As you’re going up the Asterousia mountains, it occurs to you. What if the car stalls and quits, then what? You check your watch for the umpteenth time. The road sign said thirty k., you’ve been driving for over forty minutes and no sea in sight. Just as you’re about to make a U-turn, you come across Miamou. The tiniest village dash oasis in the desertscape of the imposing mountain range. You wonder whether to take a break in the one and only coffee shop of the village or go on, in case you reach your destination at some future point. Either way, you win. The locals let you know it’s a short fifteen minute to where you’re heading and thus recharged, you forge on.
You go down and down and, suddenly, you see it. The Libyan Sea appears before you, timid and savage all at once. Though you’re only stealing glances at it through the mountain peaks, your intuition isn’t mistaken. You’re nearing a magical place.
Lendas means lion and looking up at the haughty rock formation shielding you from indiscrete looks, you understand where the name comes from.
You get off the car at the village, stretch, drink all the water you went without during the ride and you start acquainting yourself with the place.. Some rooms to let, small taverns and bars which, though true to the image of a typical Greek island, in fact remind you of none of the places you have so far visited. Something different is happening here, you can tell through your skin. It probably is the natural energy of the place, it’s surely no accident this village has existed here for the past two thousand and four hundred years! Here was the Aesclepium where the souls of the ancient Greeks found peace. Here, you will too.
The crystal clear sea of Lendas makes no promises, all comparisons are beside the point. It invites you to come and see for yourself.
The finishing line is now very close. You get in the car (or, if you feel rested, you can walk the distance) to get to Dytiko or Disko as the locals call it, which is a kilometer and a half away. Tents, huts, hammocks and hippies of all ages welcome you warmly as if you were a life-long neighbour. Some in broken Greek, others in Cretan. With one look, you know you’re safe here. No one is going to steal from you, judge you, bother you. Naked sun-tanned men, wildly beautiful women and happy children playing with their dogs, in and out of the water.
You have reached as close as is possible to Paradise. You get rid of your clothes and dive in. The feeling that comes over you is not something the greatest writer or photographer or painter could give you. It’s called living and you only get it by doing it.
The Lion on one side and an Indian on the other. Small wonder why the hippies, those nature and life lovers, chose this place as their home. Nothing here is yours or mine. It’s all ours, it belongs to us, the curious travellers who seek out real peace and wild beauty and have come across both in Lendas.
About the Author: Dafni Mathioudaki is an aspiring writer from Greece. She studied in the Hellenic Cinema and Television School Stavrakos and over the years she took many creative writing courses. She also worked as a copywriter, find her on Facebook and Twitter.