I hadn’t slept well. Excitement, transition, the next leg. I woke and walked for coffee and did my first pen-meets-page for the day. Out pops a poem about living in the city (!) Rhodes is still with me and all my thoughts are coming to me scanned and rhythmic. Some are mantinades. Most are just pouring through my morning brain as I see this place, Heraklion for the first time. It looks and smells and sounds so different from Rhodes. Superficially, more of a city vibe. My nose clogs up immediately. Clearly I’ve been spoiled by the pure air of Monólithos and I’ll need to find a way to adapt.
I’m picked up in a taxi and share the 2 hour ride to Sfakiá with two fellow SwimTrekkers from Germany. The new sights and sounds remain stimulating, but more than that, I’m sensing that the “new me”, my poet, my unbridled, vibrant, grounded self is taking her first strides. I’m tested immediately by a rather stern yet hospitable taxi driver, but luckily I find a vein of humour in speaking that helps me hold my ground with his bossy male presence. Yes! While travelling I write another poem/piece about owning the cavalier woman that I have always been. The one that became sidelined at work, and for reasons of survival, I locked as firmly as I could in the shed. She emerged at the Poetry Retreat and she’s here to stay. I’m yet to work out which of these new pieces are songs and which are poems. Am so looking forward to exploring more of that after SwimTrek.
From Sfakiá to Loutro by ferry for 20 minutes and we arrive in an idyllic blue bay with a small scattering of whitewashed blocks scattered around the shore. No cars or scooters. No roads. My hotel is higher on the hill with a beautiful view. I meet the SwimTrekkers. There are 15 of us and 2 guides. Only one Australian – moi. We start with a late afternoon swim of around 600m, just for them to gauge the three groupings. I stretch out for my swim. Delicious. I am not the oldest in the team, but getting there. To my chagrin, I am definitely one of the slowest. Damn! But I swim the distance easily. Tomorrow I’ll wear swim fins. A bit of acceleration for the self-esteem might be a good idea. But now, this Trekker is retiring – whoops! I’ve already done that! (haha) – it’s time for this Trekker to get some sleep.