Visiting Mystras and living on an olive farm

It’s about the mid of April 2022 and I’m driving Rosinante through an olive farm right next to the famous ancient site of Mytras in Greece. These olive farms can become pretty tricky to drive through from time to time. They tend to narrow down and passing the sometimes low-hanging branches of the trees can be tricky as well. I’m always wondering how the farmers are making it up and down the steep slopes on tracks full of loose stones and sometimes pretty big stone steps.

Right next to the little track I took and on the foot of Mystras, I’m happy to find my new home in the center of the olive farm. Hesitation arises in me as I think about if it’s ok for the owner of the farm that I’m staying here for a couple of days. I lay this thought away by coaxing myself. Just at this moment, I hear some low sounds of people working on the farm and I’m pretty sure that they will come along sometime and so I’ll be able to ask them.

I’m exploring my home in between beautiful nature with all its fresh green, olive trees, a meadow, and a nice small stream. The small area I call home now seems to be the dump of the farm because there are some small piles of rubble. It’s funny how different perceptions can be: for me this dump zone is so beautiful that I want to stay here for some days. For the farmer, it might be the most unproductive and worthless area of his whole farm.

A couple of hours later, I’m hearing a tractor approaching and meet it on the small road. I’m waving and smiling and the driver seems to be a nice guy. It’s the farmer and I’m asking him if I can stay for some days. He is absolutely fine with this. We have a short chat about a lot of things and he gives me tips about what to visit in the area. Once more I see one of my beliefs confirmed: if I’m meeting people friendly and open, they do the same to me. It’s like a principle of friendliness attracting more friendliness.

The next morning I start my way to the ancient site of Mystras. After a couple of meters, I’m deciding to try going barefoot for the whole day. As a fallback, I’m tieing my flip-flops to my backpack.

The ancient site of Mystras with its ruins and reconstructed buildings in the rising spring is very beautiful. But the most beautiful part of it is the view from the top of the fortress on top of it. I’m hanging around there for quite some time and thinking about what side of the view I like more: the nature side with its mountains or the valley side with the roads and little settlements? For me, it’s an easy choice and I decide to climb up one of the mountains tomorrow.

After about eight hours I’m arriving back at Rosinante and my barefoot experiment went pretty well. After the first hour of getting used to especially sharp gravel laying on flat concrete, it felt super good and slowed me down a bit. But after having my soles backed on a dark tarmac road it’s super intense to walk on these little, sharp stones.