Robert, October 2011
Once in a while I search the internet for old Matala info, I was surpised to find yours. First I like to apologize for my bad english writing, maybe it's because I am Dutch.
I stayed in Matala in july-august 1976 and in january 1977. Only in 1976 I slept in one of the caves. Unfortunately I lost my camera on the day I left, so I don't have any pictures of it. But still my memories. And maybe it was not the real hippy time anymore, I had a fantastic time over there. I think 1976 was really one of the last years people slept in the caves, I am not sure but after a fight with the police and articles about that fight in the Greek Newspapers it could be the reason that is was forbidden later on. In those days there was an Italian (?) filmcrew producing a film. They lived in tents near the caves.
There was no real camping site and everybody lived freely. One day one of my friends, I think he was German, took some bread that the Italians left on the table in a restaurant after dinner. The owner called the police and they took him to a small building (it had no windows?). There they seem to hit him or something, and lots of people gathered around in front of that building. In my imagination, they came out and started hitting us, I remember one police agent took me by my arm, and I kicked his legs to get away. The German had to leave Matala. In the days after that ‘fight’ the police came and searched the caves and everybody had to leave the caves.
Matala was very cheap to live, on the beach there was an old Greek man selling fruits, I think his name was Kostas, he missed half of his arm. Also I remember two old greek men in the tavern, playing Lyra (?) like crazy, really great to see and hear this music. I wonder if someone ever seen that movie that was made in those days?
In januar 1977 I did not sleep in one of he caves and I am not sure if it was still possible to do that. I rented an small apartment, for a few Drachme.