Walking among the ruins of old Valsamata gives a feeling of how rugged and peaceful this island must have been before being almost totally destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1953.

I count myself very lucky to have met an islander in the capital Argostoli who was a shepherd boy in Valsamata all those years ago. (His cousin showed me how to find his old village). I found myself totally absorbed by his description of what living and working in these hills was like.

Strolling along what was once the main street of the village seeing all the overgrown ruins, I can picture the friendly community that once lived here that he was part of. This must have been a very picturesque village set among some stunning scenery which, can be seen all over the island. (A new village was rebuilt further down in the Omala valley).

The birds singing nearby is all that can be heard as I walk to the old church and bell tower. The high ruined walls still stand proud overlooking the graveyard where local people are still laid to rest.

Climbing the old bell tower gave me a wonderful view of the whole area with Saint Gerasimos Monastery in the distance.

The atmosphere as I sat on top of the tower absorbing the view was truly wonderful.

I left with a feeling of real peace and love for this fantastic island.

Thanks Paul and Ioannis . . . for your memories . . . for your friendship . . . and for sharing your beautiful island with me!

Update: On my return visit in 2005 I discovered that a new small church had just been built adjacent to the old churchyard - photographs of which are included in the Kefalonia section.

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