We have a quiet breakfast on our balcony before going to Katakolo, about 40 kilometers to the north. Teije wants to look at a shop with olive wood objects that he might want to sell in the Netherlands. There are many shops with this kind of stuff in Greece, but almost nobody can sell it in larger numbers, except this one, at least according to their webshop. He has already mailed a number of times but has not received an answer.
We first find a terrace in the harbor where it is awfully quiet. We ask the waiter if he has the exact address of the shop we are looking for and he knows the place, but immediately says that the store is probably closed today: on Saturday there is no cruise ship with tourists in the harbor, so there is too little patronage and many souvenir shops keep the doors closed. We are surprised that a cruise ship is coming here anyway, but that is due to the proximity of the old Olympia where the tourists can go by bus.
Then we walk through the village, but also the museum about technology in ancient Greece, which looks very interesting, is closed. We have booked for 3 nights in Zacharo but if we want to come back here on Monday and then have to negotiate again about the olive wood, we have to stay a bit longer and decide to ask that tonight.
Then there is little left for us to do than to find a beach. At Epitalio we find a very quiet beach and we park the car in the neighborhood of a few houses. We can only see the roof of the car from our place. And then a dog comes walking by and it keeps hanging around us. We try to drive him away with a stick, but he stays just outside the reach of the stick on the beach. Sometimes he trudges away but comes back again and again. Only after an hour does he really disappear from the beach. The beast looks nice but you never know with the stray dogs here, we at least did not like it.When Teije walks to the car after a while to pick up something, he sees that a rear window is half open. We did not forget that, did we? With the air conditioning on, we always close the windows. Nothing seems to be missing, though, or maybe 1 large travel case. Or did we leave it in the apartment? That must be it, he thinks, and he does not say anything to me. Only when we are back in the apartment, he asks me about it. No, I say, it is in the car. We have a small suitcase with stuff for a couple of days, which we take to the room and the other clothes and things that we do not need right away are in the big suitcase.
Well, then I have to drive back to the beach, he says, and he tells me the story of the open window. We search everything again and unfortunately, all other stuff is still in the car, including a tablet, but the suitcase is gone. Back at the beach we search the area and Teije is talks with some people in the neighborhood if they have seen something. They tell him that many gypsies roam around here that have a not too good reputation.
Then we go to the nearest police station where nobody seems to speak English. Handy Teije knows a bit of the language. After 10 minutes of waiting, two men come in who sullenly shout at us. They yell at us as if we are the criminals and we have to hurry behind them, past empty cells to a small room. The very first thing they do is to move a large TV screen into the room. Oh dear, we have disturbed them during football, then they will be grumpy. It is World Cup football, Germania against Mexico, something that does not interest us at all, but these policemen surely are. I can not follow anything that is being said but it all sounds rather intimidating, as if we have done them a great wrong. When one of the agents gets up and Teije goes with him, I also want to walk along but I get an order shouted at me and I sit back in the chair. My Greek is certainly improving, because that is exactly what he said: kathieste, sit!
I sit here awkwardly waiting with another giant of a policeman behind me who does not say a word and only looks at the TV or on his mobile. It seems to take hours before Teije comes back. And then he starts a charm offensive by talking about football and how much we are sorry to bother them right now. Suddenly they become a lot friendlier and I can also join the conversation when they name some popular football players from Holland from the past, like Crojf and Neeskens, I happen to remember a few names.
At the very end they tell us that a number of beaches have been closed in this neighborhood because of the many thefts by gypsies (or at least bums). They should have said that before. When the declaration is finally recorded and Teije reads it aloud (in Greek) 1 of the men raises his thumb towards me and tells me that his pronunciation of Greek is very good (Teije obviously translates that for me, so maybe he made that up but I heard it before). Well, I'm especially glad that we can finally get out of here, the way this went was not really friendly or very helpful and it would not have surprised me if they had put us in a cell. But we do not yet get the declaration, on Saturday evening another office is closed and something else has to be done, no idea what. So we will be here again on Monday morning.
When we come home we first try to make a list of everything that is gone and the worst are the medicines such as those against high blood pressure. But luckily I have exactly enough of every medicine in our smaller bag, just enough until the last day of the holiday. And otherwise we could have arranged something through our doctors. But what a hassle, I do not like that. And we do not have a lot of clothes left ...
Sunday 24 June 2018, we stay near Zacharo
On Sunday morning we walk through Zacharo and there is a market at the beach where we can buy some clothes. And then to the beach in a somewhat busier place where many more cars are. Are all the windows closed? In the coming weeks we are a bit paranoia when it comes to leaving the car behind. And no deserted beaches anymore unless we have the car in full sight. It is hot today and very muggy, so the beach is a good place to be.
At the entrance to Zacharo we see some nice murals, only a shame about the graffiti that are sprayed over it again. At the end of the afternoon we go into the village to eat something and make new plans. We stay here until Tuesday and then go for a week to Kefalonia, an island where we have not been yet. Teije also wants to go to Ithaka, but we'll see to that next week. First I have to get over the theft and the realization that we have lost a lot of things.