Three weeks were not enough.
On my last night, I went to Korfari, the little bar by the sea, run by Dimitris, an interesting guy to say the least. 5-6 locals and me. This is what they do when the tourists have gone and winter is coming. We spent the night youtubing and drinking wine. Everyone contributed a song. We DJed altogether. I sung for them. I was always amazed by the Skyrians' good taste for music. Blues, rock, soul, they all know very much about music and they are passionate about it. The Skyrians are generous, talkative people and they know how to have a good time.
Dizzy as I was from the wine, before I went to bed, I decided to walk on the beach one last time. The sea was calm and the stars were shining bright. As Clio put it, a romantic night with myself. I contemplated all these fine moments on the island. New friends. New experiences. Beautiful images. I also said goodbye to Adonis. All the things we did
together on this island three years ago. Life goes on. I was emotional, but with a sweet feeling that will always come to me when I think of Skyros.
Six o clock in the morning I was up again. I had a long way ihead of me. Four hours of sleep and I still managed to come home safely. I guess I' not so old yet, I can handle it, he he!
I want to say a special thank you to Clio, my new French best friend. She gave me two riding lessons, but I learned even more, spending time with her everyday. She is only 24 but she is a great teacher. She builds confidence in you and the horse. She is very intuitive with horses. But intuition is useless without knowledge. She has worked hard, she has studied and travelled for years. As the years go by, I can see her blossoming into a charming lady, who knows a lot about horses. I am a bit jealous that she found her path so early in life.
I'll never forget our road trip on the mountains of Skyros. Our walk to the beach were Dimos drowned. Our night out in the village until 7 in the morning. Our HUGE breakfasts at 9 in the morning, when fresh bread arrived. We could not move because we ate too much. Her motivation in cleaning the farm. Every day was a new project. Every day was full of laughs and smiles. Everyday was an adventure.
Sweet Georgie, the 19 year old volunteer from Brighton, UK, who knew
a lot about poneys. Always eager to help, always with a smile on her face, always wearing shorts in cold nights, making the old ladies in the village cross themselves as she passed by! One day she worked with Pyrros and made him jump! Here is a lovely picture of the two of them...
I miss Ruth's laugh! The way she used to talk and joke about almost everything... having to repeat herself because I could not understand what she said! Ruth, darling, make sure you tell me the whole sentence next time! You were strong and eager to help, hope we meet someday in the future...
I cooked for the girls everyday. Spinach with rice. Chickpea soup. Trachanas with feta cheese. Pastitsio. Cockerel in wine with pasta. Brocoli and cauliflour au gratin. Pasta bolonaise with pepers from the garden. Rocket salad with cherry tomatoes and walnuts from the garden.
Dimos's garden was alive and producing. My speciality became a sweet I call salami. Chocolate with biscuits inside. when you cut it, it looks like salami. One day, I found an aubergine that looked like a chicken! It went into a pasta sauce, but will be here for eternity, as I took a picture of it!
My body got stronger and my skin darker. October was hot in Skyros.
Every morning, 7.30, we would go out to the field. The ponies were waking up. The stallions were waking up. The sky would be pink. The moon was out there. As I went into the field, a pony would come and say hello. I would hug and kiss the pony on it's nose. The nose of a horse is soft and tender.
For a couple of days I was saying goodbye. To the cats. Hitler, Hunter, Charlie, Martha, Mary, Stachti and the rest. We buried Muesli. He died a few days before I left. I found him just as he was leaving for his next life. Goodbye to Heidi, the goat. I'll miss you. Goodbye to the mares.
Sylvia, Kaya, Marika, Milly, Nefeli, Glyka, Clio, Lavender, Georgia... Goodbye to the stallions. Victor, Apollon, Ermis, Dias, Dimos... Goodbye Pyrros and Ira, the big horses... I wish I had more time to remember all 38 horses and all 15 cats with their names. Goodbye to the dogs, Ruba, Chara, Filio. Goodbye chickens, thanks for the food! Goodbye to all the strange creatures of nature, especially this praying mantis that looked like a piece of wood... He was scary, but beautiful...
It was indeed strange being in the farm without Amanda and Stathis. I missed all the conversations I had with Amanda. But then again, it was a different experience.
My last night on the island. My last morning on the porch of their house. My last sunrise. Waves gently touching the shore. Going out of the house, thinking you will hear the traffic. But all you hear is the waves. Last moments. For now. Next time, I promised myself a vacation on Skyros. Not working, just enjoying the beach, the people and the wine.
I drove back. Alone with Freeda in the car. Aretha Frankin. Etta James. Loud music. The sense of freedom. I am driving myself home. I have to thank myself for the gifts I am giving me. Being alone and strong. I deserve the joy. I deserve life. I deserve the things that make me laugh. No more compromising. No more waiting for help from out there somewhere.
I miss them already. The people, the animals and the smells. The harsh earth beneath my feet. The warm sun in my face. The stars. The sea. I
miss them all. I'll come back, I promise.