The transition to another big group was harder than I thought (it was so sad seeing all my new friends leave) so the day before the next session started I took myself on a boat trip. First stop was the gorgeous village of Loutro for refreshments (fresh OJ and biscuit cake), and then on to Agios Loumeros. There I watched hikers come out of the famous Samaria Gorge to collapse on sunbeds and into the sea. I lay on a lounger and listened to UB40 playing in the restaurant behind. It was a great vibe!
For the next two days I kept to myself a bit as I rested and adjusted to this new lovely group of 12 women, again from many different countries. This week we concentrated much more on yoga, with a bit of fun included in our body work. This group had a different energy again compared to last week. A quieter nurturing energy.
By the third day we were all very connected and my third trip to Sweetwater Beach with them was great. However the hiking day was my personal breakthrough. The evening before we had experienced shamanic body work and a few ladies had elected to show their movements and enormous power followed by vocals which included letting out a scream. The evening was very intense and emotional as the experience of screaming broke them down. On the morning of the hiking day I received my project management exam result for which I passed but the lower than expected mark had me missing my critical average score of 70% by one mark. Consequently I was all ‘in my head’ as Lisette and I took the boat to Loutro and started our hike to Mamara beach where we were to meet the others. They were hiking the gorge I did last week.
I kept stumbling on stones, was very lightheaded and a little dizzy. Sitting under a tree after a hard, hot climb up a hill, I suddenly felt like I wanted to scream. I told Lizette and she said ok, so I tried. A small sound came out of my chest at first. I took a big breath and tried again. It worked and out came a primal scream in two tones, the second much higher. Something released inside me! From then on I sung with Lisette, celebrated with ‘woohoos’ and no longer stumbled or felt lightheaded. To our surprise though we then got lost looking at splatters of blue paint on rocks all over the hillside. A couple we had passed earlier said we could walk along a very tricky and dangerous rock path and also that there was a taverna below next to the beach. We looked at the hill and felt the heat of midday – a no brainer really, to the taverna we went! Maybe we could ask for a boat ride to Mamara beach we thought.
Winding down carefully amongst the loose stones we came across some signs to the taverna at Akrogiali and were pleasantly surprised when we got there. Au naturale, a single taverna stood and tables, chairs, hammocks and swing chairs were placed on the beach, just like a Jamaican hideaway! I tasted the freshest Greek salad I had eaten and felt very alive and suddenly open to all the senses around me. Something must have died inside I am certain.
We relaxed for a good long while and then walked along then to another more modern taverna and hotel where we could get a boat. Two gorgeous looking Greek men and an equally gorgeous woman were picking vine leaves off their stems, and two older Greek men were talking (which sounds like shouting) as we stood under a large vine covered pergola. A young man took us to a small outboard boat, and it cost us 15 euro to arrive at Mamaris beach in style!
A few lovely hours there swimming and sunbathing and then four of us decided to get the boat back to Loutro instead of going all the way back to Sfakia. My shopping had been done in Chania but the girls were keen and I waited patiently as they tried on many scarfs and beach dresses. A fun dinner followed of club sandwiches and chips (my choice was not to the girls liking unfortunately) overlooking the water. The little crabs were now coming out onto the rocks in the dusk light.
I ordered a water taxi back using the company I knew and thank goodness this saved my bacon! The skipper recognised me and joked about having four girls on his boat! In fact he sailed up to the restaurant where we had been eating and ordered four shots of honey raki which were placed on the bow of the boat, all in a row! A magical ride back sitting on the bow of the boat with the wind blowing our hair, and much laughter and photos. The water was glazed over like a lake and the scenery so picturesque, I felt very alive and realised just what I had been missing these last few years!
The rest of the week was very nurturing with a lovely early morning mindful walk to Ilios beach again and some beautiful sharing of stories and dreams.