The Beginning of Nowhere

The Beginning of Nowhere, by Mike Jackobo.

A sign by the road that reads “Last Gas Station”. This spot must really be the beginning of nowhere. The place where the sign is located is outside of the village of Gerolimenas, in Mani. True to its words, 500m after the sign there is a gas station and then… nothing! From there to Cape Matapan (or Cape Tainaron), which is the southernmost point of mainland Greece*, there is no gas station. It makes one wonder if this is the end of civilization.

There is also the place that surrounds the sign. The people of Mani have a reputation of being tough people. They have to be because their land is also tough. Not a land for harvest but mountains and rocks surrounded by the sea. Their houses are like castle towers. They did have to protect themselves from the pirates. They knew how to do it as they were pirates as well. Tough people on tough land. No wonder that Mani was the only region in Greece that the Ottomans didn’t manage to conquer.

This tough place is the perfect background for a photo depicting the beginning of nowhere. It looks like an African savannah. Low vegetation and few, small trees. There are signs of civilization but they mostly seem to be left-overs from a time past. The infrared makes it also look like an alien planet. Is this place even in our dimension of space and time?

The sign made me actually wonder, where the bleep am I going? But I had to get to my destination. So, I entered the car again and I left for my destination.

*- Cave Matapan is not only the southernmost point of mainland Greece but also the second southernmost point in mainland Europe.

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