A grand new house was under construction on the left; the concrete frame was being clad on stone, the quoins carefully dressed and the rest infilled with stone roughly hand-hewn to shape from a formless pile lying nearby. Is the house building justified by the amount of hand craft work that goes into it? Some of the new houses are very, too, ornate (like the jewellery in some of the local shops), but in the materials and elements of style there is tradition.
We left the road and climbed a winding kalderimi through olive groves. Looking down on Kardamili you can see how tightly packed around the main road it still is, in the sense that there is not a continuous sprawl, rather a scattering of new houses across a wider plane away from the village.
At the top the path come out onto an open terrace in front of a deserted house with a sweeping view across the Gulf of Messenia. The path ahead, waist deep in flowers and grasses between a rocky cliff and a deep ravine, lead to a cistern with rough cut laundry trays shaded by cypresses and tall reeds.
Lizards basked on warm rocks and scuttled off into rustling undergrowth at our approach. Beautiful and delicately marked grasshoppers and crickets scattered from the path and yellow and orange Cleopatra butterflies skipped over the purply heads of galactites.
I tried to record the walk using just one cassette of HP5 Plus is a Leica CM Zoom. It was a challenge to think about each shot and pace them to fit within the limits of 35-37 frames. Digital habits die hard.”
Diary 16th May 2014