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Camaraderie and Cats in Samos - Christopher Smith

Blog post   •   Nov 23, 2010 11:05 GMT

Walking on Samos 23rd October – 30th

In October 2010, I took my 12-year old son Oliver to Samos on our first Ramblers holiday.  I’m a single parent and very much appreciated someone else doing all of the arrangement; in the past I had exhausted myself planning, driving, cooking etc, whilst trying to enjoy myself too.  The bookings were all done efficiently and speedily; instructions and tickets arrived well in advance.  There was someone at Heathrow to say hello and tell us what was what and when we arrived in Samos, Rupert and Kate were there to greet and direct us to the bus and so to our hotel.

The hotel was comfortable and clean; the staff friendly and welcoming.  The walks were well organised, varied and interesting.  All of this was great, but it wasn’t what the holiday was really about…..

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What I really loved was the company.  The party of 23 from several countries and many backgrounds who gelled effortlessly and mirthfully into a relaxed and invigorating whole; the excellent food in the different tavernas each evening -washed  down with the best local drink- lubricated the party and fuelled the jocularity.

Each walk had tiny moments when I felt I could have been centuries removed in time. Often it was one of those tiny remote chapels high in the hills with whitewashed walls awash with icons and images, plus olive groves, ancient pathways and vineyards almost as old as the hills themselves.

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And then there were the cats: my son’s favoured species.  He photographed every feline on Samos with my spare camera.

Those small coffee stops in the mornings at welcoming tavernas made me feel locked into a Greece parsecs, removed from the usual tourist hangouts.

The key to brilliant organisation is to appear effortless and make things look simple.  Rupert and Kate did just that: I’ve just returned from my first day back at work and I’m still glowing from a brilliantly organised Ramblers holiday.  It won’t be the last.  I hope that all the ones to come will have such a wonderful mix of lively and fun people!  Thanks Ramblers Worldwide Holidays!  And thanks Group for making it such fun!


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