Porto Timonei (Twin Bay)

Whoever has been in Restaurant Dionysos in Afionas, will remember the great aerial photos of Porto Timoni. It is also called the twin bay, because of the two beaches situated back to back, separated only by a strip of elevated green. Very special! On one side, you can look across some rocks to Saint Georgios Bay, which also is the name of the coastal town. From the other beach, a small sky blue bay, there is a wonderful glimpse of the Diapontia Islands, which are situated of the northwest coast of Corfu. What attracts me to this place? It is the entire amazing peninsula! On the photograph, it looks like an impenetrable mass of green, but I really wanted to convince myself it would be possible to get there. It must be wonderful, after having wandered and toiled, to arrive on the western tip of Corfu, having the idea that few people before me have put their foot there. Maybe there will be hidden treasure left by the pirates of old who used these beaches in the past. Therefore, one fine day, I decided to partake in the adventure with a good friend.

I asked Vassilis, the friendly owner of Dionysus Restaurant, situated above the beautiful Georgios Bay, if we could visit the peninsula via a circular walk. We needed to get back to our car after all! This will be a journey of discovery, you know. “Absolutely, no problem!” was the firm answer I was given. With a solemn gesture, he handed us both a bottle of cold water. For the average Greek, any route, which he cannot travel by car or bike, is outside his scope. Therefore, people who put so much effort into finding a difficult attainable and rocky beach must be either a saint or a madman. At the time, he must have thought the first because he devoutly sent us off. With the promise to come back at the end of the walk for dinner, we started on our ramble, beginning with the narrow track from the restaurant. Onwards, towards the first stop of the journey, Porto Timoni.

Overwhelming silence at Corfu

Soon we found ourselves in an unreal silence. What is silence? No barking dogs, noise of traffic, tourists laughter, no people making phone calls, only the sound of our panting breath after climbing a new rock, the rustle of a lizard in the bushes or a startled bird. And butterflies? So many, can they really be so quiet and yet so numerous? Two hundred feet below us, we watched the quiet ripple of surf on Georgios Bay. Because we loved to stop and snap some shots of the scenery and wildlife and flowers while on the narrow winding path, we slowly made progress. There was so much to enjoy along the rocky path that sometimes it was dangerous. It would not have surprised me if one of us were so absorbed in the shooting that he did not realise that he had made a mistake in his footing and with a raw cry disappeared into a gap or chasm. Ah well, life ends happily. Think positive!

Porto Timoni, the twins of Corfu

After an hours climb, we got our first view of Porto Timoni - a really, beautiful, idyllic picture. The two coves compete for the designation of ‘paradise’. I would not have been surprised to find a sack of Bounty on the beaches. It was such a scene.
Once we entered the green strip between the two beaches, we saw no other living creature apart from a small crab that soon walked off sideways into the beautiful briny bay. We would not be deterred from our goal. We had visions of healing springs, strange animal species, mystical cliffs and never before treaded on beaches. Therefore, we caught our breath and strengthened the inner man with some cool refreshing water. Better than the most expensive beer, I can assure you!

Corfu Photo paradise

After taking a thousand pictures on both beaches, we climbed the path that would lead us to the most mysterious and deserted places of Corfu. The path was like life -uneven, hard and lumpy. However, that was what attracted us. Just around the corner, we were facing a steep path to the side. We were curious what was behind the rock, but we restrained our curiosity and decided to continue on our path. It would not have surprised us if we reached this point soon after we rounded the peninsula. We kept on going and made progress steadily, and there were plenty of pretty things to shoot. The vegetation was fiercer and it did not surprise us to see every now and then various reptiles taking refuge as we approached. What did surprise us was that we could not follow the coastline. Maybe a round trip was unlikely. Or was it? Suddenly we came to a fork. Turning right, the path was more difficult and barely passable. It was heavily overgrown with plants and shrubs. It could hardly be called a path. Turning left was not much better, but still. Therefore, we are going south.

The secrets of Corfu

After a few minutes of more climbing, in the distance we could see a three meter high cross. Do not tell me there is a church established here! How could all the Greek husbands come here on Sunday to drop their families and then gallop off to the kafeneion? We quickly wised up. We walked up to a chapel that had been laboriously cut out of the rock face! Bizarre! With the whole caboodle inside, candlesticks, chairs, candles, icons etc. you name it. Afterwards we learned the chapel was built two centuries ago by a patient pappas who did not like too much company. Well, I think he would have received what he wanted on this spot. He must have been a busy person as he also built a more comfortable house nearby, or so the Greek gentleman, in the know, informed us. All well and good, but we could not continue. The chapel does not have a back door and though we searched for a passage, it was the end of the road. It looked like we should have gone the other way at the crossroads. It seemed that a giant spider, hanging at nose level, wanted to make clear that this was not the right way. However, we would not let ourselves be defeated; we had a mission! So on we went humbly on our knees and crawled a few yards before the path became passable. Soon we arrived at the house of Nikos-The-Hard-Working-Man, the pappas who built the church. It is completely collapsed. The roof is spread over the entire area of the house, windows are completely overgrown by vegetation, and there is no standing inner wall left. Heavy oak beams still stand upright proudly as a victory sign, but of the rest, there is hardly one stone remaining on another. A big pile of excrement on one of the windows indicates the visitations of a living creature, but the shape did not make clear the breed. Dog, cat or snake? Demon disguised as a goat? I do not know, but one thing was for sure, the journey ended here. It was over; there was no path anymore.
Little by little, we become aware of the horrifying fact that we could not make a round trip on the peninsula. The distant rocky beaches and lagoons of western Corfu would never reveal their secrets to us. We had to go back.

Rewarded at Dionysos Restaurant

Litres of sweat later, we sat silently on the terrace of Dionysus enjoying the fantastic views of Saint Georgios Bay. Two beautiful misted up bottles of Mythos were close at hand, patiently waiting. I keep saying this, the water was better, but the beers were also fantastic! How good it was to drink a nice cool beer with a friend after an exhausting walk. Ah, here comes Vasillis with a tray full of steaming delicacies. That will taste good, after all the fatigues and impressions of the day. I told him that we had walked a long way, but that it was impossible to complete the peninsula because we had to turn back at a chapel. He looked at me triumphantly, smiling while shaking his head: "Is not possible! There is no path after the monastery!", he cried and started to empty his tray.

Ook in deze categorie: « Plane Spotting Theotokis »

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