Thirsty and perspiring, I long for a freshwater stream to plunge in although, from a former British diplomat, John Ure, I have gathered that Athonite monks deplore nakedness. Ure told me how, as a young pilgrim here, he once stripped off to splash himself in a stream, when a hermit emerged from a cave above him, screamed and ran off covering his eyes. Later, Ure arrived at the Grand Lavra to find the monks in a state of excitement. They had received a visit from one of the holiest hermits on the peninsula, who had broken his vow of silence to report a vision he had seen: John the Baptist baptising in his local stream his telltale body radiating with shining whiteness unlike any normal mortal. Already they were discussing the erection of a stained-glass window.
Read more of this Article about Bruce Chatwin on Mount Athos. see also Bruce Chatwin 1 nr. 777