Here come the Corfu Trailers! Or coincidence strikes again.
I was sitting in the 19th Hole bar in Vatos chatting to a Dutch friend over an Easter Sunday Evening ouzo when in walked an exhausted-looking stranger, who sat down at a neighbouring table. Since she was Dutch too, we soon fell into conversation, and she volunteered that she was walking the Corfu Trail. She was hugely surprised and pleased when I admitted to being its creator (well, its not the sort of thing you do expect in a country bar, is it?).
She had walked from Pelekas to Giannades and, as there was no accommodation to be had in that village, a local drove her back to Vatos where there was a place to stay. She rather grumbled that this meant she would have to walk the Vatos-Giannades section of the Trail again in the morning, so I offered to run her there, and walk part of the onward Trail with her. I had to walk the dogs anyway, and it might as well be in company, and in a place we don’t hike every day.
Accordingly, I accompanied her for about half the way to Liapades, guiding her to a crucial junction, then I cut off down into the valley to take the road back to Giannades.
Just as I arrived at the point where the Trail crosses the road to climb into the centre of Giannades, two walkers were stepping up the final slope. Booted and heavily ruck-sacked, they answered in the affirmative when I asked them whether they were walking the Trail.
Then I introduced myself: total delighted surprise for the SECOND time in 24 hours. Another pleasant surprise was that this was no faceless Trailer whose order for the Trail Guide ebook I had sent out automatically, but one whom I remembered well as having ordered it at the last minute on Holy Thursday, and with whom I had entered into an email conversation to ensure the publication was delivered in time for departure to Corfu.
We went for a coffee, and I found out that the couple were very keen walkers who run a website (Traildino) which pulls together hiking trails from all over the world and put them into a single informative e-location. The Corfu Trail already appears on this site, and I hope and imagine that as a result of our ‘accidental’ meeting it will feature more prominently.
If either of us had been just a few seconds earlier or later at that point, if either of us had delayed or hastened or hike, we would never have met. Nor would we have met if the Dutch lady of the morning’s Trailing had not walked into 19th Hole Bar the previous evening. In these events, we can see strong evidence of what I call ‘God’s Amusing Machinations’. Inadequately, we call it ‘coincidence’.

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