Sunday, August 5, 2012

Volunteering with Kathelios group from Argostoli Camping

My last two weeks volunteering with the Kathelios Group I spent in the beautiful Camping Argostoli.Argostoli is the main city of the island so there was much more contact with society. But we had our own little volunteer world in the camping, only interrupted by the ever present cicadas singing from the olive trees.
Cicadas will mark the rhythm of the whole day, when you wake up, either trying to run away from the hot hot sun, or to the 5.30 am alarm that calls you to cycle up and down the mountains to walk the beaches in search of turtle tracks.

The work here is basically divided in three activities:
- Cycling to the 7 beautiful beaches which we survey early in the morning to find turtle tracks. If we find them, then we fill in a data sheet and GPS the possible nests.
- Speaking to people, mainly tourists, downtown, to create awareness about the turtles.
- Joining the Mount Aenos rangers (if you are really lucky you get to see some wild horses, and you can always hear the goat bell symphony, the soundtrack of the mount)

When we're not doing this we are either snorkeling in one of the amazing turquoise beaches, trying to find a shaded spot for a nap in the camping, eating delicious communal lunches and dinners or spending time in the camping restaurant with the amazingly friendly family that owns it.

I've really enjoyed my time here. The volunteers here are a pretty international bunch (of course mostly english) and we got along very well, we even danced la Macarena. Now I can totally imitate the english accent and have even picked up some dutch words, only the obscene ones...
The folk who own the camping are awesome too. They are from Criti (Crete) so I have learnt a lot about this strong-headed friendly culture that will fill your glass with Raki forever and ever...
Thank you Lefteris and Iorgos!

And we also had the company of a bunch of french girls full of creative energy.

Too many things happened in these couple of weeks really, nothing seems to fit in here.
I had a great visit from Linda for example. Adventures on a scooter, lots of beach time, lots of freddo cappucino mettrio me canela, free watermelon on the beach, discussing with an angry greek man about an umbrella.
At some point the organization´s environmental centre was vandalized and we had a march on the streets.
Almost on my last day Magik and I jumped in the water to recue a turtle that had a hook and was carrying a fishing line. It was an amazing experience trying to hold on to her scared fin and forcing her to go up to land. (Thanks for those photos Tara)

I will miss Kefalonia with its enormous bouganvillias, waves of aromatic herbs, turquoise beaches, hitchiking adventures.
I will miss the people too. The volunteers that take a shower with a beer in hand, the talking and cycling while the sun comes up, the drinking raki and playing card games at night...

But now again enjoying the intense heat in Patras, and soon more adventures with dear Lindaki...

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