According to a recent study conducted by the European Union’s statistics authority Eurostat, Greece is the clear EU champion — in regard to the number of goats, that is. More specifically, according to the European Union’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries report of 2019, Greece comes first in the entire Union, having approximately 3,625,000 goats living in it’s territory. This is part of the article that I read on the website Greek Reporter, and it immediately made me think of the goats of Poros. I have never counted them, (it’s kind of hard to do anyway) but we think that there could be more goats than locals on Poros!
Goats relaxing on the road
Walking around our beautiful pine tree forest (especially near the area of ‘Bogazi’ close to the picturesque light tower, in the north west of the island), it is rare that you will pass by and not be stopped by a herd of goats walking by the road-side, or just grazing or lying in the middle of the road. The locals almost expect to find them at this point.
I remember once we were with a group of about a dozen people and we were walking around the island. When we arrived in the area of ‘Bogazi’ very close to Daskalio island, there were all those goats as usual, and it seemed they were waiting for us. They had blocked the road and were enjoying the autumn sun. Of course we stopped; what else could we do?; and we started taking pictures of them and the surroundings. We had a small break and waited patiently, expecting they would move and make some space for us to pass by.
Goats blocking the road
However, they just kept looking at us and did not move at all. I started walking towards them and they still did not move. Only the biggest goat of all stood up, looking brutally at me. I looked back with the same expression and started to make some noise in Greek; ‘Ella, ella, figete!’, which kind of means ‘Come on go away!’, and ‘Ade, kante xoro’ (Hey, move away!). But…to no avail; absolutely no goat would move at all.
Photos: Annette Spaan
All my guests, fellow adventurers and co-walking friends became curious as to what would happen next. At that moment one of my friends with a great sense of humour started addressing the goats by saying: “Don’t worry you guys, we’re all vegetarians, except my husband”. We all laughed loudly. All of a sudden, the goats got up and moved away! It seemed their English was better than their Greek…. It’s a very funny story that we still remember and laugh about. So now you know what to say to the goats when you encounter them on Poros and they block your way.
Photos: Renee van der Meer