As I write to you, we have just booked our flights to a colorful country.

We leave with suitcases full of notebooks, to photograph them from every angle.

And it reminds me of our first trip.
It was in 1986.

The cell phone was still science fiction.

We didn't have bank cards, they had only just appeared.

But we had travelers checks
and brand new backpacks!

So we were Adventurers.
Real hahaha!!!

I had been amazed by a report.

On glossy paper, spread white chapels, perched between sky and sea.

Azure blue domes.

The Mediterranean as far as the eye can see.

I wanted to go there.

This blue fascinated me.

To leave, we had saved every franc we had earned.

And we also had our supreme guide, the one who would dictate our every step: the indispensable Guide du Routard.

It was on a hot day that a charter plane threw us onto the tarmac at Athens airport.

The Routard guide… where did you put it?

Well, you put it away, right?


We were in Athens but our guide du routard was in Toulouse.

I remembered a few names like Mykonos, Piraeus and Cyclades…

Somehow, we started talking to Swiss people.

They told us: come to Ios, it's a great island. It is in the Cyclades.

The Cyclades , I told Fabien, that's where we want to go.

The ferry leaves from Piraeus tonight. Follow us! Quick!

Piraeus spoke to us too.

So we followed them.

And we ended up on a ferry.

Pont-belle-étoile class.


I had retained the romantic description of the Backpacker " you will spend a restful night under the starry vault over the waves of the Aegean Sea "

The stars, I don't remember.

But I remember perfectly a horde of excited vikings.

The white and blue chapels and domes. It wasn't their thing.

They had one goal in Greece: to party.

I remember spending the night defending my living space .

Exactly the size of my brand new little mattress for a future camper.

And to push away all sorts of things to drink or smoke that my neighbors wanted me to swallow...

In the early morning, we saw the island of Ios.

The end of my ordeal.

And then, as we approached the coast...

But... it's completely peeled.

Where are my white and blue hillside villages?

My olive groves?

And my chapel?

My pretty beach?

And besides, where are the Greeks?

Without that I had too much time to think, we were expelled on the quay.

Come, you have to take the bus to go to the campsite, says one of the Swiss.

The sheep had been moved for the season.

They had been wisely replaced by much more productive animals.

Glowing, peeling tourists with pockets full of drachmas.

Between two poles someone had stretched an old sheet on which was written in soot "camping".

We tried to pitch our little blue and yellow Canadian tent.

We had trained on the freshly watered lawn of Fabien's parents.

The 3 second tent had not yet been invented.

And Zeus had forgotten to water the island of Ios.

The ground was hard as concrete.

We were focused trying to make this damn mess up when we heard:

Quick!!! We have to fetch the water!!!

Like a striker from the All Blacks team, one of our Swiss ran between the tents.

We dropped everything.

And ran after him.

The water truck was THE thing not to miss.

Law of Ios n°1 : first come, first served.

Law of Ios n°2 : if you don't have water, drink Ouzo.

On the way back, we discovered THE beach…

But what is that?

Dozens of Jesuses, their buttocks tanned with monoi, all their attributes in the air, strolled on the small beach.

The 70s were still close.

But what are they doing?


They walk, naked, on the beach, and they are happy.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you more.
I wish you a great Monday,
Nathalie Valmary
Co-founder of Louise Carmen