July 28, 2009
Greek Medical Care looks like this. We get up and go to the free clinic. We have to wait about twenty minutes, and we see a lovely medic who speaks English. She asks if we are Greek, we say that we’re from the U.S. She says, Okay. She seems surprised that 19 hours after a wasp sting Mark looks like something out of Night of the Living Dead. She writes a prescription and minutes later, Mark is taking a pill, putting on a gel and starting to feel better. The medicine costs about $20 American dollars. That’s Greek medical care. Do not try that in California.
One more time to Lambi Beach for a long swim, this time to the other point. The sea was very rough today and at one point I didn’t think I was going to make it. The waves were huge and sometimes if swells kept following each other they would come in over my head, and I was taking in a lot of salt water. There was a time when I was way out in the ocean and huge waves were all around me and I knew no one would rescue would me if I drowned that I couldn’t remember why I was swimming an hour out into the Mediterranean. By the time I turned around, I couldn’t see the beach at all I was so far out. It was a two hour swim, but I was working very hard against waves and current. No wonder these Greeks are in such good shape.
Although… when we get to the beach in the morning, nobody is there. By the last part of this trip, we had our routine down. We got up around 7 and had coffee, took off on the motorbike to the beach. I would go for a long swim while Mark read and then we would come back and write the rest of the day. Greeks must sleep in the morning and get up later in the day because when we leave the beach at noon there is still hardly anyone there, but people assure us that it gets crowded in the late afternoon. We like the morning. Sitting by the water this morning in the clear air eating the cheese pie of Patmos, watching the waves roar in, having Mark warn me that it was going to be a hard swim, thinking maybe so but this may be my last swim in Greece this summer I am going for it. It’s worth getting up for. Mark buys coffee, the rocks are beautiful; Lambi in the morning has own private magic. That swim whipped me, and tomorrow night we get on the 7 hour boat ride back to Athens. Patmos has been a perfect vacation: winding streets, quiet time to write, beautiful girls and guys whipping by on motorbikes, endless swimming, free medical care, salt, wind, water, love.