Welcome from Jan

Hi there!
This blog is for those who love both books and travel. I'm starting by travelling back in time to the 1970s and the overland trail to India which I took as an 18 year old. Have a look at my daily diary entries and photos. Some of these places are impossible to visit at the moment, but I can give you a flavour of what they were like in the golden age of the hippy trail.

The experience has inspired my new mystery novel, THE VANISHING OF RUTH, which is out now as an ebook. Find details and extracts at The Vanishing of Ruth

To buy: The Vanishing of Ruth

Also take a look at Facebook Page Overlanders for more memorabilia.

Cheers, Jan.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

THASSOS ISLAND - cakes, surf and dishy Greeks all to ourselves, 1976

 Thassos Island and Keramoti on the Greek mainland were to be the inspiration for a disturbing incident in my novel OVERLANDERS (soon to be published as an e-book)

Ferry to Thassos Island

Boat building
"Got the ferry across to Thassos Island - half hour trip (calmer than Skye crossing).  Fairly cloudly over island.  Landed at small town.  Wandered around streets with Neva and Sally - headed straight for cake shop.  Worked our way through apples, bicuits, pastries too! 

Various ruins in town - bits of pillar lying around.  Walked out along front, began to clear.  Saw men sorting their fishing nets and further along there was a timber yard with 3 boats being made - just the skeletons so far.  Lovely smell of freshly treated wood.  Also passed a shed with boy scout emblems on the walls - they get everywhere!  (Boy scouts not walls).

Nosed round small crafty shops, selling clothes, pottery, belts, jewellery etc.  Walked along past ferry landing, sat by the sea.  Met 2 English blokes who had been on Island for 2 or 3 weeks - we were quite an event as most tourists had left by now.  The really fat one said there were no jellies today - I nearly split myself when I saw his flabby belly - a bit incongruous!  They directed us in the direction (good English) of a nearby beach; so we stocked up on more food (a real piggy day!) - bread, toast, honey, cheese, yoghurt - Neva had another cake!

Neva and Sally on Thassos Island
We walked out of the village, up a lovely wooded hill road - great forests covering all the mountains.  Lovely leafy, sunny walk, very quiet and deserted.  Came down to a group of chalets, passed various open air dance floors and bars - everything closed down, so didn't have to pay, but made our way down to the private beach.  Fantastic breakers, so dashed straight in, whole beach to ourselves (only 1 little man in the distance).  Picturesque island just off the headland - Neva said looked like the Whitsun Islands.  Ate picnic and I snoozed in the sun.

Walking back, a taxi suddenly appeared and a man offered to take us in to the harbour - so got a free lift and reached the ferry in good time.  Met us with Bill and Shirley, Adrian, Chris and Hans.

Coming into Keramoti again - looked like South American swampy village, very flat.  Sally and I wandered around Keramoti - lots of hes and rather shabby plots, though houses were quite gayly painted.

Lovely sunset early evening - played with a football with a little local boy and Adrian - ball kept going into the flooded areas - my white trousers got an even worse coating of grime!

Keramoti beach bar
Most people had a meal out at the nearby bar - took ages to come.  I had 3 small fishes, tomato salad, chips and bread - washed down with plenty Domestica!  Bar filled up with Greeks - eventually we were all dancing.  I went and sat with some Greeks - 2 really dishy.  The Thessalonican medical student was a bit persistent, suggested a swim - eventually escaped saying my husband was waiting for me!  Hid in the bus.  Felt a bit down again - Mark cheered me up.
New girl finally caught up with bus - Mary (New Zealand)."

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