A few days later we left for Kastraki… a village below a range of very unique mountains with isolated monolithic outcrops of solid rock towering into the sky. Perched on top of some of them, like fairytale castles are historic living monasteries (eight in active use). They are partially open to the public and are a massive tourist attraction for people from all over the world. We wanted to visit them.
We had unknowingly arrived during a Greek public holiday and accommodation was at a premium. Our first night was spent in a small room behind the kitchen of a popular central restaurant. Ambient temperatures were high and even higher behind the kitchen. Business was good into the early hours, people happy and voices loud. However, for us, sleep and rest passed us by.
The next day bleary eyed and zombie like, limbs and joints still not sure how they should feel; we went searching for something with a bit more quiet. We found it, on the outskirts of the village at the foot of the road to the monasteries and with fabulous views over the village to the mountains – our haven for the next six days.
We explored the local villages, visited three of the monasteries, (walking up from our hotel to two of them). Found and took footpaths through the mountains from the monasteries to the villages. We did a lot of strenuous walking and it was easy.
It was exhilarating. All stiffness aches and pains, having to make a forceful effort, had disappeared. Our successful canyon challenge seemed to have rejuvenated our body systems and made the last six days of our holiday a special pleasure.
I remember reading that when we push ourselves sufficiently the mitochondria (the energy converter particles in each cell in our bodies) start to reproduce more of themselves so that each cell can have more energy to do what we demand of it. But of course: if we don’t use it we lose it.
So create them and use them – rejuvenate and exhilarate.