Abandoning Paradise

Chapter One     Paradise

Second Family

Harry and Nathalie Loutas are a good deal younger than I but they became almost like parents in taking me into their family. They knew I was having a tough time of things and helped me in all manner of ways. One of the finest things of Greece is the way people take care of each other. It feels very much like Greece is one gigantic family or at least a tribe and they take care of their own. Another of the wonderful things about Greece is they’re more than willing to make you one of their own if they like you.

Harry and Nathalie have three kids: Katia, Anna Marie, and Nikolas. Katia is the oldest at about seventeen and she’s writing a book, learning how to play the guitar, and going to school ... and that’s not all; she’s working on all kinds of things. Anna Marie is just a bit younger than Katia and she’s very focused too. Nicholas is quite young and came as a surprise. He doesn’t talk much but he won’t stop once he starts as, sure as hell, Harry doesn’t. It’s cool with Harry as he always has something interesting to say.

Harry is the one who sold me my motor scooter and, after big bikes, I would have laughed if anyone ever said I would end up riding a scooter but I did and I loved it. The scooter gave me my freedom in Greece and there were many stories and videos that came from it. I couldn’t even count the number of times I rode into Katakolon to take pictures of the cruise ships and riding out to Olympia was spectacular.

Reminiscing about things one does not want to lose is typical before leaving anywhere so I shouldn’t go on about this for a long time but I’ve felt a very strong attachment to Harry and his family and it’s been a beautiful thing. I even went to a midnight Easter service with them and I don’t do that with anyone. The relationship with them was very special and it will be very much missed.

When we went to the Easter service it was in the tiny little village church of Ageos Andreas and, even with only about thirty people inside, it was crowded. There were many more people outside and after the service the priest went out to them. This was when everyone lit long tapers and it was incredibly beautiful. Even though I was obviously not Greek, it made no difference to anyone.

It would have been disrespectful to take pictures during the service.

If I am able to get back to Greece, going to see Harry and his family will be a very big part of it. To me, he’s the real world incarnation of Zorba and represents every good thing about Greece. It would be an amazing meeting if Lotho and his family could visit as seeing those families together could be extraordinary. Who knows, perhaps this meeting can happen in the future sometime as I know what will happen in the next few days but I have no idea what will happen beyond that.

Meanwhile, if you want to visit Harry on your own, you can contact him through his Web site, BioParadise Live, and rent a beach house from him. In staying there, eating at Kastro Bar, and going down to see Andreas in the corner market, you will find an existence you may not have imagined and it is so extraordinary that it will leave you wondering if this existence or the one you have left behind is the real one.

And if you need to buy or rent a good car, motorcycle or scooter in Pyrgos, go to Best Motors Loutas and see Harry and Nathalie there. They own the business and that’s where I got my SYM scooter. Times are tough just now but I have no doubt Harry and Nathalie will survive.

The size of the cars fascinated me as they have all the features one would expect and they easily hold four adults, the cars just aren't excessively large. Euros buy fuel by the litre and it's much more expensive than in U.S. They are exceptionally careful in the use of fuel and the size of the cars shows it. What I did not see was sacrifice as these are great cars and they tool around all over Europe.

You haven’t heard anything about the beaches as I never went swimming the whole time I was there. I did go wading and it’s strange as you can wade halfway to Italy before the water comes over your knees. There are no huge Hawaiian waves but it’s a great feeling as the Mediterranean water is very warm and it feels good just to paddle about in it. With everywhere in Greece, it feels like there’s a vibe that’s much bigger than whatever you’re actually doing.

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Take a scooter ride with me through Pyrgos to meet Harry and Nathalie. I'm speaking a little German in it but mostly it's about the music and the fun of scooting through Pyrgos. It is about fifteen kilometers from Katakolon.

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