Adventure Travel—Silver: Amorgos

by Stephan Morrow

From the time I was sixteen I was drawn to Kazantzakis’ novel Zorba The Greek. For me it was the perfect handling of the eternal question of who finally lives the righteous life and what does that look like? Is it the man who is constantly examining life through thought and obsessing about God, karma, serenity or lack of such, or is it the man of action who embraces life with his whole heart and body, through direct experience? Holding nothing back and giving in to every impulse if it felt good, passionately. That would be Zorba. Young Kazantzakis on the other hand, sat like a Buddha wrestling with his inner demons under that blazing Cretan sun. Though I don’t remember the sun quite so glinty on nearby Amorgos when I spent a fall and a winter there. Was I following in Kazantzakis’ tracks looking to make my own Report to Greco? Maybe.

The island of Amorgos was so far from the beaten path that I was the only ‘xenos’ (foreigner) on the island that winter with my girlfriend Beverly. It was nicknamed ‘The Rock’ for more reasons than its bleakness, as we would eventually find out. There was always a sense of hidden things happening on the island, which the mysterious circles of flat rock that one would come across fed into. As if pagan rituals had at one time taken place on them. That might be considered paranoia by some, but whatever they were, the island fit the bill for what I was interested in doing which was to write poetry from the dark wintry environment that we found ourselves in. It fit the Gothic mood I was in perfectly, refugee as I was from the modern world and in recovery from the hysteria of the Utopian dream world of the sixties in America that lingered on into the seventies. I was at the end of my teenage years and had become a member of those lost souls on the long road back, of adjustment to a world which finally, was not about to have a profound revolution of lifestyle and consciousness. So now, I would make a European pilgrimage and try to make sense out of the world by idling in the forgotten nooks and crannies of the Old world. This was Amorgos in the Cyclades.

The reality of hidden things going on around the island was about to hit us from a more modern, if less surreal place. One day a small grey cruiser of a navy ship appeared in Katapola harbor bristling with a couple of thirty caliber machine guns fore and aft. I think that if it had had the six inch guns of a battleship, it would have been less threatening. After all, machine guns are more anti-personnel than anything else, so its presence was ominous from the first instant of its appearance. Its business was people not war. That was the first clue. Then there was the way it pulled up to the quay. It came straight in at the dock and went into a wide curve so fast it might have been out of control or the way a PT boat would sweep around on an attack. What seemed like just a few feet away from the wooden dock it reversed its engines and bucked almost like a horse, and swamped the cement plaka by the water. Quite an announcement of arrival. But it even topped this with the blare of a fog horn that was so powerful it sounded like a trombone on steroids cutting through the air like a bowling ball hitting a full set of pins. And the grim faced captain, black turtleneck underneath his blue naval uniform jacket, could have been sent by Central Casting as he strolled off the gangway and onto the main plaka in front of the village. Glaring at everyone whom he encountered, the monocle in his eye gave him a vibe like a praying mantis looking for its next meal. There was a review of a cadre of sailors for his pleasure but also obviously for the benefit of the citizens of Katapoula. The double line of uniformed sailors marched in step carrying rifles across their chest diagonally and clicked their heels at attention, then marched in formation for a dozen yards and formed up in ranks for a quick inspection. The denizens of the village – who were not scurrying like roaches into a crack, no, that would have been too obvious and god forbid, insulting to the visiting company – all greeted the captain with the most disingenuous smiles, looking for all the world like emaciated wolves licking their chops with each grimace that they directed toward him, as if he was going to provide the next carcass for their empty bellies.

I kept feeling like I was seeing a bad movie unfold in front of me. The cast of characters was all there: Stylios, who owned the local general store brought out half a large round loaf of Greek bread and slavered it with tahini from a small pot held by his little boy, continually licking his lips in anticipation of what the captain would taste and splitting his face from ear to ear with what passed for a welcoming grimace. A couple of little girls were pushed forward and gave him a garland of posies and there was more bowing and scraping by their proud parents. An adjutant to the commandant who was in civilian clothing and wearing a long black leather trenchcoat accepted the gifts for him and said a few overly pleasant things when saluting various luminaries of the village. When the squad trooped in strict military formation into the hills behind Katapoula I couldn’t be positive, but it sure looked like they had a definite destination in mind. Not long after this visit, I was talking about it to my friend, Markos outside the café by the dock and not thinking much of it, sharing my thoughts about the sinister quality the boat and its captain had. He looked around the plaka to see who was around and put his forefinger to his lips and hissed ‘Siopi’ (‘Quiet’). Then looking out to the open ocean said, ‘You know, this island is special…. You know about the colonels?”

“Of course,” I said, “who doesn’t”.

“But they have gotten rid of some of their opponents in Athens, did you know that?’

“Oh…”. I let that sink in but had to know more so finally I asked, “you mean they killed them?”

“No, they couldn’t have done that and gotten away with it. No.”

“So what did they do with them? ”

‘They just took them out of circulation…. You know what I mean?”

“No, not exactly. ”

And he made a face that was priceless. It went something like this: As if he was passing the most dire of state secrets and not gesturing, just using his wide bulging eyes he jerked his eyebrows up toward the heavens and shut his eyes simultaneously. Then he opened them wide and rolled them in the direction of the mountains, twice, and then met my eyes steadily, meaningfully. Finally, he shrugged his shoulders in the classic Greek gesture, as if to say ‘That’s the way life goes, what can I do about it?’ Was he signaling what I thought he was? That they were, in fact right, here. “On Amorgos?” Again, the eyebrows jerked up. Code for “What else?” …. Amorgos, the less traveled island that we had decided to take up residence on – was a low security prison island for political prisoners that the junta had exiled there and who were now guests of the colonels. And that was the reason for the commandant’s visit.

Besides having been initiated into the ‘World’s Worst Poker Cheaters Club’ by Markos’ dumb show, I now understood that it wasn’t just the fact that it had been deforested by the dreaded Turks in the 16th century so the only trees growing on it were in some olive groves – sage bushes covered the rest of the grayish brown granite hills and hidden canyons that it was comprised of – but also because it was barren enough, sullen enough and oppressive enough in how it inflicted itself on the inhabitants that ended up there unwillingly, that it made sense for it to be dubbed ‘The Rock’…..

Of course, the appearance of this godson of the Gestapo also explained why no one discussed anything remotely political. So there were indeed things hidden behind closed doors, and even more mysteries that the island harbored. Originally, I had approached the head of the Gymnasium and offered to teach some conversational English to interested students there in a casual way – gratis. As a resident on the island, I felt that I wanted to make a contribution of some kind and this was something I felt could be a positive thing. So I volunteered my services. Well, little did I expect the flood of intimidating questioning that I was suddenly confronted with: “What do you want with our children? What do you want to expose them to? Are you certified by the national government in Athens? Do you have a teaching permit?” And since, in my ignorance, I knew nothing of the brutality of the civil war that had torn Greece apart for decades, and the paranoia that had set in under the colonels’ dictatorship, was shocked when I met this stone wall of suspicion. I knew nothing of this, but took my cue, politely withdrew my offer and let the gesture die a quiet death.

So imagine my surprise when after the whole thing had blown over, a couple of weeks later, the head of the Gymnasium himself, quietly approached me one day and said, ‘I would like you to tutor two boys. How much would you consider being paid? ”

” I don’t know, hadn’t thought about it,” I answered.

“In Athens, the wages for a tutor are $2.50/hr U.S. Would that be acceptable?”.

From volunteering, I was now being offered gainful employment. And at a premium wage. A large meal at the kafenion was about fifteen cents U.S. The rental for our little villa was $10 U.S. per month. It didn’t take much thought. Even though everything was measured in pennies, our wallets were already dwindling, and I agreed.

He was a nice man, kindly even, with black horn rimmed glasses, and sophisticated enough to share his Time Magazine with us (nothing I would have been particularly eager to look at back in the States, but which here, since it was the only line to the outside world there was, we devoured line by line, even ad by ad to see what was new, and its conservative support of the status quo be damned. It’s amazing how circumstances can change how you see something.).

His house was planted up in the hidden mountain village called The Chora which was fairly dismal at best and I don’t mean that as a judgment so much as a comment on the fact that all the color had been drained out of it. The only thing not a shade of black or white was the light brown color of the donkey turds that occasionally were dropped lining an alley. The white-washed rock houses huddled there in the dull light with the ever present wind groaning past them had all the warmth of a graveyard. Everything was a shade of some kind of gray – the mottled gray sky, the white washed rock of the small houses, the gunmetal rock that plated the alleyways, the silvery lead light glowering down through the clouds, everything. And the weak intermittent sun coupled with the wind singing dolefully in the wires, created a profound feeling of loneliness that seemed to permeate the village. Nobody just casually wandered through its warren of alleys for a breath of fresh air. They were always deserted unless you caught a glimpse of the ubiquitous black shawl of a woman as she scurried around a corner. If El Greco had set up his easel in the Chora he would have felt right at home and easily painted another View of Toledo. He wouldn’t have had to change his pallet at all from its preponderance of black and gray. Except that there was a little more iron in the Chora and no green at all. A black and white movie if there ever was one.

So twice a week I would make the long climb up the wide Minoan steps to the Chora and coach his seven and ten year old boys. Nice kids, but I don’t know how much they really got out of it. It turned out that the professor was hiring me as a tutor for his own young sons so that they would get a head start on the kids from down in Katapoula where most of the students lived. After the lessons were over, his wife would invite me to dinner. The going fare was broiled sardoules, a large sardine which was grilled to a paper dryness and which you chewed whole, bones be damned. With some heavy, brown Greek bread lacquered with Tahini, some black olives and a little cooked cabbage, maybe a small potato. A simple meal but the best they could offer – fish was almost a delicacy up in the Chora – they would always get the last pick of the fisherman’s catch from down below, or anything for that matter, that had to be brought up from the ships in the harbor to the mountaintop – and this was part of the longstanding resentment Chorans had against the fish-fed denizens of Katapoula. This might have been part of the headmaster’s justification for having his kids get the drop on their rivals from down in the harbor, and why he was willing to make the sacrifice and pay me – to give his kids a bit of an edge on their more spoiled cousins down by the caiques where everything was a little more available. Even up the ante, a little.

At that first dinner, I was also impressed by the fact that we all sat down to the table with overcoats and hats on. Nobody mentioned it, we just all sat there at the table, as the food was served, but bundled up like we were eating outside in a park. For a moment, there was a strange sensation of expectation while I waited for them to take off their coats. Or for the heat to come on. Or something. There was something wrong with this picture. Until finally in my dimness I realized that there was no heat coming and that this was what one did. Because there was no heating to speak of except for small charcoal braziers which unfortunately delivered several old folks as blue stiffs every winter. The poisonous gas from the braziers turned the skin an indigo color. Winters were damp and with a chill that cut to the bone but it never snowed by all reports, so basically Amorgiani lived in denial of winter.

Driven by some atavistic wind, which seemed to be the dominant breeze blowing through the island and plugging us into a mainline of ancestral beings, besides writing poetry, I became obsessed by the different possibilities of constructing chess sets out of different found materials from around the island: small triangular shaped potsherds of ancient red brown urns that I collected on the beaches, made good pawns, handles of amphorae sanded down to the shape of a small sail made for a good bishop, bleached goat vertebrae which were ubiquitous in the hills resembled nothing if not the horse of a knight, and roots from sage bush branches which looked absolutely like frozen wind had the dynamic of a Queen. Funny thing was I wasn’t as interested in playing as much as I was intrigued by the class structure of the world of the set; how it had all developed, the wily knight, the diagonal bishop, the little pawn, the hefty plodding of the elephant rook, the overwhelming power of the liberating queen and finally the valued but vulnerable King. Something archetypal about the whole set up – like the Tarot Deck. And it fit in with how I saw myself back then, which was as a sort’ve warrior of the psyche. I was engaged in psychic mortal combat with the illusions of the world, to conquer them and find real meaning for it all. Much like Kazantzakis’ struggle to comprehend reality. Part of this quest had been picking up the challenge of searching for the holy grail of brotherhood on earth. Climbing the mountains of the utopian landscape, looking for Valhalla. Warrior culture couldn’t have interested me in the least. Viet Nam had taken care of that and when I left New York, I left with a one-way ticket. Today when I think about what my state of mind was like then, the alienation I held, I’m fairly amazed by how far one can travel down the lanes of a search for an identity one could live with.

Anyway, though my life on the island was nothing as dramatic as the collapsing lignite mines that plagued Zorba and Kazantzakis , it did have its moments. Just before my girlfriend Beverly returned to America – she had a hard time being the only blonde woman on the island – because the few able bodied local men were forever visiting our cottage on the other side of the bay from Katapoula, ostensibly to bring us a little gift as a good neighbor is wont to do – and that kind of hospitality the villagers took very seriously – like feta cheese, or a large cabbage from their garden. But they had a bad habit of peering through the windows, which freaked her out. Especially, and I say this with not a little embarrassment, one gray late afternoon when I wasn’t able to do much writing and was at sixes and sevens, and we were making love – until she froze. There, visible to her in the casement of the window, was the top of a hat. As I slowly sank back from some Dionysian heights, and gathered my wits I opened my eyes and she said in a monotone , “you’d better see who that is”. I turned around to see what was going on. Yep, right there outside the casement window, which was a little higher than normal, was the top of a news boy gabardine hat, the preferred cap of the ‘palikari’ (gents). Then it disappeared and I expected to hear a knock at the heavy timber door. There was no knock, only the steady winter wind. I slowly pulled my pants together and went outside to see what was up. When I opened the door, and looked around for the intruder, there sitting on a little rock table we had fashioned, was a dark brown bottle. Whoever it had been had beaten a quick exit. I uncorked it and tasted it. A very sweet homemade port – and strong. Whether we had been caught in flagro delecto or not was unclear and never brought up by anyone, but it freaked her out. Was the bottle a gift of thank you for our performance? Whatever it was, it made an impression on her.

She said indignantly “I didn’t come this far to be an entertainer of the troops. Let them get a video, for Chrissakes”.

“It’s no big deal” I answered, trying to soothe her.

“What are you saying? My privacy was violated. And yours. I feel like an actress in some weird Amorgianos porno show.”

“But that’s you. You, I mean we – were just doing what comes naturally. It’s only natural, who cares? We’ll put up my poncho on the windows next time”, I continued.

This had been a bone of contention. Since I preferred to read and write by the sunlight coming in through the two windows which were slightly above head level anyway, I had resisted putting up any kind of curtain thing. So in a way, she was laying our exposure on me – and I couldn’t deny it. I was trying to come up with as many rationalizations as I could since this episode was surely going to be another nail in the coffin of her stay on the island and I didn’t want her to go back yet.

Maybe the old goats on the island were curious or maybe it was a little more prurient than that, but they certainly suffered from an insatiable curiosity as to what we were up to. Or indeed what I had done to deserve the favors of a hallowed, blonde goddess. They were husky, strong, leathery men tested by the elements, challenged to eke out an existence from the poor rocky earth of the island and proud. So what was this young whippersnapper offering that they couldn’t? That was the mystery. And were never quite satisfied with my answers. They saw the chess sets, so that registered as a hobby. Was that a turn on to her? Here was a young dude who made little table games. What kind of an achievement was that to impress a woman with? Didn’t make sense. I got a little cover as a poet, but communicating to them what I was writing about was impossible and anyway I felt like a fraud saying that since I had no notion of myself as another Pound. Poetry was hard to explain and the scribblings I was pouring out onto my pads, trying to tap the subconscious and not structure things formally, just let the images reveal the theme – that’s all I was able to come up at the time. Narrative was beyond me really, so I couldn’t call myself a storyteller – that they might have appreciated as an occupation. So basically we were regarded as do nothings, and worthy of suspicion. In fact who we were, were members of a lost tribe that they would have had no interest in even if they could have understood my smattering of Greek – a new diaspora – members of the legions of disenchanted utopians. To try to explain away our presence on the island as a flight from the maw of disillusionment with American culture was impossible. Failed subversives who were escaping from the plastic environs of North America, I for one, was trying to crawl out of the dark depression of Hamlet’s ‘what next, dear Horatio’? How do you explain things like the yellowing of the pages of The Whole Earth Catalog and its growing irrelevance or the entire culture of underground newspapers across the country going down in flames with the dreams of a Woodstock nation. When it had peaked, the euphoria was such that it didn’t matter that it was an impossible dream – we were off on the Crusade…. To realize the dream of a world brought to some kind of earthly perfection of justice and brotherhood and peace. And now it had all ended. But dreams like that don’t end like the sunset. No, they die slowly, torturously, slowly throttled an inch at a time and for years on end. You make concessions, put on regular clothing, get a haircut, and become Joe Citizen, but right underneath the clothing off the racks – there lies a swamp of alienation.

The one place where sometimes we could all sing the same song was at the Kafenion, sharing a bottle of ouzo with our fellow islanders. On those late cloudy afternoons when coffee wouldn’t suffice and more lightning was called for, a Coke-sized bottle of ouzo cost three dracs – a dime – and it was plenty to hold you. One villager would literally say to another “Na se kerasou’. ‘Let me wine you.’ And off they would go, two local denizens, a bottle of ouzo or a carafe of retsina between them, a few black strings on a plate – grilled octopus – and before long they would start singing the old songs. And then from other tables in the room people would join in, at first almost reluctantly, but then giving in: it was time to be carried back to the old days. Then clapping would begin, things would build until finally, the chairs would be pushed back and they would get up and dance. Plugging into some tribal chord that went back to the beginnings of that civilization, and if Minoan culture was four thousand years old, that said a lot. Those kind of moments – when the spirit of a people’s culture came alive, like a vibrating rod right in the room with you, whether it was a song, a piece of urn, a dance, that’s what the places which still had the old ways offered. Folks carried away on these chords, and us with them. Palpable eons of the human experience, time became a felt reality. A couple of times we even made a clumsy attempt at joining them in the dance. I felt like I had become a bear in the heavy slow tread of the steps. Heavy stamping tread like a Neanderthal or a Spartan at Marathon you felt the ritual steps bringing you back there, while the oily tongues of the ouzo spread through your whole body and created a physical presence like some Innuit spirit had entered the room and kidnapped you.

But these moments were rare and so after a couple of more months we took a small caiqui to Egiali, a village on the other side of the island, Beverly climbed up the side of a small freighter and was gone. The next morning felt too bright for my mood but my spirits lifted a little when, as I started to make my way back to the docks, I spied what looked like nothing less than the Yellow Brick Road. Truly. Yellow and Brick. Beautifully cemented. Amazing. Why hadn’t anyone mentioned this? And so without so much as a pause to inquire for some information about it, I couldn’t resist and took the leap. I started following it – presumably back to Katapoula ten miles away on the other side of the island. Why not? I was a hiker, maybe a jaunt like this might be a little therapy for my aching heart. Problem was after about a hundred yards it started narrowing. By another hundred it had turned into a dried creek bed and then by the first mountain, finally, a goat trail – and even that eventually disappeared so in the end I was just going straight up and straight down the mountainous spine of the island. Sage bushes grabbed at my knees and wind roared at my ears as the gray clouds gathered darkly high up where I was, but I discovered the goat in me and pushed on, determined to conquer ‘the Rock’. And I managed pretty well, putting one foot in front of the other, climbing up the giant hills on one side, pulling myself up when I had to, and then stumping and sliding down the other, but it never occurred to me even once, to turn around. The constant wind pushing against me was a balm for my aching heart and while I couldn’t say I was happy, I remember feeling a peculiar kind of tragic exhuberance, is all I can call it. She had gone and was not coming back. Heathcliffe understood. I kept this up steadily for a couple of hours only stopping once to eat some feta cheese, olives, figs, and bread, on the side of a mountain. Just about half way – that would be approximately five miles – where before I had been sweating from the climb, I could have sworn I felt colder in spite of humping through the clinging sage bushes and the slippery gravel underfoot, but I wrote those feelings off as just being spooked from being so far from anyone and the eeriness I felt each time I reached a summit of those small mountains. As I looked down the range it looked like nothing less than the spine of a giant stone dinosaur half submerged into the sea. But when I felt a stinging on my cheeks and started slitting my eyes, it slowly dawned on me that it was doing nothing less than yes – snowing. Was that possible in the Greek islands, where the only response to the damp but mild winters was to wear overcoats while indoors in their ancient unheated stone cottages? (As it turned it hadn’t snowed for more than thirty years until the day of my hike.) So now I pulled on the sweater I had in my daypack, wrapped some socks I also had been carrying around my neck like a scarf and really began plunging on – it was clear that this could be serious…In my life when I have had to face critical moments of life and death jeopardy, a kind of primitive, no-holds barred mind-set clicked in, that this was no rehearsal, but a knife-edge challenge by the elements or the fates – and they were slobbering for my neck. It’s a very definite taste in the back of the mouth like tin. So I settled into this mode of seriousness, much like the feeling of charging into a skirmish with an enemy. That did occur to me, since this was not so long after the Vietnam War, that an invisible Charlie was pulling at me, waiting for me to fall off the steep brown inclines of the cliffs I was climbing. I became engaged in both physical and psychic mortal combat with the steep sides of the mountains. Except that since I was in Greece I found myself hallucinating about the phalanx that was backed up against the cliff walls at Marathon. I found a drumbeat of a rhythm as I kept swinging upward foot by foot. Probably it was just the pumping heartbeat that was blasting through my chest, because I felt the throbbing through my whole being and it gave me a momentum to fight the wind that was now driving against me, threatening to push me back and down off the side of the mountain I was clambering up. My whole body tightened with the determination to forge ahead as I grabbed fistfuls of sage bush moving up one step at a time, like the rungs of a ladder, and then just scrambling further up when I could. I was leading the whole phalanx with my beat. My comrades were lunging step by step right behind me. ‘Freedom. Freedom. Freedom.’ The chorus of chanting traveled up my spine and out my mouth in guttural barks. It was the anthem of the Greek army as it charged into the ranks of the invading Persian slaves who as legend has it, had to be whipped into battle. Then I became the runner who was determined to run the twenty-six miles to warn the army that the Spartans would not come. With the urgency at his back of the survival of his whole city state depending on him he plunged on with his life and death mission of getting there. These are the kind of mind games one plays on the frigid tops of mountains and thank god for it, because I might never had gotten through without this invisible chorus urging me on…. To climb hours on end up one side of a mountain and then down the other without stopping for fully ten miles is no small thing – and that’s as the crow flies – adding the distances up the mountains and down to the equation – I’m still amazed I pulled it off. All in one afternoon and into the darkness after dusk. Which is when it really got hairy. By then my hands were chafed badly from pulling myself up by grabbing onto sage bush branches and my palms burned with each clenched fist. As I moved up the sides in the darkness, it was possible to see only a few feet at a time in front of me and only when I faced upward in the direction of the dim heavens…. But the Athenians were with me and I made it.

Late that night, when I finally stumbled into the village up in the ‘Chora’ and burst into the only kafeneion there, swaying uncontrollably like a pie-eyed drunk, I announced to the room that I was in need of a little Metaxa, Greek brandy. ‘Please’. Hyper-exhaustion was beginning to take over now and I paused for a second, my legs holding me up like two wooden stumps. Then I stumbled two steps to a chair near the door and collapsed into it. My trousers made the whispery sounds of cracking ice. I asked if there was someone who could get it for me. I wasn’t about to move to the bar. Someone asked ‘What happened to you, pedi mou (my son)?’ Still hanging on I announced that I had just hiked from Egiali – at that point the proprietor emerged from the crowd and asked me what did I say? I said “Egiali – by foot…” – was all I could manage in my limited Greek and deranged state. He laughed and shared the joke with his compadres. Convinced that I had either gotten very drunk or gone berserk, I was the welcome butt of their humor on a stormy winter night, for a moment. I must have made up quite a sketch with the gray socks hanging frozen from my neck like driftwood souvenirs and my stiffened pants that creaked as I stretched out my legs for some comfort. Then they started really taking me in fully, the ice that covered my hair and eyebrows and that was now dripping down my face and my hands that looked like raw blood-red claws. The proprietor’s eyes widened and he stopped laughing. In a loud raspy voice he called for his wife to heat water. “Amesos, Ginaika !!!” (“Instantly, woman”) he commanded. Suffering from hypothermia that I was, I was wrapped in several sweaters and put under several blankets, anything to raise my body temperature – I didn’t move for the next two nights and days. Turns out, no one to their knowledge, had ever walked from one end of the island to the other. It was just not done. Maybe when the telephone poles were being put up there were men on the mountains but not traveling from one end of the island to the other. Caiquis were always used, and in Egiali, the folks there were closer to their friends and relatives in Athens than anyone in Katapoula or the Chora for that matter- it was a very long ten miles. So when I stumbled in half delirious from battling the elements, the old man was convinced I was one of those crazy Americans that were showing up occasionally. Kind of Zorba in reverse, I, the Americanos was the eccentric. Nevertheless, I must add that they nursed me for those two nights and days and nary a dime was asked for. Subject never came up. When I revived enough I simply said good bye and ‘efkaristo’ and headed for my cottage down below……

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