It was Easter 2000, and I was on holiday in Greece, trying to get away from work. Large carnivores were far from my mind as I hiked along the edge of the Vikos Gorge, in the Pindos Mountains of northern Greece. Spring had just come, flowers were opening, birds were singing and the sun shining. The world was calm, soft, and peaceful when suddenly I came across tracks in the mud from an adult female bear and a newborn cub. Emotions ranged from surprise, to excitement, to a little anxiety. Knowing that there is a large bear around certainly focuses your attention. Every leaf that moves, or lizard that scuttles away makes your heart jump into your mouth - but you really know that you are alive. Certainly a day to remember.
Text & Photo: John Linnell