Photo courtesy of Nick. Scopelos
Ann Rickard is a Noosa based writer with six travel books under her belt. All have quirky names: "Three in a Bed in the Med;" "Flash and Brash with Fries on the Side" and "The Last Book about Italy." She has won the Australian Society of Travel Writers Australian Travel Writer of the Year (2005,) Travel Book of the Year (2007) and is the life editor of the Noosa News.
Ann sets off to Greece with her life partner Geoffrey in search of wine, adventure, inspiration and lesbians. The lesbians are found on the island of Lesbos, chosen to visit not only because of the remarks heard about gay women visiting there but also because it appeared to be one of the least commercial of the Greek islands with petrified forest, ancient ruins, a thriving agricultural industry, unspoilt culturally enlightening museums, etc. etc.
This was not the first time Ann and Geoffrey had visited Greece so they wanted check out some sights to see if they had changed at all. Naturally they had and this met with some disappointment. But they also take on new adventures. Ann casually describes the hike up the mountain to the Agios Simeon monastery by way of a goat track recommended by Stavros (of course.)
They take off at one o'clock - the hottest part of the day when everyone is thinking about closed blinds and cool siestas. There is no sign of cars but plenty of donkey droppings and the air becomes still and hotter as they climb. "It's pleasant, despite the heat," but even horses think they are nuts.
Ann's book is filled with anecdotes such as these and is easy reading. It is also dotted with a bit of whining about lack of money and villages that have too many tourists (just like them.)
Is it a book that you could use to plan out your once in a lifetime trip to Greece? Not really. There are some useful facts but I feel it is more a memoir of ramblings through life and relationships. There are a few spelling and grammar mistakes that are distracting but don't let that put you off. It is entertaining and light-hearted; something that often missed in a 'real' travel book.