spices and lavender and many many straws. To share and enjoy together.

Ahhh, and after the wonderful relaxed day, we were even rewarded by a villager in Ysternia with a pizza at his restaurant up on the hill, with a 5***** view on the bay and the mountains. And the huge starlit sky later on. Good location to make a closure, give each other a final feedback and exchange presents.

Now, THIS was difficult: getting up early again, just in order to walk down the path one more time and see where we might have missed a spot. The weather was perfect on the way – cloudy and a bit windy on the slope – we were well rested from the day before, and there were really few spots so correct. But against all these favorable factors, work went slow for most of the time. Only the perspective of the beach and the sun becoming more present managed to motivate us later on.

Had we known what else we would do for the closure of the project… we would have definitely worked faster. Tsipuro-shots on the floating table in front of the bar? In-cre-di-ble! That was indeed the best way to officially put an end to the story. Mrh, well, we’ve also learned that stepping barefoot on the rocky bottom of the sea is not such a good idea – the black thorns can be very painful, it seems.

And now, that our work is done and we can relax until later in the evening, we went again to Pyrgos – to see a movie about the schulptor Chalepa and enjoy a pleasant beer afterwards.

We did it! We cleaned the very last segment of the path!

One can definitely feel that we’re tired, the last effort was weak and without much momentum. Which is why we weren’t even able to celebrate it properly… but rather layed on the beach like vegetables.

BUT. Admitting that we’re tired, we also decided we need an afternoon off. And everyone did something enjoyable – most of us visited a little, hidden bay with a beautiful beach. Tomorrow we need to go back to review our work, but it already feels like we’re ending a chapter.

Today we shot the most important part for the documentary: working at the path. It was a segment very close to the end – so, when we finished work, it already felt like “we’re almost there!”. Tomorrow we’ll finish it indeed!

For some reason we were all more tired than usually, and more hungry when we arrived at home, which is why the delicious Dutch pancakes with sausage and/ or mushrooms and/ or chocolate sauce made us very happy. And fit for the last effort of the day: finishing the work at both of the fountains, simultaneously. It’s incredibly rewarding to see how your work has clear, positive results. And how something actually starts working after you took care of it. [For comparison look here]

So-so… the words “finish” and “end” start to come up more and more often now. Hm. We took some pictures, picked up our tools never to come back again, and left. The evening ended pleasantly with games and a cozy get together.

[The photos in this post are courtesy of our friend Spyros]

Why did we do 2 shifts of work at the path yesterday? Because we wanted to save some time this morning and only work on the fountain – early enough to catch the bus at 11:50 and disappear in the next village. Just a little observation: the fountain was a new one – an idyllic place behind walls of luxurious vegetation.

So Pyrgos is the next village, just behind the mountain. It’s an important village, because it is relevant in the marble crafts, it has museums and (AND!!) an University of fine arts.

Very, very pretty village, we’ve enjoyed especially the museum of marble crafts and the intricate maze of streets in the center of the village. Afterwards we went to the Pyrgos’ beach, which is different from the one in Ysternia. Very, very relaxing evening after such a full day.

And last but not least Nikos was so kind to expect us with dinner ready in his Taverna: greek salad, goat cheese with tomatoes, tzatziki, wine from Crete, and (AND!) wild goat meat, fried, delicious!

The end of an exhausting, windy day:

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Guest post from Natasha

Ahoy, everyone. Home crew is calling. Today the Russian mafia was on duty. If you think that the home team hasn’t much work you are mistaken. If you know the russian cusine you know that there is no a simple dish. How long do you think it takes to cook a Borsh (russian national soup, check on wikipedia or go to Russia)? And I also have to notice that we had to cook it for 18 people, 18 hungry people… SO it took us 3 hours just to cook Borsh and we cooked also the pepper with meat (about 5 hours). So don’t imagine home team polishing the nails, while the others are working hard on the path.

Also we met nice locals, there is a small terrace where the locals gather during the day. So, we were passing by and saw that they had cases with vegetables, we decided to ask them if they had cabbage (Lahano). They didn’t have the cabbage, but they gave us tomatos for free! They are really nice people. Ευχαριστούμε!!!

For the dinner we prepared some salads. Tanya also cooked the sauce which was really popular among the hungry workers. You should see them returning from work – it seems if there will be not enought of food they will eat you too. Especially Panagiotis 🙂

Tanya also brought some sweets and souvenirs for everyone. It was Matroshka dolls. If you don’t know what Matroshka is, we won’t talk to you 🙂

It is time to have rest, today no stars for me, because it is really windy and we can’t sleep on the terrace.
καληνύχτα! Good night!
Natasha

New week, new beginnings. But nothing new on the path, though. Same old bushes, same old broken tools, same old exhausting sun. On top of that, getting back on track after a 2-day break is not all that easy. It also looks like that we’ll have to put in some extra work in the next days if we want to get the path done in time – this means working 2 shifts per day. Mrh.

But we did it. And when we came back home we met our new guests: Vasilis and Spiros from Athens, who will join us for this week and make a documentary about us.

And so it happened that today it was also Korean day, with the 2 Korean girls on the home team, cooking for us seaweed soup and rice and many other tasty specialities. So we hope that our guests had a pleasant first impression about our little camp here.

Mentioned a generous supply of raki yesterday? O well, then nobody would expect us to wake up and catch the 7 o’clock bus, right?

But we did, we did make good use of the free day! We went to Tinos town (Chora), where we were able to organize our return tickets towards Athens, and then just enjoy the lively city. We had Souvlakis, Frappes, and then visited the local church (one of the most important in Greece!). Some of us went to the local beach – and had to admit that what we have in our little village is definitely better 🙂

We came back home happily exhausted, and ended the evening around a big souvlaki grill with tzatziki and vegetables, facilitated by our camp leaders.