After spending 16 days in Berlin, Rome, Naples and Prague with company I was looking forward to some solo walking on the Corfu Trail in Greece where I started an 8 day end-to-end walk.
Corfu is a touristy holiday island dominated by English and Germans but the walk was through the countryside largely away from those areas only overnighting in beachside resorted villages. Apart from some good views like this the rural areas are pretty dull.
There is nothing quite so drab as a dry olive grove, there are no flowers to speak of though there is a little splash of colourful cyclamens here and there.
For the first few days it was hot (30°) and windless and coupled with a deteriorating toothache, the outlook wasn't good. Added to an already dreary landscape are large volumes of rubbish indiscriminately strewn about in the manner of the third world. Got some stuff you don't want? Just take it out of the village and dump it!
Even remote parts of the trail are waymarked with discarded plastic bottles! It was like walking through the tip we neighbourhood children used to play in on the north side of Lake Monger in the 50s and 60s - now Mitchell Freeway.
There are abandoned vehicles of all descriptions which are just that - abandoned where-ever they happened to give up the ghost. Perhaps I should have popped down to Crazy Holidays to book my tour - they certainly give value for money by the look of it.
But things did get better. The weather cooled as did my tooth which responded to large doses of antibiotics – handily available over the counter.
There was a tinker I saw who (still) drives from village to village announcing his arrival by loudspeaker - his van laden with all manner of household goods. Similarly, a fruit and veg man. And this one selling live poultry!
There is much evidence of the difficult times in Greece; this half-built, now abandoned church just a small example.
By the end I was enjoying the walking just for itself and lost a couple of kilos as well - only another 15 to go. Finished off with a day and a half in Corfu Town where the manhole covers are unremarkable.