Thursday, 11 September 2014

The view from a bar in Kastos, Greece

Laid-back, Latin music is playing in the little bar by the harbourside on the island of Kastos, Greece.

The wooden chairs - directors' chairs - are full of Dutch people speaking a strange, guttural, glottal, purring language only the Dutch understand.

There is a blast from a ship's horn down on the quayside and all eyes turn to a twin-masted wooden vessel, a tripper boat called Christina.

The Dutch people pay for their beers and coffees, taking their hats, sunglasses and smiles back along the harbour.
And now the sound of a Latin trumpet wafts through the bar's shutters onto an empty terrace.

A dog barks and the cicadas are like constant maracas accompanying this jazz tune which whirls around in my head and through the clean, warm air. The island hugs its bigger, more rugged brother Kalamos in the wine dark waters of the Ionian Sea, close to the Greek mainland.

A kitten snakes its way along the terrace, after jumping from the arms of an America woman who says: 'I'm gonna take this little one home with me.'

Far out in the bay, our boat Nestor, named after the wise old man of The Iliad, bobs about in solitary splendour, nose pointing towards Meganisi, Ithaca and Kefalonia to the west, our next ports of call on this odyssey.
The music turns into something like the theme for Muscleman on Opportunity Knocks, an anchor chain clunks as a boat heads for the open sea and the sun hides behind a blanket of mackerel clouds as a swallow thinks about flying south.

And, for a while, the small village of Kastos sleeps. Until the next tripper boat arrives.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

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