When we started our drive down the west coast of Greece, one of the first things I noticed was that there were sheep everywhere. Right beside the road, near the beach, anywhere and everywhere.
Near Kardamyli we learned that there was no campsite, but that campers were allowed to park in the olive orchards. There were no facilities, but camping was free.
Ours is the burgundy van in the background.
It was not unusual to see flocks of sheep being herded through the olive orchards on their way to the nearby beach to cool off.
Each morning the owner of the land we were camping on passed through the orchard saying, “Kali mera,” (good morning) to everyone. We never knew his name so we referred to him as Mr. Kali Mera.
One day we were driving along the dirt road from the orchards to town, when we came upon Mr. Kali Mera walking to town, pushing a wheelbarrow in the heat. He had a heavy load in the wheelbarrow — a sheep with its legs tied together.
We slowed down and exchanged kali meras, and somehow we conveyed to him that we would give him and the sheep a lift in the van. He was happy to accept, but since we couldn’t fit the wheelbarrow in the van, he left it by the roadside. Mr. Kali Mera put the sheep on the floor while he sat on the bed.
We drove slowly on the bumpy road glancing back now and then to check if Mr. Kali Mera was still in the van, as we were driving with the door open. More than once, we noticed him reaching down to pick something up and throw it out the door. You can guess what it was. I don’t think I need to spell it out.
We dropped Mr. Kali Mera off at the restaurant that he indicated, and continued on with our shopping in town.
Later that evening, we had come back into town for supper as we often did. Supper hour was always late in the evening when the heat had abated somewhat. We sat outside at one of several rustic tables in the open backyard of the restaurant, a string of light bulbs stretched from one side to the other overhead. Our table was near the back entrance of the building. A curtain hung in the doorway, so the patrons couldn’t look into the kitchen and back rooms.
At this point in my blog post, we have to go to a commercial break. I’ve deleted my original script from this point on as too graphic and upsetting, so I have to find another way to let you know that the sheep was killed right there behind the curtain. I was really shaken up. My supper remained on my plate. It was a rude awakening for me to be so close to how it works in the real world.
I hesitated about whether to post this account, but then I thought, why not. It’s how the world works. Not everything in it is pretty. Generally I try to post happy things, and I will from now on, but this is just the way it was. One of those hiccups in life. I apologize if I’ve upset anyone. My next post will be back to the usual kind of travel prattle and other things that might pop into my head.