thomas m wilson

Leaving the Pelion and Kalikalos

June 20th, 2023

On one of my last days at Kalikalos I went down to Ntamouchari one afternoon and swam in the clear blue water. Then I went and found a table in Uncle Stergios’s taverna in the rocky harbour and ordered an orange cake. The small rocky bay is so perfectly proportioned and the human settlement that sits along its shore is so small scale and intimately fitted to its setting that one feels genuinely pleased to see such an accord between nature and culture.

My final afternoon I walked to Banika beach, and was taken at the beauty of the wild river splashing its way into the Aegean on a rocky beach, surrounded by vast sentinel like stone towers, thronged by drippingly, deliciously green foliage.  A snake sidled across my path, and a buzzard swayed through the heavens a few minutes later.  That evening I DJed an hour long set of uplifting deep ambient house music in the ‘long room’, a beautiful dance space on a long rectangular wooden platform that looks out on two sides into the trunks of a forest of chestnut trees with the ground falling away them into a valley below.  Henrik Schwarz ‘Please leave my head alone’ was a track, for example, with beautiful piano notes that people reacted really well to.  You could hear the bird song from the forest between the spacious beats so that the music seemed to be open to the spirit of the place, rather than ignoring it or over riding it entirely. I had also set up a poetry sharing circle for the Thursday morning before I left which went really well – I had read Auden’s Yeats poem and Yeats’ Byzantium poem for example. Sharing such poems reminded me of what poetry can be: it is one of the few things you could bring to the great events of this life such as a wedding or a funeral.  My secular church: poetry. 

I recommend you go to Kalikalos – you will all of a sudden have a human community, movement, sunlight, the sea, fresh food from the garden three times a day, and an amazing landscape around you.

A perfect rocky harbour, with a perfectly situated taverna nestled into it. I miss such harmonious accord between human culture and the natural world in Australia.
The geology of the Pelion, in miniature.
Wild rivers running out of the mountains have had plenty of rainfall to fill them up recently. On my way to the coast, a few metres from Banika Beach.
Where I swan after my walk thirty minutes down the hill from Kalikalos.
Where I DJed ambient deep house last Friday evening – what a place to dance.
Goodbye to Kalikalos (thanks for letting use your photo Marcel Baaijens).