Archive for May 2008

I’m such a good blogger…

22 May 2008, by

…other people want me! I am now blogging for Sustainable Table. I have written a couple of posts, the most recent today. You can also read one I wrote earlier about growing food in the cities.

Mostly, I will be writing about farmers and agriculture and the terrible state of the food system, so for those of you who are already yawning, maybe you can skip it. But Sustainable Table is a great website, run by a great organization that is responsible for a viral animated video that made all sorts of web history and is really entertaining! If you have never seen The Meatrix watch it.

And now that spring is on it’s way (for those of you in the northern hemisphere) go to a farmers’ market, join a CSA, or visit a nearby farmer! I can guarantee you’ll have fun (if you don’t, at least you’ll be thinking of me).

Crackatoha – The Return

11 May 2008, by

So I broke another toe… but we also discovered that paradise is only a two-hour bus ride, four-hour (nauseating) boat ride, and hour and a half walk in the heat. Which, if you think about it, isn’t too bad for paradise.

This past week, we spent four days on the island of Gavdos, which is a small (10 sq. miles) island off the south coast of the rather large Crete.

Before I get into it, I want to clarify the notion of paradise… if you are thinking thatched roofed bungalows and five star restaurants, forget it. This is paradise Greek style: total isolation, little to no modern luxuries, and almost near abandonment.

Our Beach HomeThere is a boat from Crete to Gavdos twice a week, if it comes, and only about 50 people live on the island. But from the golden sandy beaches flanked by juniper spotted dunes you can see the outline of Crete from the north and Africa from the south. The clear water on the boat ride there is the purest blue and it gives way to something reminiscent of an iceberg as you approach the shore of Gavdos.

Καραβέ - The Port in ΓαύδοςAt the port, the ferry is greeted by a handful of the locals (a.k.a. half of the island’s population) collecting supplies or visitors. The flurry of activity and excitement at the arrival of the ferry solidifies how remote this island really is; it seems greeting the boat is really the only thing to do.

A walk around the island – which is possible to accomplish in a few hours — will introduce you to just about every resident in Gavdos. One of our friends in one excursion met the lighthouse keeper, the baker, and everyone else that came on the boat with us. They all greeted him with smiles and enough raki that he was found (by our other friends who were driving by with the guy who runs the Gavdos radio station) swaying down one of the roads of the island.

My clumsiness prevented us from taking any excursions, so we spent the days enjoying the beach and exploring the semi-permanent structures occupied by the modern nomads who live on the beach. We were happy on the beach, but feel like we missed a few things. So, as the toe-healing is well underway, we begin again plans to return to Gavdos and practice our own life as modern nomads.Sunset Γαύδος

First Beach Day of 2008

2 May 2008, by

Ah… another fine Greek summer has (un)officially started for us here in Crete. Yesterday we went to the beach for the first time this year – indeed, it was our first beach day since last October.

We took a short drive to Akrotiri, a peninsula east of Chania, with our friends Christos, Stephane, and Jose, and found our way to Stavros, a quiet little beach with a shallow, calm bay overlooked by a bare mountainside. We spent the afternoon sunbathing and swimming, the water still a bit chilly but very refreshing.

An interesting piece of trivia: the movie Zorba the Greek was filmed entirely on location on Crete, and the famous dance scene with Anthony Quinn was shot on the beach at Stavros. We were there. :)

Later we ate at a local taverna where the tasty food was well complemented with traditional Greek songs courtesy of a pair of musicians playing a Cretan lyre and (I believe) a lute.

But wait… it will get even better

This beach day was merely a training exercise, however, compared to what is next.

This weekend we travel to Gavdos, an island approximately 50 km south of the western side of Crete and which holds the distinction of being the southernmost point of Greece and Europe. With less than 100 permanent inhabitants on the island, and few tourists visiting this early in May, it is guaranteed to be a very relaxing time.

Come this time Sunday, we’ll be camping on the beach with a handful of friends and nothing but the sun, waves, and a few shady trees to keep us company… swimsuit optional.