I am really fortunate that I can spend again my summer vacation at the Greek island Kalamos. It is a beautiful island in the Ionian sea nearby Lefkada. The island is a volcanic island and therefore it has a great divers nature. From green pine trees to olive trees to bare rocks. And it has many awesome beaches for snorkeling and camping. At the island there is one town called Kalamos and a small village Episkopi. We camp at a little beach, 500m away from the port of Episkopi. This place is more or less only accessible by boat and we go almost everyday across to the little town Mitikas for our groceries and icewater.
Often we take the boat to visit Episkopi to be able to go for a run, get fresh water or just relax and drink an ouzo in the (only) canteen at the port. A couple of times we went to Kalamos which is 7 km from Episkopi. Sometimes we take the boat and go over water and sometimes a local 'taxi'.
Every time I am walking around at this island, I notice the relaxed way of life that the locals have. Just for your information: this island is not so well-known for tourists and it has no big hotels, clubs or what so ever. Just some apartments for rent, some tavernas and two mini markets plus a bakery in the port of Kalamos. That is it. Here you can still find the authentic Greek island life. The elderly people sitting in front of their houses in the shade, chatting and enjoying. The younger once going around by motorbike or scooter, drinking coffee or helping out at the port with whatever needs to be carried. Of course everybody knows everybody and in that way, it can be easy to find your way around. A phone number for a room or apartment is just one person away. If you try to find this on Google maps or anywhere else online, well good luck... At Kalamos they try really hard to keep it like it is.
In the winter most of the 'locals' leave for the mainland. But a small group of around 250 people stay and live here all year round. There is one basic school with like 12 kids. Summertime is the time that they can earn their money and they work hard in all kind of different jobs. You can find your waiter from the night before, picking up packages in the morning from the ferry to drive them around the island. There are two or three 'taxi' drivers that can bring you from Kalamos to Episkopi or visa versa for €10 with their pickup truck. You can easily fit in 10 people if you want... They work during the summer 24/7.
If you take the road from Episkopi to Kalamos (it is kind of the only road there is), you pass by the remains of an old castle. Here also a couple of houses are situated and the owners are sitting all day outside in the shade, chatting and watching whom ever passes by. Akis, one of the 'taxi' drivers, told me that there are two grandmothers that stay all year there. They are 88 and 92 years old. In the winter they walk every day down to the port of Episkopi, which is 1,5 km, to take the boat across for their daily shopping. They come back in the afternoon and walk up to their houses. I can tell you the road they need to walk up with their groceries is very steep. Akis told me he always offers them a ride when he sees them. But they always decline and tell him: "No thank you, we walk...." I guess that sums up the Greek island life.