Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The Perils of Taking a Pee

This post is going to be Photo-heavy ..eventually. But there is a bit of a tale behind it too. The pics [when we finally get to them] were shot on Monday October 26th, when I went to a coffee and cake event at Lindos Reception, held in the noble cause of raising cash for the local health centres at Arhangelos and Lindos, which are short of medical supplies. The event raised well over €1000, so well done to Melanie at LR for hosting it. The chocolate brownies too were worth the visit alone.

My better half had originally planned to attend the event with me, but in the end changes in her work schedule mean she couldn't come. So, she dropped me off in the middle of Psaltos Bay with several hours to kill while she went off to earn a few Euros.

With the plan formulated as above, I took along my trusty digital camera and decided that, once I'd spent a while at the event, I'd mosey off on foot and snap some shots, hopefully with some different vistas from the thousands I'd shot in the past. I hope you'll agree that some of them at least came out pretty good. I got to Lindos Reception at around 10.00am, just as the event was getting started. Armed with a frappé and a choccy brownie I retired alone to a table, but was soon keeping company with a couple of old friends. All in all, a pleasant interlude ensued, but I was keen to get started on my trek too, so at something like 11.15am I bade them cheerio, waved to Melanie (who was knee deep in requests for more refreshments from the considerable crowd that had gathered), and started down the hill towards St. Paul's Bay.

Cue the first few photos then...

Psaltos Bay. Ever get that feeling you're being watched?

The famous "Navarone" cliffs just creep into this one.

So, there I was scrambling around beside the little church where all the weddings take place and enjoying the much milder temperature of this time of the year [a very acceptable 25ºC, or 77ºF in the old money], when I was quite surprised by how many tourists were still in evidence at the south end of the bay...

OK, so that's the other end but, still, the same thought applies.

Having snapped enough, I decided that it was time I did a spot of mountaineering and climbed the "mesa" above the church, something I'd never done before. I spotted a trig point up there from the terrace at Lindos Reception, so I thought, "you have to go up there Johhny boy." I had all the time in the world anyway, so off I set, back up the path from the beach to the parking area, then up across the jagged rocky slope that eventually becomes almost vertical in places, in order to put a spot of altitude into the morning. Eventually I managed to reach the trig point, but I tell you, it's flamin' hard going, since the rocks around it for many metres in all directions are deeply fissured and quite sharp, with barely a spot wide enough to place your feet. It's like walking on knife edges. 

Once I got to the trig point, I snapped a few more shots but also began to feel the call of nature. You know how it is, with quite a lot of water and a frappé inside me, the old bladder was in need of some relief. Now, as the crow flies, it's probably half a kilometre from the trig point to the Lindos Acropolis, which I could see was well blessed with sightseers. I wondered if any of them had binoculars about their person and then decided that, what the heck, I needed the relief and I was well in a position to do a "Who's Next" on the trig point. If you're not sure what a "Who's Next" is, then check out the front cover of the album by the same name which the Who brought out as the follow-up to Tommy. It's a much better album too, by the way.

Climb under way.

Nearing the top.

Trig point reached. There it is bottom right. Note the rocks around it. Lacerated the leather surface of my shoes I can tell you. You would NOT want to get an ankle caught in one of those.

Trig point bottom left of shot with Lindos Acropolis in the distance.

Who's Next duly accomplished.
Now, here I was, not having seen a soul for at least half an hour, pretty confident that I could probably have torn all my clothes off and done a rain dance up there, zipping up my shorts whilst feeling decidedly more comfortable within, when blow me if a woman in shorts, singlet and with a ruck sack on her back didn't appear over the rim of the "mesa" not more than twenty metres away. Doing my best to look nonchalant and hoping she didn't look too closely at the trig point, I said "hello" with an innocent grin and, as she balanced her way precariously across the razor rocks toward the far edge in order to take in the view, I scarpered as sharpishly as I could to begin my descent before she came over to stand by the trig point. While I began my descent I couldn't help thinking how close that had been. if she'd crested that ridge one minute earlier. Or what if I'd had a mad moment and stripped off too? Oops.

I was quite relieved (see, I can't help it, a pun a minute, that's me. Not saying which minute though) to reach the car park below where I'd be able to pick up speed and begin my walk back up the hill and off along Psaltos Bay toward Pefkos and beyond. Here are the rest of the photos I snapped as I walked...

Heading off from St. Paul's Bay toward Psaltos Bay again.

Any Pefkos regulars out there know where this is then?

Having talked to the dearly beloved on the phone and discovered that she was going to be longer than first expected with her work, I told her that I'd just continue walking to Pefkos and from there on toward home and wait for her come come by and pick me up. Trouble was, by the time I reached the "Pefkos By Night" junction I was starving and thirsty and the small bottle of water in my rucksack had to keep me going for a while yet. Not one café on that flippin' junction was open so I had to double back along the "main drag" into Pefkos where I was relieved (only figuratively this time though) to find that the Caprice Bar was not only open, but had a respectable smattering of people sitting at the tables too. Janet, the proprietor, approached and took my order for a large draught beer and a plate of chips (here we go again, check this one out, if you haven't already read it a dozen times).

Suitably revived and updated by phone from the better half that she still didn't know when she'd be finishing work, I set off again along the road past the Palm Bay and Coralli and on toward Lothiarika. By the time I reached the Lindos Princess hotel my feet were complaining as I'd been walking for about three hours, plus the large beer I'd imbibed at the Caprice was starting to ask for permission to abandon ship. Even after a whole Rhodean summer of sunshine, my nose and ears were getting a little sore too. Of course, once I'd rounded the bend just after the Lindos Princess and the couple of shops beside it, there were a couple of opportunities to perhaps slip away off the road and into the undergrowth for further bladder relief. The problem was, knowing my luck I'd be in mid flow when the wife would go sailing past and miss me. She'd cover the remaining seven or eight kilometres to home before realising that I wasn't there yet and so I'd be sitting on the roadside crying by the time she came back.

There was nothing for it but to, wait, my phone was ringing. It was the better half. "Just winding up now," she told me, "So why don't you sit down and wait for me. You must be exhausted."

Having decided not to take issue with that understatement of the year, I said OK and we hung up. Knowing how far away she still was and also how long it takes for women to actually say cheerio and part company, I calculated that I would definitely have time to zip along a thirty metre path that I was just passing on my right, take a pee and be back on the road well before she got there. I was not far short of the Lardos Folklore Museum and I know an old cottage where, although part of it has been renovated and is lived in, the part nearest the path is only used as an apothiki (shed, storage room). The cottage is in an olive grove and there is sufficient cover behind a wall at the gateway for one to hopefully avoid another close shave like the one I had up at the trig point above St. Paul's Bay.

I no sooner got behind the wall to be sure that I was not visible from the road when I had the old fly undone and started the business at hand. Not a moment too soon I can tell you. There I was, halfway through my business when I heard this sound. It was a sound I know all too well because I recently bought myself a mountain bike. It was the sound of bicycle gears changing and brakes being applied. There I was, standing just inside this wall by the gate of this old cottage, therefore actually on private property, busily watering the weeds against the cottage wall, when this young chap, who must have been in his mid-twenties and considerably bigger than me in all directions, shot past behind me, not more than three feet from my back, came to a halt beside the back garden gate to my left and I wasn't able to do anything about the situation. 

You know how it is fellas, when you're that desperate and you're in mid-flow. You have to finish the job. There's no alternative. It was pretty evident that the young chap was somewhat taken aback at first. What else was there to do but turn my head toward him and declare weakly (sickly imploring grin adopted too of course), "Umm, signomi, alla, den eiha epologi [Umm, sorry, but I had no choice!]".

I was waiting for a thick ear (as my dad used to say) or at least a "What the HELL do you think you're doing!?" when he dismounted, leaned his bike against the cottage wall, smiled at me, winked and went in through the gate. Phew. The man understood.

You know how some people say that things happen in threes. Well, I walked back out on to the road, reached the Mini Golf on the junction, flopped myself down on the low wall that surrounds the "course" and waited. Yippee, ten minutes passed and the wife arrived. No third embarrassement ensued. So there superstitious ones!

Falling into the passenger seat of the car and assuming my very best "I'm sooo worn out, do please feel sorry for me" look, I heard my wife say, "Bet you're relieved."

She had no idea how close to the truth she was.


  1. Thanks John for lovely photos. And for your lavatorial adventures! The thing that ALWAYS strikes me about Greece, and Rhodes in particular is that only a few meters away from the worst infestations of the tourist tat, THERE--is the real Greece, with its mules, goats, leg eating rocks etc We have nearly 6 months to wait to see it all again--mind you we only left a week ago!.

    1. Very true. We almost didn't move to Rhodes in the beginning, thinking it was too touristy. Nothing could be further from the truth in fact. Plus, we always look forward to the visitors arriving in spring, even though by October we're looking forward to some quieter times again for a while! But the real Greece is everywhere on this island if one just cares to go looking. Kalo xeimona!

  2. Lovely photos and an amusing 'schoolboy' themed tale! Why do men always have to pee against something? My dear other half got caught out en route to Kleoboulos' tomb a couple of weeks ago and fancied he'd disguised himself behind a small rocky outcrop. Sadly there came into view one couple armed with cameras with seriously huge zoom lenses and from the other direction a man with binoculars. I laughed so much I nearly.......oh never mind! one day I'll tell you about my experience of an airport carpark at 4 am on a freezing December day.

    1. Simples, Vicki. if you pee on the ground from a great height, you get wet boots from the fallout (splashes) - -hence the use of a vertical surface. It's physics you see. I'd never have considered Keith to resemble a small rocky outcrop myself...

      Ah yes, the dreaded zoom lens. There are those who say it's a similar syndrome to the size of a man's car too. I don't fall for all that malarkey though.

      Now you've peeked our curiosity Vicki. We'll have to hear the airport story. Not sure we can wait all winter.

  3. The photo is of new property near the Coralli.On the way from Pefkos to Lardos. a sign says they are for rent

    1. Spot on Trevor. I was pleased to see as the construction has progressed that they've made a fairly good attempt to present the place with a traditional architectural feel.