Chris and I arrive on the island of Kos, Greece, and decide to get the hell out as soon as we see signs for bacon and eggs. Greece comes as a culture-shock to us – the Kurdish women in baggy trousers and headscarves have been replaced by women whose tiny shorts don’t even cover their bum cheeks.
Kalymnos, our next stop, is an island ruled by goats. They stand on steep rocks, keeping an eye on humans (and with local goat on restaurant menus, who can blame them?) and they steal the food of people who dare to come onto their beaches.
Yes, the waters of Kalymnos really are this colour!
I have been travelling with my friend Naomi for a week or two, from Belgium, through Luxembourg and into France. We continue our adventure down to the south of France. The generosity of the French surprises me, and it’s the only country I have hitchhiked where most of my lifts have been from women. We sleep in many places: a couple invite us into their holiday home at the Cote d’Azur, another woman feeds us in her mountain home….we sleep on the rocks of the coast, and on balconies of summer homes that are not yet being used. We carry on travelling through hideous Nice and the even more hideous Monte Carlo.
We arrive at night in the shady Italian town of Viarregio. A group of lads are sitting outside a bar, listening to dodgy r’n’b on their mobiles. They invite us to drink with them. Naomi jumps at the chance, sits amongst them and exclaims, “this is just what I needed!” whilst I sit down moodily and think, “this is the last thing I needed”.