"Kalinychta" [good night] says Elpifodoros, the founder of Wheeling2help, who picked me up in Lamia Station because there was no other bus ater 21:00 that could bring me to Raches, the place where I will be living for the next five months. Not only Elpis but also Umut and two more girls were waiting in a small car which was already full with the shopping and was about to get more filled with my bag and me.
Equipped with almost the whole team of this new adventure called "Active Raches" squeezed down in a small car we got to know each other. Umut is from Turkey, Gigi is from Rumania and Andrea was born in Venezuela but lives in Spain. They all started telling me how beautiful are Raches and NISI -the place we stayed in, which in Greek means Island. All of them agree on one thing: This is paradise.
Raches is a Port and also a Beach in Fthiotida, the Central Region of Greece. The place where we stayed in it is just 30 seconds away from the Aegean Sea. The view could not be better. Mountains all over the place, the sea right in front of us, and less than 10 minutes away many kites waiving in the sky.
The peninsula at the end of the beach forms a perfect barrier for low gusts, making one side flat and the other more wavy, making this home of the Raches Kite Festival – considered one of the country’s top kitesurfing spots-. Umut, who is our sporty guy, feels already feels like paradise and started to explain to us the differences between windsurfing, kitesurf and so many more.
Andrea and Gigi on the other side have been biking and are also delighted with this place. A blick to the horizon and you have a chain of mountains, some bigger than others. You can even see some snow on the highest peaks despite the 25° C which warns us of a hot upcoming summer. The road parallel to the coast let you see the clear water with transparent jellyfishes and the bottom of the sea. No words to describe the amazing daily sunrises and the incredible moons that have already welcomed us with a lunar eclipse which dressed up in orange the full moon the last week.
To complete the paradise and never get bored, boundless possibilities are found. We create and explore a range of activities from vegetable gardening, composting, beach cleanups to nonviolent communication, drawing and language lessons. It is a co-creative and collaborative space from which we learned but others learn from us too. So, as the days pass it revolves around my head as a morning and night ritual: Yes, I am in the paradise, not only by the virtue of the nature but the virtue of living and sharing it together with more people.