Well that’s it for another season at Vassaliki and what a great summer we had. The resort once again was busy, an amazing 86% of our rooms were sold throughout the summer. Our target is 75% so we are very pleased with this achievement. Next years rooms are now on sale and we have been inundated with return bookings. So at the time of writing this newsletter, just under 50% of our rooms are tentatively booked for next summer so if you are planning a trip to us in 2019 then you will need to get something pencilled in soon.
We sadly say good bye to Colin and Alex at the end of this summer after working for two consecutive seasons. We really loved having them both on board with their energy and enthusiasm to the resort and we thank them for their hard work.
All the flights for the forthcoming summer are now launched, we are waiting for Kefalonia airport to update the flight lists for 2019 and we will send you these details as soon as we have them.
We have two articles in this newsletter for you. One by an amazing girl from Chicago, USA, who came to Vassaliki to do some voluntary work for us.
Secondly, as we get asked a lot at the resort about Simon and Sheryle and what they are up to, so we feature an update from them.
We hope you enjoy the news and we look forward to seeing you soon.
New team members
We are now looking for new team members to join us in Kefalonia for the 2019 season. Details of all the jobs are available on our website at https://www.viglanatura.com/jobs So if you or someone you know is looking for a great way to spend next summer and are willing to work hard, get in touch.
Early bird discounts
Well as the weather is now feeling very wet and cold we have decided to give you a special discount for bookings made before 31st January 2019. If you book for a stay with us between 1st May and 22nd May 2019 for minimum of 14 nights we will give you a massive 50% off our rates.
Hurry… this is a limited offer and we have only a limited number of rooms still available!
What happened to Simon and Sheryle?
Thanks to so many of you returning to Vassiliki and asking what we are doing now that we have retired. Samantha and Mark thought it would be nice if we told you ourselves.
After two years hard labour we have now accomplished the major part of what we set out to do, although we still have a ”to do” list. Many of you will be aware that for four years we spent our winters in Spain, having bought a house 20 km west of Valencia City and then our summers at Vassiliki.
We then retired officially from Vassaliki and we have since spent two incredibly enjoyable summers in Spain. The Spanish certainly know how to party and we have joined in wholeheartedly, embracing early mornings, essential siestas and late nights.
Our house sits amid orange groves and is about 10 minutes by car from the metro line that takes you into the very heart of the vibrant, friendly, historical gem that is the city of Valencia.
Before we started the project the house was a small, two bed casita with a garage space and workshop underneath. Simon could see my eyes shining with possibilities when we bought it. During our first year of retirement we created a spacious 2 bedroom self-contained apartment complete with large wood burner for cosy evenings in the winter and quirky object d’art that we have collected over the years. Even a bit of Kefalonian driftwood has been utilised to make a central, hanging lamp!
During our second year of rest and relaxation, our project was to create a private garden and covered terrace attached to the apartment. So, faced with a 15m x 30m patch of soil (and rock solid soil at that!), Simon designed his dream garden complete with 3 patios, upper terrace, fire pit and flowing water stream. However we had to employ a builder to build the pool and upper terrace. He is a Dutch biker which made for a lot of fun.
We started creating levels by digging a fire pit on the left side and raising the right-hand side with the soil we dug out by hand with the aid of a kango hammer, shovel and pick. We then created retaining walls… but straight walls would not do, ours had to be curved with rounded tops. At this stage Simon became very proficient at rendering and swearing! We added steps and seating around the fire pit as well as lighting and cabling for the outside cinema that he forgot to mention in his grand plan.
Okay… now for the hard work. With the help of my trusty concrete mixer and barrow I made 33 tons of concrete which Simon laid with reinforcing. We were up at 6 in the morning because by 11am it was too hot to work.
We returned for the final push. Painting, decorating, planting and cleaning, until, almost before the paint was dry, we welcomed our first naturist guests who we met at Vassiliki. So they became our first guinea pigs!
We collected them at the airport, wined and dined them for five days, the sun shone – always a plus – and when it didn’t they visited the stunning and diverse city of Valencia. At the end of their stay we drove with them to a naturist resort nearer to Alicante, where we left them to complete their holiday.
And so to retirement – well, if we ever have time…..
Written by Sheryle
If you would like to visit Simon and Sheryle in Valencia, they are welcoming past guests from Vassaliki to enjoy a stay in their beautiful apartment and pool. BOOK NOW, by emailing or calling Simon firstname.lastname@example.org +34 642 134 620 . Or drop Samantha an email and we will be happy to forward it on to them for you.
Maggie – the new naturist!
Back in January 2018, Samantha and I decided we needed some extra help for the month of May at our resort in Kefalonia. We fell upon a website workaway.com which connects hosts and volunteers together. We placed an opportunity on the website and to our surprise we were inundated with enquiries. We managed to get all the enquiries down to three possible candidates. After talking to all three, we decided that Maggie was the right person for the position.
We have never had volunteers before but the basic idea is the volunteers help around the resort with a variety of jobs in return for accommodation, food, drinks and most importantly, new experiences.
We were very unsure how Maggie was going to fit into our very tight and efficient team, but our trepidation was unnecessary, Maggie was an absolute joy from the minute she arrived to the minute she left. We laughed the whole time she was here, she has an infectious personality that both the guests and staff loved. She has a passion for people, animals and food and was open to trying anything new.
So is this a good way to introduce new, young people to naturism? Well I think it worked for us and we really hope we get to see Maggie again. Here is what she thought of her time with us and also some of her other travels.
Naked truth -Baring it all
I have always struggled with self acceptance and self love. Growing up with ridicule by family members, class mates and strangers it was a perpetual cycle that formed how I created relationships and ultimately ended up in an abusive relationship.
After a few jobs of just being an employee who was replaceable, I took a deep look into what I was settling for and knew I wasn’t genuinely and whole heartedly happy.
Fast forward two and a half years later, 28 countries and a life filled with love, laughter, curiosity and happiness. I am now 28 years old and unapologetically myself.
On Christmas Day I went to the movie theatre and watched The Greatest Showman. It forever changed my life. I had a plan to move to New Zealand in 2018 but something was telling me to do something else. I went with my gut and didn’t move. Throughout the film there were happy and sad tears. Due to the movie plot itself and then my internal dilemmas of giving into pressure of a relationship and career. The movie struck a chord with me and that day I wrote down all my goals for 2018. Be my true, odd self, love those close to me and those who need it most, but also remember to give myself just as much love.
I’ve only worked with kids and decided it’s time for a change. With that said, I signed up for a site called Workaway which is a volunteer website that offers anything and everything. Whether it be farming, education, surf camp or something as daring as volunteering at a naturist resort.
I knew I wanted to be out of my comfort zone and learn as much as I can about the world. Less than two months later I was in the Arctic Circle in Finland. I got a position as a dog handler with Siberian huskies through a dog sledding business. I have had no experience with dogs except for my deep love for the animals, but luckily I was chosen as a volunteer.
Guests from all over the world would visit and get a lesson on how to brake and drive the sled. Some looked petrified as they were about to head off. But once done with the route, their faces said it all, full of energy, excitement and adrenaline.
Continuing on my path of new adventures was onto Greece. I had visited Greece before and realised how special this country was. Between the food, people, music and scenery, I wasn’t sure what was my favourite. I just knew I had to go back.
I got the opportunity to volunteer at a naturist resort in Kefalonia. I’ve gone nude at a few beaches trying to learn to be more comfortable in my own skin. It was a freeing experience. But I never worked with guests in the setting.
This was a massive step for me. Going from eating disorders, hating my body to now being vulnerable and free. This was the moment I’ve been looking forward to and it was finally here.
I arrived before the season started which was really lucky. I got comfortable with being nude by myself, with co-workers and then lastly with guests. Before I knew it, I was gardening and cleaning the pool nude. Surprisingly enough, I preferred being nude. I was becoming more comfortable with myself.
I didn’t know what to expect when doing something so different. But with Mark, Samantha, Colin, Alex as well as guests, it was an extremely open, respectful and safe environment. Such a lovely group of people all shapes and sizes, leading different lives but all having something in common. This experience has changed my life and I never would have guessed that I’d not only come to terms with accepting my body but I’d grow to love it.
I wish everyone can experience this opportunity because we are all so much more than just our physical bodies.
Since writing this Maggie has travelled to Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus and even looked after goats in Montenegro.