As you go uphill towards Sokraki and beyond Ano Korakiana you follow a snaky winding path that leads to Mount Korakio. This road, full of twists and turns, overgrown with olive trees, barely wide enough for your car, was once a major thoroughfare in the dense road network constructed under the British. Suddenly you reach a clearing and there looms Sokraki. The view is stunning: all Corfu at your feet, an infinite olive grove punctuated by tall cypress trees stretches from north to south, from the Ionian to the Adriatic coast. The village is deserted and the cafes hermetically closed. But I happen upon Kyra Sophia’s cafe, named “Varzas”, reputed to be the best, and she has left her keys on the door.
I heave a sigh of relief, walk in and am confronted by a furious woman dressed in work pants getting ready to leave. “Good morning,” I said, “could I possibly have a coffee please?”
“Hey are you bonkers? This is no time for coffees. It’s been raining for days and so today, now that the sun is finally shining, we are going out to pick our olives. But come back tonight for a snack.”
My wheedling got the better of her -as that night I was going back to Athens- so she let me in to see her bit of paradise and take a few photographs.
“All the other cafes have been renovated, but I’ve kept mine the way it always was and that’s what the tour guide who brings a few visitors now and again advised me to do. Pity you’re leaving, we could have had a pleasant time tonight.”