I move on to Docheiariou and take a well maintained path inland. The path climbs up into the hills. I hear noise ahead after about two kilometres and there are two workers, cutting and grubbing out any bushes that encroach onto the path.
We nod, but we have no shared language.
Another kilometre, and then suddenly the track disappears. I forge on through low waist high shrubs and find another path, but after a while this also peters out into bush. I look again at my map which shows a track but there is really nothing for it but to go back – I don’t want to get lost in this place.
Eventually I arrive back at the track workers and I produce my map and show them where I want to go. They indicate that there is no track this way.
A change of plan then. I’ll walk further up the coast to where the map shows a road inland to Zografou monastery and stay there the night. It is a hard 10 kilometre slog in the sun. I think about the pilgrims of the past and respect their courage to undertake the long journeys to places unknown.
My water is running out and I am grateful to see the high windowed walls of the monastery ahead.
There is no-one around except for the Bulgarian worker who discovers that I am “just a tourist”. He shows me to a room and I rejoin him later in the courtyard to enjoy the late sun.
An old white haired and bearded monk sits on a balcony above us. He is humming a chant. The young Bulgarian looks up and smiles. I can see his enormous respect for the life that is led here.