and another night at snow level, (1400m)
we helter-skeltered our way down again,
and our last day in Greece, Good Friday, found us on the coast in Diakopto, overlooking the Gulf of Patras.
Easter in Greece is magic. The village church was full and people spilled out into the courtyard. Kids zoomed around like the screaming swifts above them, men flicked worry beads, women linked arms under the darkening sky, the air was heavy with the droning of the priest. At 9pm the church bells rang, not a joyful peeling but a sad, flat clanging. A procession filed out of the church and the crowds of people lining the road side tagged on to the back of it. Four men carried a funeral bier decorated with creamy orchid fronds, a dozen singing girls led the way and the solemn-faced priest followed. We followed too, around the village, up and down narrow streets. The procession stopped outside a bar,the byre was turned full circle,the priest chanted and then all went slowly back to the church. We stayed at the bar with two 5 star Metaxa brandies and were presented with nutty chocolates wrapped in silver paper.
Next morning, our last in Greece, I took some orchids I'd found on the pavement to the tiny beach-side chapel. As I placed them in an alcove, a woman shouted and pointed out into the Gulf, 'Dolphins!' Five broke the surface, silver and shining, like the chocolate wrapping from last night. A parting gift from Poseidon.