Covid 19, A Rural Diary - Travel in the Time of Covid - Greece
Before autumn mists shroud my memory of Summer completely, I wanted to reflect on the travelling I did in July and August.
By the end of Lockdown, the whole family felt a desperate need to escape. Normally we had a week’s sailing and some time in south-west France by the beach. We could have allowed Covid to stop that, but we decided not to. And so we booked a last minute boat out of the Greek island of Kos and organised to meet some old family friends who were already out there sailing on the briny blue. It was the best decision we could have made.
We added a couple of shipmates - friends of the girls - and headed down to London for the flight out of Heathrow. Early mornings are already strange times for me, being a late bird, but this was in a league of its own. On only a few hour’s sleep we negotiated the new Covid rules and regs for car drop off and check in. It was chaos. A lot of grumpy, stressed staff handing out confused and conflicting information to equally confused passengers. The queues were horrendous, our newly issued boarding passes failed to work, we had no time for breakfast and were offered a packet of crisps and a water on the plane. No meals, no bar service, no Duty Free. Time, only, to fill with loo breaks and sleep and reading.
Leaving a grey London day behind us, we flew over the most perfect blue sea broken only with islands and white horses, guessing which of the small dots of yachts might be our friends’ as they headed for a mooring near us. I spied a volcano crater. They had an amazing lunch there, with amazing views, I subsequently learnt. We landed, we got our luggage immediately, we found our transfer, we arrived at Kos Marina. We had a simple Greek lunch in the sunshine with myriad masts clinking in the breeze. The waiters and waitresses wore small visors which came from the chin up, covering just their mouths so you could see their eyes and their smiles. So much less intimidating that what we had back home - and just as effective. Food eaten, drink drunk, we went to find the boat that would be our home for six days. Brand spanking new at a good price. What’s not to love? Supply and demand.
The following week on the water was just what the doctor ordered, nothing more nothing less. With friends, with family, on the ocean wave, the breeze in our hair, the sun in our eyes, the rush of the water under the keel, the swims, the sunbathing, the moon, the darkness and the silence. If ever there was an antidote to Covid, it was this. The sense of Freedom after Imprisonment was empowering. The idea that living in fear deprives you of basic human needs was overwhelming. We were there, we lived it and we were happy.