Every May 21st, people from across the area come to celebrate the St. Constantine Festival from towns further away than Pylos and Methoni. I was told that the festival is a day long event that comes with pigs being butchered and fed to the pseudo-natives. This is the only day of the year anyone comes to Dileika (pronounced: dee-lay -ka). All the people with the surname Diles in Methoni will attest to their roots from this place that is now little more than an unofficial conglomerate of olive tree farms, with an odd thicket valley or grape field here and there. Many clan feuds have been waged over who owns what and there have been stories of people fighting over a single tree. So I decided to see what my potential olive oil future will look like, barring any clan fight. Perhaps that’s the only bright spot to my family becoming smaller and smaller.
Dileika is not far from Methoni. The road is mostly sand and rock and gravel and it would take a good level of agreement for 2 cars going in different directions to prevent an accident from happening. We ran into no one along the way. There was just farm after farm as what showed the most was the steep valley beneath as we slowly ascended up the mountain.
Half my olives would be fruitful this year. That’s a good thing, considering olive trees usually bloom fully every other year and had done so last year. We scouted the property a bit and then decided to go see the square surrounding the aforementioned church. It was near sunset and we had a beautiful view.
As is written, the church was erected at the end of the 19th century. In 1978, it was redone by the Diles families, which would be hard to pinpoint by whom exactly, since all the surnames in the village were Diles.
The picture above is a glimpse of the graves of the last 3 full time residents of the village. Fittingly, we drove off into the sunset. I sort of got a bittersweet feeling in the 15 minute drive back down to populated Methoni.