Annemiek and Tanja at Hakuna Matata Holidays
I am relieved to be standing in the arrivals hall of Kalamata airport, waiting for our suitcases. I don’t like flying. After every vacation I think ‘I’m never doing this again’ only to forget it again until I get on the plane again. But luckily everything went smoothly. It is a very small airport, very different from Schiphol, where my sister and I just came from. While the first suitcases appear on the belt, I look at the exit, wondering if I can find the lady from the car rental company. Among some men with name tags, the blond woman with the sign with my name immediately stands out. A little later our suitcases are packed in our ‘upgrade’ rental car.
First some shopping for the a few days, because in Greece they celebrate Easter this weekend, most shops will be closed. It is not easy yet, because everything is indicated in Greek, but in the end we bought what we think we need.
And off we go, on our way to Hakuna Matata Holidays!
I let my sister drive. Pretty lame of myself.
I started so tough, booking the trip on my own and renting a car. But I was also very happy that my sister came along.
And now I immediately hide behind her, by letting her drive.
I met Will through a retreat with Leonie Brown on the Greek island of Ikaria (https://joeybrown.be).
For some time now I have wanted to spend a week’s holiday with Will, who has been living in Greece with her husband since 2017 and rents out a few lodges there.
And now, 2.5 years later, the time has come. The road to it, is beautiful.
We drive carefully (my sister😉), because a lot of curves and hills.
Unfortunately, we were unable to follow Will’s tip to buy oranges (because there is an orange press in the lodges) at one of the fruit and vegetable stalls along the road, because we always saw them too late. And because we thought more would follow, we didn’t turn around. After a little more than an hour’s drive, we found our destination on top of a hill with the Van den Heuvel family. A warm welcome follows. How nice to see Will again!
We get the lodge to the right of the pool, in the middle of the olive grove. Super nice and cozy, and the outdoor kitchen is great. The view is spectacular. Hammocks and hanging chairs are attached to various trees around us. Chickens are scratching around and some cats are curious to see us. Dog Kees also walkes along nicely.
In the evening we go out for dinner with Will and Jan to the newly opened restaurant Avli in Methoni, a pleasant town ot the sea. We visited Methoni regularly during the rest of the week.
The next day is Easter and we are invited to Will and Jan to celebrate with them and their friends. Everyone has brought food and Jan is the BBQ-chef! The friends are Dutch and a couple of Swiss who also moved to Greece. It’s all very relaxed and cosy.
To burn the calories, we take a walk from Hakuna Matata, through the olive grove on the other side. The view here is also incredibly beautiful: beautiful yellow shrubs, green trees, blue sky and the occasional red poppy. All the colors are so bright!
The next day we go to the castle of Koroni. In order not to show my sister that I’m a scaredy-cat, I get behind the wheel this time. And after a while I drive through the hills of the Peloponnese as if I never did anything else. Koroni Castle is an originally Byzantine fortress, located above Koroni. Within the walls of the fortress is a monastery, a small church and some houses. In the past there was a lot of fighting: the castle was in the hands of the Venetians and the Turks, but eventually came back into Greek hands.
Very interesting, but I especially enjoyed – yes, I fall into repetition – nature and the beautiful view.
On Tuesday I start the day with a relaxing Reiki session with Will (highly recommended!).
We enjoy the rest of the day at our lodge and at the pool. The sun is shining, but it is just under 20 degrees.
Nevertheless, we take a dip in the pool. We are the first guests to do this this spring.
Wednesday we go to Pylos, a pleasant Greek town on the bay of Navarino. At the harbor are cozy terraces and restaurants. There is also a castle, but we did not visit it.
The waterfalls of Polilimnio is our goal for Thursday. That seems easy with today’s navigation, but we still manage to end up on a kind of cart track. This path got worse and narrower, with deep potholes and tractor tracks. And suddenly navigation said ‘destination reached’, while we were in the middle of nowhere.
Carefully and slightly sweating, we drove a little further, and suddenly a sign on the side of the road, with an arrow to the parking lot. In a strange place, we thought, because you couldn’t read the sign until you had already passed it and looked back.
But then we saw why: in front of us was a nice paved road, right next to the parking lot.
It was worth the effort. Enjoy a bit of climbing and scrambling at the waterfall and along the water.
As a reward we then treated ourselves to a big Magnum at the small restaurant.
And then suddenly a week has passed. In addition to our packed suitcases and the delicious olive oil we bought from Will (from their own orchard), we take a lot of beautiful memories with us.
It really was a week of ‘Hakuna Matata’, thanks for all the good care and for allowing us to experience a week in your paradise.
Annemiek & Tanja.