“You know, when you introduced yourself as a disaster zone, I didn’t quite realise!” said my current room-mate. “I know,” I replied: “I’m a human train wreck”. This conversation followed my stepping on a bee: unfortunately, I’m somewhat allergic, and my leg (or more accurately, my foot) has been transformed into a log. My shoe won’t even go on! Happily though, the hostel manager’s theory that Cretan bees are less poisonous than ‘normal’ European bees (which was not at all a useful frame of reference for me!) seems to be true: last time I was stung on the foot, my leg swelled and turned blue to my knee, so this is a significant improvement!
Following on from the other day where I was handed the glass of garlic and lemon to fend off my cold (completely didn’t work), my bee sting encouraged those surrounding me to offer me a whole host of further traditional remedies. I was recommended pressing an onion against the swelling; someone else advised making a tobacco poultice and applying that; and one aroma-therapist put pure lavender oil on it. People also tried to convince me to call the homeopathic doctor. I just wanted the drugs!
Anyway, my bee sting, sunburn, sleep deprivation and hiking-related injuries just didn’t seem like quite enough, so I figured I’d add travel sickness to round it out, and went on a driving adventure with some of the hostel’s older denizens. Five adults in a small car on windy roads was not great, and to be honest a couple of the guys were not quite my type of people, but it was otherwise interesting. I had one good conversation with the aroma-therapist which was nice.
We went to a nearby monastery, then to a small beach-front fortress, thence to the weirdest freaking bar in the whole world:
The road to the bar was more than a little terrifying. About halfway down, it turned to rock and gravel, was narrow, prone to boulders, and bordered by a cliff. When we were going back up again, the aroma-therapist asked whether we’d all fastened our seatbelts, and I said that “no, because if the car goes over the edge I want to be able to get out of the door before I go with it!” “Har, har,” she said. “You think I’m joking,” I replied: “I’m not.” (I wasn’t!)
We did survive the crazy road in the end, and after a late lunch we drove up to a look-out. It was fine and everything, very Greek: but I find that after the beauty of Peterhof in Spring, I’m completely unaffected by Greece’s natural beauty. Last time I was here it was in the early Spring, and everything was green and fresh, with a ridiculous number of wild-flowers everywhere you looked. Now that it’s summer, everything is dry and rocky. Nothing like Russia at all! Then again, where is?
My hostel in Plakias, Crete: YH Plakias