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June 26, 2007

Road Trip Day #7: Claire goes missing

We'd been at the Cactus Bar in Ierapetra, after the West Ham - Manchester United game, for a little while, when this tremendous noise started up. It was men singing, but punctuated by loud bangs that could have been fireworks being let off, or, just as likely in Crete, gunshots.

Everyone in the bar crowded out the front to see what was going on, and being nosey, we were no exception.

0034celebrations Because we had all of our stuff with us we took it in turns to take a peek. I went first and got this blurry photo of the racket. I wasn't sure whether it might be a wedding or a stag do or, perhaps, just some anarchists out for a day of shouting slogans.

After I got back, Claire took her turn, and she found that actually the fuss was all in aid of the local football team having won a game. We didn't ascertain whether they'd won a cup or the championship that day, or if this was just a regular post-match occurrence.

Anyway, the noise died down, everybody drifted back to their seats, and I waited for Claire to return.

And waited.

And waited.

Then I began to get a bit nervous. She'd been gone at least 10 minutes, and I suddenly had visions of her having been carted off by the exuberant male youth of Ierapetra.

And so I waited some more.

It is amazing the things that go through your mind - I was thinking that I didn't have the passports with me, or know the number off-hand for the British Embassy. And that I can't drive so would be stuck in Ierapetra if she didn't come back. Where was she?

I decided to call her to check she was OK.

Her phone rang in the bag on the chair opposite me.


Literally as I was on the verge of gathering all our things up to go search for her she appeared, apologising profusely.

It turned out she'd nipped upstairs to the ladies, and had ended up in a phenomenal queue that just didn't seem to move. She knew that I would be getting worried - but she didn't want to have to rejoin the mammoth line at the end, and of course, as I'd established, she didn't have her phone with her to txt me to let me know!

Panic over, we supped up and headed off to find somewhere to eat.

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