A View For Your Eyes Only (see what I did there)

…and so Tassos and his big red tour bus took us up into the mountains above the perfect coastal village of Paleokastritsa, the very village where they once filmed the James Bond film “For Your Eyes Only” starring Roger Moore.

Has anyone ever seen a decent film starring Roger Moore ?

OK then, a half decent film, a film that you’ve watched on TV for free and thought “You know, that films so good that I’d have paid with my own money to watch it at a cinema”.

You can’t think of one can you, here, let me help, click here, now have a look at that list and ask yourself really hard, would you pay with your own money to see any of those films in a cinema and if you say “Why yes, there’s a good one right there” then give yourself a nasty chinese burn for you are deluding yourself.

Roger Moore is a prime example of how a crap actor can become a big star through having made nothing of any worth at all, for decades, whilst genuine hard working jobbing actors like poor dead Sam Kydd get to appear in every single British film made since film was invented, cast as the milkman who walks behind the main shot, his only speaking part being to whistle a jaunty tune during his three seconds on screen – its just not fair.

Anyway, where were we, ah yes, James Bond and “For Your Eyes Only”, I don’t know which bits were shot in Paleokastritsa but some were, allegedly, maybe it was the hollowed out volcano that they used, strange feature in a coastal village is that, still…

So Tassos took us further and further up the mountain to the next “feature stop” on our tour of the west of the island – the village of Lakones at the very top of the highest mountain in these parts and at a convenient place to park that seemed to be reserved solely for Tassos and his big red tour bus was a bar/cafe, perched on the very edge of a thousand foot cliff, “Bella Vista” announced Tassos, “stop for refreshments” and then he went inside the cafe where he was next seen working behind the counter – I tell you, these Vlaseros brothers are into everything on the island.

But there was no doubting the views, Bella Vista indeed, so called by the Italian prisoners of war who settled in Lakones after the war, on that incredibly hot and incredibly clear day you will not see a better view anywhere, and there was more…

I ordered a coffee and a slice of what was described as “Lemon Cake”, lemon cake it was not, a delicacy of angel dust and gossamer wings it was, it melted in the mouth, I took four mouthfuls before I actually got to swallow any, its by far the most delightful cake I have ever tasted and believe me, I am an expert on cake for without cake there can be nothing, there has to be cake and this was the supreme cake, I awarded it the title of “Best Cake Ever Tasted” and as I sat on the very edge of that precipice I also awarded it the title of “Highest Altitude Cake Ever Consumed” and then the bill came and it won the award of “Most Fookin Expensive Cake Ever Purchased”, four euros a slice, four euros, my god if I’d only checked the price list first – Tassos took his cut from the till and we set off again…

…to Makrades, somewhere even further up in the mountains lies the small hamlet of Makrades, declared in the Vlaseros Travel brochure as “the largest open air market in Corfu”, what can I say, the rest of the open air markets in Corfu must be minutiae is all I can say, Tassos took up his place behind the counter of one of the shops in the village, yes, they had a cut of that too, “I have to dip my beak” is what I heard him say.

Makrades is several small shops selling stuff to do with olive oil, the people who live in Makrades apparently spend all year round growing far too many olives and every year they have a massive surplus of olive oil, far too much for each villager to consume and so each year they make stuff out of olive oil and sell it to foreigners who arrive on board Tassos’ big red tour bus, everything that you pick up from a shelf or stall in that village is made from olive oil or grapes or other stuff that grows on trees in too numerous quantities to eat naturally and so we wandered the village picking up bottles of stuff, slabs of stuff, stuff made from olive oil, stuff scented with olive oil, stuff that had nothing to do with olive oil but had had olive oil added to it just to get rid of some more fookin olive oil, Suzanne bought some almond hand cream, with olive oil in it, I didn’t need anything with olive oil in it and so I wandered back down the village road until I came to the nearest stall to the big red tour bus to find Steve and Tony who had walked all of ten yards to find the produce that they had spent the last half hour perusing.

Wine, red or white, sweet or dry, the villagers made their own wine and they were giving free samples away in the hope that you’d buy some.

The free samples were in very small shot glasses, no more than half a mouthful so I haven’t a clue how many free samples Steve and Tony had consumed in the last half hour but the floor was littered with small shot glasses and they both looked well on the way to being what we quaintly call “pissed”.

“Are we having another Tony?” asked Steve
“Would be rude not to Steve” replied Tony
“Have we had the sweet red yet”
“I think so, I forget, lets have another just to be sure”
“Oh yeah, I didn’t like that one, have we had the dry white yet”
“Don’t think so Steve, lets have one of them, for research you know”

I stood and watched as the lady who owned the wine stall kept bringing more and more bottles for them to sample and eventually they agreed on three bottles of sweet red – they’d drunk around five bottles of everything else to decide on three plastic bottles of sweet red, a bargain.

Their wives drank the whole lot the following day in one session during a “Lets drink everything in the apartment while the men are out” afternoon.

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