Next on our
things-to-see list was Epta Piges aka 'the seven springs'. Locals call it "the
little secret paradise of Rhodes". Secret my ass! There isn't a single
brochure about Rhodes that doesn't mention Epta Piges. I didn’t find the place
nearly as spectacular as the brochures describe. All I saw was a dry, rough
landscape with a little stream which is led in to canals. The Canals are found in
the shadow of enormous plane and pine trees. In summer, for that reason, it is
a refreshing and relaxing refuge. But other than that, not much to look at in
my opinion. Nevertheless, there is a story to tell about the place.
are situated on a hillside and not by the main road.
To get to the springs, you
have to drive up a steep mountain road. For me, that is no problem of course. My
wife however, is not very keen on heights. The reader could have derived that
from my previous entry. The road that leads up to the turn is your typical
mountain road: the mountain on one side, a cliff or canyon on the other. In
this particular situation, it means my wife was already on the top of her
nerves. However, the turn came and I drove up the mountain road in first gear.
As mentioned, the road was pretty steep. Nevertheless, after about 25 meters or
so the engine made such a high rev sound that I decided I needed to change
gear. As the attentive reader already knows, the purple dinky toy I'm driving,
is not my own. I therefore didn't know the ins and outs of the car. Add to
that, my lack of knowledge about the local roads plus the fact that I had only
been driving a car for a few months.
Without much thought, I put my foot on the
clutch and my hand on the stick, ready to shift. As soon as I did, the motor
stalled and the car started backing off the mountain. My wife, who had her eyes
closed all the time, now squeaked, shrieked, and started yelling, "Let me
out of the car". As soon as the car started rolling backwards, my well-trained
reflexes made me step on the break while pulling the hand break up to the point
I thought the cable would brake. Immediately the car stopped. My wife got out
of the car and decided she was going to walk the rest of the way up. I started
the car once more and drove off. After 20 meters, I happily waved at my wife as
I passed her on my way up. As I said, the springs themselves aren't very
special. After a short stay at the top, we were heading back. Innocent as I am,
I thought driving down was less scary for my wife so I asked her to join me in
the car. She wasn't to be persuaded; she insisted on walking downwards as well.
Once down, she got back in the car with me but not before she'd let me promise
I would never do this to her again. Of course, I never did.