Student Post: Lauren Rice on Friday Hikes
30, November 2010 §
The tiny figure in the dark shirt at bottom left is John, waiting for us to catch up!
A Friday Hike with John Pack is a photographer’s paradise. Around every bend there is a more beautiful view of the mountains, a spiderweb catching the sunlight, or an ancient olive tree. However, at times it can also feel like a photographer’s nightmare. I thought the hardest part of bringing a large film camera on the hikes would be lugging it up the mountains around my neck. I was wrong. Try wandering around paradise with only twelve shots left on your camera and you’ll see what I mean.
A typical scene on the hikes is John blazing a trail through the bushes (watch out for the prickers) and over stone walls as the rest of us struggle to keep up. We try to stay close though; every few minutes he’ll pause and impart a little wisdom on whoever’s closest, like what to do if you knock a stone off a wall (rebuild it) or what the mountain looks like covered with flowers in the Spring, or which herb is oregano and which is sage. He takes us to all his favorite little spots and we have a quiet minute listening to a spring or to him read out loud to us. I look forward to the hikes every week as a time to be with all of my friends, breathe in the Paros air, and have time to recharge for the busy week ahead. When the hike comes to an end and we all pile on the bus to go back home, there is a contented hush that falls over the students as we look out the windows at the landscape, exhausted in the best kind of way.