Chris, October 3, 2014
I am on holiday in Crete at the moment, I thought it might be fun to remember some of my experiences.
May 1971 I was hitching from Britain, to Israel to work in a kibbutz, and had plenty of time before I needed to be there. I arrived in Athens, which was such a horrible place that I jumped on the very first boat leaving, which happened to go to Chania. After a night on the beach, I made my way to Heraklion, where I was told that I múst go to Matala. after a journey down a dirt-track road, I arrived to find about 30 hippies on the beach, and the stories of all the hundreds of hippies that had been living in the caves the year before, until the police flushed them out.
I set up my sleeping place on the sand by the cliff, and then spent 2 weeks in paradise. Mama’s multi-decker sandwiches were unforgettable. other memories are taking my first acid at the Red Beach (the nearby nudist beach), only to discover it was really just speed! A week after I arrived, a large bearded American arrived in a VW bus with a harem of ladies. We swam, snorkeled, played music and chilled, and it was heaven. Why did I leave? I knew I had to catch a boat to Rhodes and then to Israel. as it turned out, I then spent a week sleeping on a rock in Lindos in Rhodes waiting for the next boat - but that is another story...
My parents went to Crete 4 years later, so I told them to visit Matala for me to see how it was - guess what, the bearded American was still there!
I came to Crete 4 years ago for the first time since then, and went to Matala. they say - never go back. I looked in vain for Mama’s shop. I tried to find people to speak to who remembered the hippie days, but only found a trinket seller. at least the caves and the sands by them are still the same.
Happy days, Chris