It’s rare for my heart to sink when I see a beach, but the sunbed filled sand by the Akron beach bar in Palaiokastritsa is as far from my idea of a perfect beach as it’s possible to be. It’s much more developed, more aimed at tourism than my normal spots are. There’s little shade but we settle on towels in a corner where there are a few streaks of darkness from a tall palm tree. I don’t wait to get into the water, and once I’m out I see how little the rest of it all matters. The water itself is never busy, not if you go out far enough. It’s still incredibly blue, incredibly clear.
I swim along the base of the cliff, looking at the way the rock bends under water, watching the waves ride up and break white against shiny black stone. Shoals of hundreds of tiny silver fish dart side to side together, moving en masse. Light filters down, split into separate beams by the water, tiny shifting spotlights.
Out here it is wild and free and unfettered by the sun lounger organisation, the waiters and loud music. The water grows deep and the colours grow darker. The cliffs tower up, so high, overhead. And under the water the fish flit in their shoals, invisible to everyone back on the beach. The sun bears down and the water glitters and I don’t mind the crowds at all, because out here I could be all alone.
I’m raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society. Please sponsor me at http://www.justgiving.com/swimbonnieswim