An Emergency Rescue in Greece
Nil, Marie, and her family had planned to take a section of the O2 trail along the Greek coast as far as the village of Veneto. The trek should have taken no longer than a day but they quickly found themselves in serious trouble. Nil had previously used the trail on Mount Olympus and had found it well-kept and well-marked but this was not the case on the coast. Trail markings had either been washed away or hidden by the undergrowth. The trail itself was clogged by branches and brambles.
As they fought their way onwards, some of the group started to panic. They had found no freshwater and were badly dehydrated. Nil decided it would be best to go on ahead and search for help. He set out for a nearby beach but having descended through some steep canyons, it became apparent he would not be able to return the way he had come. His situation only got worse. Arriving at the beach he found himself trapped. It was too steep to climb back out and there was no sign of a trail. Faced with no other option, he abandoned his backpack and swam around the cliffs to the next beach, making ingenious use of some beach trash to keep his phone out of the water.
Meanwhile, Marie and her family were desperately looking for a continuation of the trail that would not lead to the impassable beach. They tried several directions but couldn't find a safe-looking trail. After hours of searching, they were forced to take shelter from the sun and hope that Nil would be able to find help.
Fortunately, the next beach seemed to offer salvation. Nil spotted a couple of people and asked them to help get him to the closest village where he might raise the alarm. But the couple refused to help. They assumed he was an illegal migrant and had no interest in leaving the beach. It was only after he threatened to denounce them to the police that they reluctantly agreed to take him to a nearby village.
A few hours later he was able to return to Marie and the group with a rescue team. Local firefighters and police arrived with ropes, food and water. They cleared the trail and the entire family were able to make it back to civilization. The journey, which should have taken a day, had taken them two and a half.
Relieved to have escaped a dangerous situation unharmed, it was time for Marie's family to return to France. Marie and Nil would continue into the Pierian Mountains, taking joy in “trails cleared without tearing [our] skin on brambles.”