Nikos is a short, softly spoken pensioner, still sprightly and gregarious after all these years.
‘This,’ he says unlocking a door, ‘is where Bruce wrote that last book of his’.
I walk into a large room with a kitchenette , a double bed, a writing table and a balcony overlooking the Messenian Gulf with a view of orange groves and Kalamitsi Bay. It’s not different from any luxury self-catering apartment in Greece except from the large, signed photo of Bruce Chatwin on the wall. He’s wearing a cagoule, a backpack and his boots are hanging from his neck; the archetypal image of a travel writer. I lock eyes with his. They seem both distracted and sad.
‘Did he do much cooking during his stay here?’ I ask Nikos looking at the kitchen. Chatwin stayed here during the winter of ’85 writing his book ”Songlines” on his trusted typewriter.
‘He only brewed his Indian teas’, replies Nikos. ‘He mostly dined with us.’
Thea, Nikos’ wife enters the conversation.
‘Bruce liked fasolada’, she adds, referring to the Greek white bean stew, a staple of the Peloponnese.
‘No’, Nikos corrects her. ‘He liked your fasolada’.
Thea looks out of the balcony..