A rough and remote coastal path, leading to the cave of Charon in a legend recounted by Leigh Fermor.  It concerns a ‘mysterious potentate’ called Mavroeidis, the Black-Shaped One, who forced a ‘five-times’ beautiful princess to be his wife, incarcerating her in a castle fortified with steel and iron.

Charon fought him in full armour on a steel threshing floor and won, leading them to the wave-beaten cape that was entrance to the underworld, a ‘pitch-dark warren’.  They were never seen again.  Why the princess shared the fate of her kidnapper is another story.

Charon was the old man who ferried the souls of the dead across the rivers Styx and Acheron to Hades, here illustrated by Gustav Doré.

‘Charon compelled him to bring the girl from her glass tower and pointed ominously along the coast to the last wave-beaten cape.

Source: Patrick Leigh Fermor, Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese, introduction by Michael Gorra, New York: New York Review of Books, 2006 (1958), p. 96

Gustave Doré - Charon

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