Everything slows down in Loutro. The movement to put sun cream on your arms. The way you walk in your sandals, as if you have to truly feel every inch of your feet touching the ground. The boats from Sfakia or Agia Roumeli maneuver themselves in a trance. The way you turn around to get an even tan on your back. Shoot a picture, wait and shoot again, then compare the two shots. See a difference? No? Nothing? I am not surprised. Even typing this seems to take ages. Though you read this in normal tempo, please slow down, take your time, or I am going to sweat too much.
On the terrace of the "Sofia Room" I hear the family life of the owner playing with their toddler on the terrace below. Smells of grilled food climbs upstairs, lingers and disappears with a light breeze that seems to lose the velocity of the wind gust when reaching Loutro, providing little cooling on such a hot evening. The sun has just disappeared behind the ridge and only the white building of the Porto Loutro Hotel gets a bit of sun, with the shadows of palm and olive trees on the wall. The last ferry has left and taken loads of French tourists with them. I can hear the cicadas chirping and then again the bells attached to the goats. The last hikers are coming down the E4 Pan-European Footpath, exhausted, stumbling over their own feet as they pass our hotel, happy to have reached Loutro, finally. Not knowing that the power is out.
Since early afternoon the village has no electricity. Air condition breakdown. Beer is not cooled, no lights, no WIFI network to check on facebook posts possible. A disaster in any other part of the world. Here, everybody is cool. The restaurants can still grill their lamb chops, red snappers or rock lobsters. And what do tourists do? They stay under umbrellas, take the occasional sip of water, swim - slow motion - as if not to heat up the crystal clear water.
Our fridge has preserved the last two bottles of beer in a good temperature and we are using them to wash down pistachios and 2 peaches. We are cool, though not cooled down enough and I could just have another dip in the sea.
Considering this heat it seems like an adventure that we stood up at 5:00 am this morning to walk the route to Fenix and Marmara, hoping to reach the entrance of the Aradhena gorge. What we know now, we had to learn on this little excursion: Slow down. Take your time. So I snapped a lot of pictures of roaming goats, the destroyed Venetian castle, the colors of the coastline to the east, dusk, a spider, the sun coming over the mountain and how it virtually switches on the light, touching the little peninsula, the barren coastline due to goats eating everything except protected trees and cacti, the Phoenix Hotel in the bay, Loutro before the sun rays find their way down to the beach, cats trying their teeth on little fish, the purple flesh of a fig cut open. In the Phoenix Hotel we had orange juice and coffee.
Back in our hotel room we fell in our beds, with the air condition still working until the outage forced us to the beach where we get fried, like chicken over open fire, slowly turning, but with a smile that takes m i n u t e s a n d s t a y s.