When I tell people that we’re planning on spending four months ungainfully unemployed in Zakynthos I’m often met with stares of astonishment. We realise we’re being a bit irresponsible and that the mortgage isn’t going to disappear by itself but… well, at some point in your life you just need to shake things up a bit.
It’s been almost 11 years since we moved back to Australia and in that time we’ve produced two new careers, two boys, and are onto our second house. But things are getting a bit stale. I’ve been feeling the need to challenge myself with a new project and a new (though familiar) place for a while now, and I’ve infected Ralph with my unsettledness. Though even he would admit that he didn’t put up much of a fight.
However, the secret to our plans is the house in Koukla. Admittedly, it’s not a very good photo but you get the idea. It’s about 14 years old and built on the site of my grandparents’ old summer shack. You can’t tell from the photo but it’s about 150m from a thin strip of sandy beach complete with suitably azure Mediterranean water. I imagine if anyone else had a free place to stay on a Greek island that might say “stuff it” as well.
Koukla, or Porto Koukla, as it’s been recently renamed by the tourist industry, is the coastal area belonging to the town of Lithakia. There’s a restaurant, a few houses, some holiday accommodation, two small hotels and a mini market. Perfect. The only things to break the peace are the rubbish truck collections first thing in the morning and the occasional barking dog at night. The tourists that stay here are mainly Dutch and German and looking for a quiet holiday. Unlike the madhouse of Laganas a couple of kilometres up the road. I’m so glad my parents didn’t inherit property there!