Wednesday, 23 April 1863

Rose at 4.50. ― Took leave of all the Ρομπώτης family. Marcos’s offer to walk some way “διὰ νὰ μὲ συντροφεύσει”[1] I thankfully declined: no greater bore than that, as they will walk by your side in the narrowest path. ― Off 5.40. All in shade. Bad roads, vineyards perpetual: day very fine. 6.50 ― I have passed the 2 Δραγάνο[2] villages, & a good way beyond.

7.40 ― am beyond Κομυλιὸ,[3] which village stands in a green hollow of corn, between the inner & outer range of hills on the western side of Sta. Maura; the whole indefinitely ugly ― the hills very round & bare ― all except vine. The corn land encroaches on the path, which, eaten away, slopes, & is odious. ― (Botheration chorus of all creatures, at the Monastery last night ― διὰ τοὺς λύκους.)[4] ― 8.15 we are above Καρτάτα the last of the 7 Μαχαλαδὲς[5] of Διαμιλλάρι[6] ― the other 6 being Ἅ. Τεόδορος, Μανασση, Ἅ. Βαςίλιος, Νικόλι & Ροπακιὰ.[7]

As we began to cross the hideous sides of Σταυροτὰ, one saw down the great λαγγάδιον[8] as far as Ἅ. Πέτρος, & all but the Βασιλικῆ; (Spite of the Baron’s predilection no good scenery can exist there I think,) with θιάκι, & Κεφ[9] beyond, & the sea & Παξοῦς west. Above, the odious sandy pudding hills. Κωρτάτα[10] is a scattered village, with 2 or 3 bunches of Ilex trees ― good water & good air. A toil upward ensued, & at 8.50, having reached the Κινούριος δράμος[11] ― we were passing along the higher part of the pass [&] ridge, positively a desert of stones ― air good, nothing to be seen. ― 9.30 we have crossed a little flat pain, & are above Εγγλουβέ[12] at a small church, Ἅ. Δονάτο. Beyond is the high point with a monastery ― Α. Ελία. At 10, we are going down the vilest possible staircase road to Εγγλοβὶ, a closely packed large village in a hollow below the highest part of the mountains, & where, by some lights possibly, a drawing might be made. After this ― the broad public road recommences, & leads along the edge of a deep hollow ― all ugly enough, & only redeemed by the distant lot of the Islads not very lovely in form, & on the farther side of which are Βαυχερὶ, & Πλατίστωμα.[13] All the scenes of the first days journey, ― Ἀλέξανδρος &c. &c. lie opposite ― all wide & without interest. It is now 10.30 ― 11. Ever along the side of this hideous bare mountain, above the vast hollow valley covered with stripes of walls, & the dirty lake of Καρυὰ.[14] At 11.20 ― after a hard path of nearly 6 hours ― we reach the large village of Καρυὰ, & stop at the Σταθμὸς,[15] where polite policemen induct one to a little room & I repose. Thus, the far worst part of the day’s journey is done in 5 & a half hours. ― 1. P.M. They bring 2 carpets, asking 8, & 8½ dollars, but letting me have them for 15 dollars the 2. Also, G. brings Eggs bread cheese & wine. B. being never prevented from cooking if wanted ― by fatigue[.]

About this time 2 years ago, died poor Mary ― the thought of whose last hours is ever sad. But those of my dear Ann are ever dearer & dearer, & not sad at all: one might say of her that she left earth in a bright soft blaze of light, & except that I could see her no more now, there was no sorrow ― so good ― so happy.

(Mrs. Clive, Ellen, W.N., ― C.F. & Lady W., ― W. Clowes, Jane Hunt, F.L., Daddy Hunt, Emily T., T. Cooper ― must all be written to however shortly ― tomorrow or Friday.)

The bread & cheese are excellent here: wine, goodish. oil not good. It is 1.30. P.M. ―― so far a white day.

At 2, looking out of window, I must conclude by saying that more ineffable days ugliness never met my eyes than in this blessed island: the barrenness would not matter, but the forms are so hideous. ―― Setting off again at 2.15 ― I drew the mountains from near Σφακιότης from 3. to 4.30., & then came the long descent from above Καθαριάιυ[16] ― a most lovely & delightful view, which must be done before I go. At 6.30. reached the Residency, & found the Baron as hearty as usual, & expecting the Lord High. ― Washed ― & at 7.30 dined with the Baron’s tea ―― & sate afterwards till 10.30. bed.

XX6

 


[1] To keep me company (NB).

[2] Dragano.

[3] Komilio.

[4] Because of the wolves (NB).

[5] Communities (NB).

[6] Possibly Δαμηλιάνι, Damiliani (NB).

[7] Άγιοι Θεόδωροι, Agioi Theodoroi; Μανάση, Manassi; Άγιος Βασίλειος, Agios Vassilios; Νικολή, Nikoli; Ρουπακιάς, Roupakias. Only five are actually mentioned.

[8] Canyon (NB).

[9] Ithaca and Caphalonia.

[10] Chortata.

[11] New road (NB).

[12] Εγγλουβή, Eglouvi, a village (NB).

[13] Bαυκερή, Vavkeri and Πλατύστομα, Platistoma (NB).

[14] Karya.

[15] Station (NB).

[16] Nina is not sure about this; it might mean “mountain peak.)


[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3. Image.]

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