Blown by the winds of the Greek gods

Dinner outside the Zeus Bar, Vassiliki,

Dinner outside the Zeus Bar, Vasiliki, Greece; on the right side of the table: me flanked by Frank and his brother, and on the left side: some of the soldiers warming up for a busy night.

As mentioned in a previous blog, the winds that blew me to South Africa began in Greece during a windsurfing holiday when I met Frank back in 2005.

It wasn’t actually a holiday, technically, rather a week of adventurous training I’d organised and was running for a group of soldiers from my squadron to break up the routine of camp life back in Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire.

Admittedly, once we got to the sleepy fishing village of Vasiliki, located at the Southern-most tip of the beautiful island of Lefkas, there wasn’t a great deal of running I had to do once we checked into the Club Vass hotel and had been assigned to our windsurfing classes.

Though, of course, the British squaddie during the day time, relatively obedient, restrained, can often prove a very different beast come the night, once drink has been taken and hormones have been stirred–and which might pose a challenge for the one officer in the group as the shit hit the fan.

But I knew most of the soldiers in the group pretty well. We’d been in the same squadron for a few years, had done Iraq together, learned about the other during good and not so good moments;  pretensions had been erased and we knew where we stood with each other . I reasoned there was a good chance it should all go relatively smoothly.

Either way, what ever the gods had in store, it some became clear where the epicenter of the village’s nightlife was to be located:  the Zeus Bar by the waterfront of its small harbor.

Windsurfers preparing to launch and ride those warm, Olympus sent winds.

Windsurfers preparing to launch and ride those warm, Olympus-sent winds.