Chalikounas, in the far south of the island, is very different to the beaches I’ve visited so far in Corfu. It’s long and sandy, backed with dunes and scrub and long waving grass. There’s a lagoon designated as a wildlife reserve to one side, separated from the beach by a dirt track and a rocky headland in the distance.
Waves are crashing in and huge plumes of white water burst into the sky before foaming right up to my feet. It’s a long, long stretch of sand and I walk for a long time with my ankles sinking into the water.
When I get in the waves are wild and I know I’ll be playing rather than really swimming today. I jump with the breaking waves and let their force carry me through the air. It’s wild and rough and windy and there’s an undertow to be aware of. I keep well within my depth and keep sighting back to the beach to make sure I’m not being pulled out or over and away from my things.
I hurl myself through rising mountains of blue, over rising peaks, face first into smacking white water. I’m exhausted and exhilarated by the time I get out. As I drive away I spot a pink flash and pull over. I walk through bushes to the edge of the lagoon and stop where the tree cover ends. Ahead of me, a flock of flamingos peck at the lagoon. Then a noisy idiot behind me crashes through the undergrowth, clapping his hands loudly, and they all take off, their wings edged with black underneath as they disappear toward the horizon.
I’m raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society. Please sponsor me at http://www.justgiving.com/swimbonnieswim