I’m looking at a busy junction ahead of me. Cars drive in every possible direction. The policeman is trying to make an order, loudly but with no success. Next to me is a fully packed backpack. I have no idea what is ahead of me, it could be everything. I am finally going to the place that has been wooing me for a long time. I am going to the place I heard so much about. I will let intuition lead me and I will keep the details to myself.
The ferry needs about nine hours to slice through the windy sea. Inside I feel a slight shiver how my expectation grows. At the same time, I feel excited. I let the wind blow on my face and enjoy the sunset. Later at night, I moved closer to the music. A group of boys is having a good time singing traditional songs. I feel the tensions accumulated over the last couple of weeks leaving me. At the same time, my throat begins to hurt and I feel cold. I fell asleep for a few hours on the chairs next to closed fast food.
We landed early in the morning in a busy and noisy port. It looks like I am the only one without transport. No one was welcoming me. I waved goodbye to my ship companions and I set off to my walk on the other side of the bay.with my eyes focused both on the map and the road I am walking to the other side of the bay. There is a beach where I will spend my night. It reminds me of the time spent on the kayak. I check the tide to find a safe place to sleep. I lay down under the stars listening to the sound of the sea and the gentle sound of rolling pebbles.
The body is cleaning
When I wake up in the morning, I know it is bad. I can not swallow. My body aches, every movement hurts. My body is cramping. A cold shiver run down my spine. I breathe heavily and every breath makes me feel I want to vomit. Tears like peas flow over my cheeks. The sleeping bag is soaked, my clothes are wet. It takes me about an hour to move slowly to the sun and dry it all up. I was planning to sleep in the mountains. Nonsense. I have to find a place where I can sleep safely for at least two days.
I’m very sick. There is no season yet and most shops and restaurants are closed. I need wifi. Finally, I’ll find a café. I am not that lucky with the accommodation. The campsite I tried on the road is closed. Hotels are ridiculously expensive and the guesthouses are still closed. And so I write for the advice of Jiří. His tips gave me a thought. I need to get to the other side of the island. I have to be there. I bought water and slowly started my journey uphill, out of town. Finally, one car gave me a ride at least part of the way and then another one to my final destination.
Despite how I feel, I am enjoying where I am. I am where I wanted to be. And I am excited about all the views which the zigzagging path offers.
The place which welcomes me
I’m in the second port and suddenly I feel different. As if the place is welcoming me. The valleys and the hills are green, the sea is azure blue, the clouds roll over the tops of the mountains, and then melts into nothingness.
I am walking alongside the beach and finding a place, where two women will help me. The first one, older, is the owner of the restaurant and yoga studio and the younger one is open-hearted. I got warm, herbal tea with honey, and in a while, I have a place in the local campsite. I can not wait to fall asleep. The young German woman gave me a pug of herbs for tea and fresh fruit. I built a shelter lied in my sleeping bag and fell asleep.
The second day I felt much better. And from that moment it seems like my condition is changing every day. Both inside and outside. I came to this place to heel myself. Despite the stuffy nose, the smell of the island is intensively stunning. Imagine making tea from freshly picked herbs and then putting your face under it.
Let it all be
I let everything flow. I did not need to do anything and I could do so much. The intuition was leading me. As I decided, all my time on the island was like that. Nothing was wrong, nothing was good. Everything was how it was and happened at the right time and order. My mind told me: “Stay in the sleeping bag.” but my heart pulled me out. Step by step on an ancient footpath lined with stones I got up. Everywhere around me old, twisted olive trees. Oregano and sage fringe the road and the fallen walls.
I walked higher and higher until I heard the desperate goat cry. I am looking for where the sound comes from. My heart hurts that much of desperate pain is in the voice. Finally, I saw the goat. Her head is twisted into the iron eye of the fence, her ear is torn, she has horrified look. It did not take me long and she was free again. Hopping away. So, that is how the intuition works. Leading my steps.
I walk mostly barefoot. Only on the longer walks, I wear my barefoot shoes. It is getting warm. My feet are sinking in the sand, rough grains hurt a bit into my soft skin, and I wash them in the shallow water. The sun is burning my skin. Two or three days and I am turning brown again. I feel to present, free, happy and cheerful.
The third day I met a healer and a herbalist. I infiltered in the group he is taking for a walk in this paradise. He shares his knowledge with us. I walk at the end of the group and observe how the group and healer interact together. I am listening to his words but I feel and see much more, much further. We stopped at a small church in the hills. I turn my face to the sun. Listening to birds and bees. I am smiling. I feel good.
Once I walked on the field looking for an almost unrecognizable path. I walked up hil, passing rare spring and then descending again to the sea. The bay looked like a dead valley. Waves were hitting the shore. Small stones were clattering. It reminded me of Croatia. Memory almost two years old, when I was holding my breath, flowing on the surface observing white stone on the bottom and listening to them.
Up and down
I also rented a scooter and ride through the island. From the mountains, I descended to the sea level on the other end. The landscape is changing. More farmers are around. In some place, nature is shaping back in a natural way. Elsewhere the files kept for centuries are still green. On the way, I stopped at the monastery and light candle. As a thank you.
What is new for me is the possibility to discover the world undersurface. For the first time, I feel safe and I look at the blue deep as in the never-ending world. I am not scared as I was before. I can fly. Water is holding me in one minute and surrounding me in the next. But due to my illness, I am not ready to go that deep. The rest of the day, I spend in my sweatshirt and cap in the sunshine with warm tea in my hand to warm me up.
Every moment here is full of everything. My past and the pain comes to me again. But this time it does not hurt. I feel gratitude for what I could have experienced and learned. Sometimes a great sadness is mixing with a great joy. Even though the illness was gone very quickly, my eyes are full of tears, and I smile. Suddenly I feel that things I have not been ready for can come again and I will welcome them. There is o sense of fighting. now can come again. Love is surrounding me and I want to hug the world.
The last day I decided to climb up to the top of the mountains. I am walking my favourite olive grove. The young goat is coming to great me. Again and again, I am stunned by the strength of flowers and herbs. Today, the clouds go over the hills into the valley and sometimes it rains. It is quite windy up in the mountains. My hands are shaking. I can see both sides of the island. The blue water changes to the azure at the bay. Although one feels like at the end of the world, there are several islands around us. There is no need to hurry o this place. It is just enough to be.
My way up and down is in the spirit of gratitude. I meditate or if you want, I pray when I walk. Thank you, that I was able to come. Thank you for all the lessons I have learned. Thank you, nature, for stunning views and smell. Thank you herbs for giving me your power. The time here was very unique. I found my self. I found my way.
Early in the morning, I am sitting in the car. Darkness surrounds us. I feel sad. My time here is over. I feel like it was not an only week, but a month at least. Part of me will forever be on this island. “See you soon.” almost everyone said to me. And I ask myself, “In How many places can I feel at home?”