Following the morning yoga session, there was a buffet breakfast with lots of fruit, muesli, bread, feta, olives, eggs, juices and coffee. You could eat as much as you wanted and take food back to your apartment and store it in the fridge for later.
After breakfast it was free time. Clare and I seemed to quite quickly adopt a regular daily routine of spending the morning reading or writing, followed in the afternoon by swimming and snorkelling.
Close to our apartment was a lovely shady area amongst a grove of Mediterranean pines. A variety of chairs, tables, hammocks and recliners were scattered amongst the trees, so you would have no trouble at all finding a comfortable spot to read or doze. The pines were next to the cliff top, so the sea stretched out in front of you, its surface continually moving gently and glistening in the sun.
In the distance to the left and partially hidden by the pine trees was Mount Aenos, whose massive form stretched down from the highest point on the island to meet the sea. The pines were a favourite spot. They always seemed to attract a refreshing sea breeze and and were a welcome retreat from the heat of the sun. There was a also a surprisingly strong wifi connection in the pine grove, so I spent considerable time there updating our blog and writing articles.
Later in the afternoon, we would wander down to one of the beaches for a swim. I always took my snorkelling gear and explored the rocky coast line, the inlets and coves, and the algae-covered rocks of all different shapes and sizes, scattered randomly along the sea bed. The sea was always clean and clear, but there were not a lot of fish or even plant life, other than algae. Occasionally small fish could be seen darting around the rocks and Peter, one of the other people in our group, even saw a turtle, but he was a fair way from shore when he encountered it.
Peter told the story of the turtle to the rest of us and he really wanted others in the group to see it too. The next day a few of us donned snorkelling gear and swimming goggles and ventured out with Peter in search of the elusive creature. There were five of us in the water in total and once we’d swum out to the spot of the previous day’s sighting, we fanned out in different directions. After some time, two us had seen nothing and headed back to shore, but Peter, Ellie and Clare all saw the turtle and said it was a wonderful experience seeing it wild like that, in its natural environment.
Clare really enjoyed swimming and would swim for ages, covering long stretches of water. It amazed me she didn’t get tired. She would swim a long way out and it would make me a bit nervous because I knew that if I was out that far I would become quite anxious about whether or not I would be able to make it back to shore. She had no such fears, and after watching her doing it several times, I realised just how strong a swimmer she was.
Sometimes we would wander down the path to the private beach after dark for a night swim. It was always a special experience, particularly on the night of the full moon. In the cool dark water, the ripples in the sand of the sea bed would take on a luminescence that was quite magical and strangely magnetic.
From the shore the moon’s silver reflection would stretch in a long shimmering band across the surface of the peacefully undulating water, all the way to the horizon. The only other light came from a lone tanker, waiting idle some distance out, and the lights of houses that dotted the coastline, but none of them could compete with the brilliance of the moon.