Travels to a Different Time :July 1970: Our Trip to Orthos : Otherworldly and Conservative

We took the bus to Dino and Poppy’s town Orthos. We waited a couple of hours in a café before Poppy came to pick us up. As soon as we arrived at her house Dino, Mom and I took the bus to a beach called Finiki. We had an early supper then went to bed tired from the sun and salt water! The next day we visited some springs a couple of kilometres from Orthos and upon returning home I felt sick. Perhaps too much sun. I felt better the next day and took the bus to a quiet beach not far away. The next day we said goodbye to Dino and Poppy and returned by bus to Pigadia.

Letter from Margaret Mary Stephen to daughter Barbara Stephen: You wouldn’t believe the setting I am in sitting in a café in the town square that only has two tables. At the next table there is a fat Greek lady clothed in black from head to toe with a black scarf around her head and neck. We have been invited by a lady called Poppy to visit her house in this small mountain village of Orthos. We dropped off our luggage at her house and went to a peculiar place called Finiki to swim. The women were on one side of the beach and the men at the other. The older women were behind some rocks fully clothed and sunbathing. This is simply another world and I love it.  I just prayed that we would make it! It was a terrifying ride here with sheer drops on the road to the ocean crashing below. We saw a man with an octopus who was smashing it against the rock to tenderize it. There is simply too much to see in Greece! Before we came here we went to a party in Pigadia full of young people. The girls were sitting in one room and their watchful mothers in another. Do the men think North American girls are bad? There are only a few men at the party and most are not good looking but they all have neat, tidy and short hair. Some are university students. We are going to leave Karpathos soon. I shouldn’t stay in the water long as I have a terrible sunburn on my legs. It really hurts so much in the sun I start to cry. My back has given me no problems in Greece. I need this dry heat so Greece and Spain are for me in my old age. Anything to avoid back pain. They are very slow in the restaurants and I have been overcharged a few times. I just hate that. They must think all tourists are millionaires. But a few bad eggs should not spoil this. Greece is a fabulous country both people wise and geographically. Its s beyond belief! Love Mom.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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