When the Writers Island beach party starts on Tuesday, I will be far away on another island - Mallorca to be precise. If my fellow castaways are reading this now, my search for an internet cafe was successful!
A couple of years ago , I wandered into a travel agent, plonked two hundred and fifty quid on the desk, and said 'find me a hideaway for a week'. 'I can do you Samos' she said 'Where's that?' I asked. 'Greece I think' came back the reply. 'That'll do' said I, and off I went!
The Captain of the Airbus informed us that the landing procedure in Samos was somewhat unorthodox. He was to perform a low altitude approach involving a zigzag between two mountains! We were not to be alarmed - this was quite normal!There was no one in the next seat so I had to make do with gripping my own hand for comfort whilst trying to read the same page of my book over and over again.
However, after being violently tipped first to left and then to right we landed at a tiny airport, where we were ushered into a tiny terminal, and my tiny case of essentials was first to arrive on a tiny carousel. So far so good. Last time I went to a Greek island my luggage decided to take a holiday of it's own in Athens!
Usually when you emerge from an aircraft at some exotic location you are greeted by a rush of hot air. Now I know it was late summer, but I didn't expect a howling gale and lashing rain.The assembled band of Thomas Cook fun seekers(6 to be precise) where herded into an awaiting coach. I had just made myself comfy when it was announced that I would be the first disembark, and suddenly we were there.
I registered at my modest apartment, wandered out on to my little balcony, and lo and behold, there was the 737 which had carried me here, not a hundred metres away across a strip of grass!
The brochure warned me of 'some aircraft noise' but I didn't expect the in-room entertainment to be courtesy of Boeing!
Straight to the bar! There I met George who was to become my best friend in the whole world - at least for the next 7 days. We were both 'bar tenders' so we had something in common straight away! A few ouzos later and it was as if we'd known each other all our lives.It was still early so George pointed me in the direction of Pythagoria - the nearest place of interest and a highly recommended watering hole. I wished I'd packed a jumper. I wandered past endless sights of historical interest and eventually arrived at a picture postcard harbour dotted with restaurants and bars, strung like a pearl necklace around a crescent of fishing boats. Identical menus, identical prices, identical charm.
To find out what happened next go to http://keithsramblings.blogspot.com/2006/11/samos-unspoilt-greek-island.html - so yes Gimme! You have read this before!