I’ve always had a proviso when it comes to travelling and that is to never to return to the same place twice. Why ever would you to, when the world is such a vast place and we can only ever hope to explore a minuscule part of it, yet as I spent my final few hours on Lourdas beach I knew then, that it was inevitable that I will return.
They say that there’s a special place for everyone, the one that will take you breath away and steal your heart, and as each day passed, Kefalonia was slowly sucking the being out of me, the part that had become disenchanted with life and the world around me and replacing it with an authenticity and zest for living once more.
I had been dreading the week away for a really silly reason – I have an innate fear of heights, so I knew that hiring a car would be a pointless task, considering so much of the island is mountainous but I also didn’t want to go and miss seeing the island and the chance to explore (more to come about that later). Upon arrival, I had even been apprehensive about the transfer to the resort – which I needn’t have feared in the slightest, as the roads were actually pretty good, and I was taxi’ed the last part, where the roads were too bendy to take the coach down.
The Kekatos Apartments were simply amazing, and to start with I was the only guest there. The rooms had everything I could possibly need, the setting was quiet, overlooking the sea and the only member of staff was the ‘cleaner’ who called by to change the towels daily – absolute bliss if you’re looking for tranquillity and solitude. My room was spotless, as was the complex and the swimming pool simply a dream – I’ve not swum for over 30 years but the pool managed to entice me, and I’m happy to say, that I can still swim!
The Thomson rep called by the following day – Katerina, who was lovely and very knowledgeable, if somewhat nervous at the prospect of her first ‘meet and greet’, and I took the plunge, booking a couple of trips – aha, having no hire car will not defeat me!!!
After the meet and greet, and some £90 worse off, after paying for my two days out (excellent wifi, btw, which allowed me to book and pay via credit card, rather than using cash direct to the rep), I decided to explore locally. Firstly they did say that Lourdas is on a steep hill – I’m fit and can walk miles, but ‘Cardiac Hill’ as it is commonly known, really is a killer! The apartment was just 300 meters from Lourdas beach, thankfully there was a little supermarket just round the corner and a few eateries directly on the sea front. Further up the dreaded hill, you’ll find more eateries and a much larger supermarket, and I believe, during the summer there’s a local bus service to save your legs, I, however, was there the first week of the season so no little bus, but hey, I have leg muscles to die for now, having walked up it three times (it took me 30 minutes to walk up the flippin’ thing, so be warned)!
Lourdas beach itself was quite empty (the advantage of going at the start of the season), the sea crystal is clear, no huge waves to sweep you away and the beach is spotlessly clean. As the week progressed a few more eateries began to open up, but do not expect a tourist resort with souvenir shops because you simply won’t find it here. I had prior knowledge of an eatery called the Klimatis, thanks to a well-travelled Facebook friend, whose cousin runs it (https://www.facebook.com/Klimatis-1407991696150939/). I introduced myself to Marina, who greeted me with hugs and kisses, and then produced a menu that would make any vegetarian very happy! I started off with the fried courgette and tzatziki dip, followed by the stuffed aubergine with feta. I usually eat at my apartment when self-catering but I make a point of eating out the first and last day of my holiday just so I can relax, and I have to say the Klimatis did not let me down, and I’ve found a new friend in Marina.