Thursday, 14 May 1863

Rose. 4.30 ― & left things packed for G. to take to the mountain. At 6, came [to] the end of the harbour & drew till 8.30. ― Breakfast with C. Lane at 9.30, the Roba going off with Peter the Cook, George, & a mule car at 9.15.

(General is telegraphed.)

(At 10.30. or 10.45, Lane & I set off in a carriage, going up the hill above Argostoli, where, about 11.30 pretty high up, we overtook the Roba, mules &c. &c. ― at a standstill, ― a mule refusing to go on at all[.] After vain efforts, ― other mules coming down the mountain, we persuaded a driver ― a maddish, tipsy, or half-silly Maltese to change with us, & then went on all together ― L. & I stopping for half an hour on the top of the Ἀσσος & San Γεράσιμος road where I drew ― the amiable C.L. waiting & smoking. Continual flowers, lovely to see, which L. as much as I delight in.

Valley ― or upland plain of S. Gerasimos ― large but modern monastery, not interesting. Here, we left the carriage, & began to ascend on foot, soon overtaking the car & baggage, which don’t seem to go on very well. The Maltese is frantic & loud, ― Peter loud & talkative, if not half drunk. G. silent & cross, but his foot is bad. C.L. & I walked up slowly ― mostly following the car. At 4 ― proceeding, ― G. climbing up a steep short cut to far above. More stoppages ― mule kicks hole in basket ― & breaks bottles. I walk on & find G. ― & wait till L. comes up. Pausing here, I survey the whole road, which all the way hither is magnificent quâ road ― gradual, & never very steep in any of its many doublings: ― but the prospect is bare & unpleasant. Arriving at the top of the last zigzag, we halt & drink water ― by a little church ― San Liberale. ― Two small boys come up ― facetiously standing on their donkeys’ backs. ― Going on, at 4 ―― we begin to approach the Forest, which is really fine in its sudden blackness ―― disclosing peeps of Κάλαμος & Θεάκη[1] ― but the day is scirocco & all distance is dim. Here be flocks of sheep now ― no goats being allowed now. ― Beautiful forest! ― Spot where Captain Parker was murdered in 1848. ― We went on by thickening darkening great pines ― the scent delicious ― growing among the loveliest gray rocks & moss ― & at 5 or later ― reached the “Cottage” ― a plain small building with 2 or 3 rooms ― in a cleared spot of the forest. Went with Lane to a place whence one sees Ἀργστόλι & drew: but it was very cold. ― At 7 ― returned, & found the room all set out ― table & chairs &c. ― my own bed ― & L.’s hammock suspended. Excellent dinner ― & bed at 10. C. Lane is a delightful fellow to travel with.

 


[1] Kalamos & Ithaca.


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

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