Friday, 26 August 2016

Snails and rain

The wind was howling and blowing a gale the sort you could hardly stand up in. Bathed in dust and grit and then drenched by pouring rain nothing unusual there but not expected on my Hols on Kos. Unpredictable weather I’m used to but not on the Island, although now having spent all months of the year at some time or other there I’m no longer surprised.

It was the last week of the season, one minute on the beach albeit alone and no sunbeds, the next enjoying the sunshine outside a Taverna or two. We’d packed for good day weather,  anticipated cool nights but hadn’t brought a raincoat and now I understood why that shop in Kos town had so many umbrellas.

Boo was with us and we didn’t want to be stuck indoors  before Easy jet flew us back to the UK on the last flight of the season, so we went to Mastichari and I’ve never seen the beach deserted before, it’s usually crowded. We walked along the shore and I got sandblasted with nowhere to go for assistance. So we decided to go up to the castle overlooking Kardamena. Not a good idea, the wind nearly blew us over the edge and then the rain came down and drenched us. Dripping wet, half blinded we drove down into Kardamena and fortunately were able to get food and drink whilst looking out on a murky, miserable seascape.

Just as we were regretting our choice of a late getaway the sun came out and the warmth of its rays evaporated the rain and it smelt fantastic. So enthused by the change we decided to drive up to Zia and what a sight. Just that little amount of rain, had rejuvenated that otherwise dry, barren landscape and as if by magic green shoots and leaves were sprouting. The empty landscape was now littered with locals collecting snails in carrier bags no doubt a rare delicacy about to be enjoyed Greek style.

In fact it reminded me of the last time I’d seen people out with plastic bags wandering the roadside only this time they were collecting Prickly Pears with the aid of a plastic cup. Who needs gardening gloves? I don’t know how they prepare these either. Something to look into for the future. Don’t think the technique will work on Blackberries.

ps.Many thanks to Roger Jinkinson a recipe for Snails.
Keep them out in the rain in a net bag. After two days they will be clean. Make an onion and tomato sauce, add the snails in their shells, serve with rice and green salad.