By the time I arrived to Bari, I was beyond ready to be in Greece. Nothing could have sounded better than staying in one place for longer than two days! I spent just enough time in the city of Bari to update the loved ones on my current location before making my way to the port to book my ticket and play the waiting game for the ferry. Hours passed, and it was finally time to board. Now, I’ve never been on a cruise or anything like that, but I was truly impressed at how extravagant this ferry turned out to be! Granted, my ticket was the bargain basement, second class deck seating (meaning that I was sleeping on a couch in a public area all night), but I was pleased with the atmosphere of the place nonetheless. After a less than solid night of sleep, I had arrived to Igouasdsaas. One kilometer of a walk from international to domestic port, and I was on the much-smaller ferry to Corfu! I got to play the hurry-up-and-wait game once again when I arrived to Corfu town since I was taking a bus to the other side of the island, but waiting isn’t all that bad when you’re spending the bare minimum on your transportation. Once I was on the bus, though, I couldn’t help but feel relaxed – after nearly a month of living out of a backpack, I was finally going to have the R&R I had been vying for!
Alright, so let’s be honest – I didn’t do a whole lot of anything in Greece, outside of sunning, swimming, sleeping, and eating some amazing organic, home-cooked Greek food…BUT that was the entire point of going to Greece to begin with, so I feel no shame! I stayed at the cheapest hostel I could find, and was shocked to discover just how nice of a place it ended up to be. Firstly, SunRock Hostel is a family owned and operated business – I’m a sucker for supporting small businesses and the family does everything they can to ensure that their customers support other small businesses as well (groceries, touring, etc.). Secondly, the hostel offers home-cooked meals, using all-natural, organic ingredients from their family farm – everything from the eggs you have for breakfast to the honey you put in your yogurt (and yes, the yogurt’s homemade too – the good old-fashioned way!) is all straight from the farm. And of course, I can’t help but mention the fact that the hostel not only overlooks the Mediterranean, but is a TWO MINUTE WALK from the sea! Oh, and did I mention that it was really cheap accommodations?
Each night, asdasdsdf prepared all of her guests a delicious home-cooked meal that was very Greek in flavor and style. Because it’s still considered the “slow season,” it was easy to get to know the other guests, as well as the volunteers who were working there for however long. Generally speaking, dinner was the time in which we all came together to dine and get to know one another, though there certainly were a couple of us who would cross paths earlier in the day for conversation. For example, my first afternoon was spent in deep conversation with one of the volunteers about creating a “Seven Year Plan” – an interesting concept to be sure, as you are to set yourself an attainable life goal to achieve at the end of seven years. The thought behind it is that your entire body’s cellular structure regenerates and you are literally a new person after seven years, so you should apply that philosophy to your life as well! What a proactive way to better your life – even if you fail to reach your goal, you are still so much better off from all of the hard work you’ve put into attaining your goal. Granted, not all of my interactions were as deep as that particular conversation, but I thought it was a fun one that really got me thinking about the future in a very real sense. There’s no reason to settle for the daily grind when we are capable of anything!
I spent a couple of afternoons with a Canadian couple with whom I went on some fun excursions with as well, so my time wasn’t completely spent lazing about. One afternoon, the Canadians, a French Canadian, and myself spent a good hour or so kayaking out to a rock formation far from shore with intentions of jumping off it into the water. Unfortunately for us, the rock was too jagged and steep to make it up very far, so we settled for a swim in the deeper waters before paddling back to shore. I had never before seen water so unbelievably clear!! Even in the deep water, we could still see the sandy bottom far beneath us. Simply magnificent.
Another afternoon, we took a break from sunning and swimming to hike up the mountain to an abandoned house overlooking the shoreline. An hour and a half of uphill walking in flipflops is never a good idea, but the discomfort my feet were feeling by the time we reached the top was totally worth the spectacular view of Pelekas Beach below.
By my last evening, I had absolutely no desire to give up my little slice of heaven to continue my journey of endless train rides throughout Europe. Can’t I just stay until it’s time to go home?? I would think to myself. But of course, plans had been made and I had to continue my journey, so after a fun night of bonding with the owner’s daughter, Alexia, I bid the island of Corfu farewell, trading in R&R for more than 24 hours of bus and train travel to my next destination. Next stop: Romania!