What would you SWAP for a Private Cruise?

Do you remember as a kid bartering in the playground with your mates ‘I’ll swap you a cola cube for a pear drop,’ or that marble, sticker, or football card!

We didn’t think of money then. What a shame we have to now. But the truth is no-one really wants to. If we can get our hands on a freebie or a bargain we’re ecstatic. We tell all our friends and bore everyone to death with our exciting story! Why is that? 

The history of bartering dates all the way back to 6000 BC. When money was invented, bartering didn't end there , and due to lack of money during the Great Depression in the 1930's bartering became popular once more. (https://www.mint.com/barter-system-history-the-past-and-present)… And there you go! (Said in a Greek accent)

All I know is back in the day in my dad’s village in Cyprus, money wasn’t important. My grandparents, great uncles and aunties had loads of kids and never worried if they had enough money to feed or clothe them, and an exchange of items was common practice. Milk for eggs, oranges for figs, haircut for shoes etc etc...you get the drift.
In Kefalonia this is still common practice. You’ll still find people happy to trade their service for goods rather than money, for example a local man harvesting your olives for olive oil rather than money. Isn’t that one of the reasons we love Kefalonia so much? The Greeks are known to be helpful and kind, often not wanting any money, happy for you to pay them back just with your hospitality. I've recently found out the Welsh are very similar! (This has inspired me to write a 'Part 2' on this story. 'Kefalonia twinned with Wales!' 😂 Coming Soon!!!)

So all is not lost. There are a few people out there who prefer to cut out the middle medium (money) and get what they want by offering something back in return.

We came across Lester Hughes from Wales on facebook advertising a mini vending machine that we were interested in buying for the Lady O. But he didn’t want money, he wanted to know what we could offer him in exchange?

A little confused at first, Lester went on to explain that he swaps goods for goods rather than money. He was so fed up with being bombarded with adverts that encourages us to buy ‘this’ and ‘that’, so he decided to experiment with a project wondering how far he could go trading items for items rather than money. That was 2 years ago! His first swap was a jar of fat! 

Original jar of fat where it all began!

Lester swapped a 'Hairy Brick' for the vending machine with his friend Dafyn Jones (The guy in the middle of photo below). That's right, a hairy brick!

As well as being fed up with adverts and competitions promising you could win a car (but you have to spend £5 per minute calling a premium number), he was also inspired by his grandfather who way back in the 70s did things for people for nothing. They would always come back and give him something, be it a cake or loaf to express their gratitude. That’s how society was back then.

And so … Kefalonia Cruise SWAPPED A private day or evening cruise on the Lady O for two people for the vending machine!

It’s not the first time we’ve exchanged a cruise for goods. Last year Peter Lee delivered AED defibrillator training to the crew in exchange for a sunset cruise! An exchange of goods rather than money somehow has a feel good factor that money could never give to all those involved.

From left to right:
 Lester, Dafyn & Nicos swapping the vending machine for the Private Cruise


Nicos and I travelled to Wales to collect the vending machine and stayed at Rhosydd Bach Cottages. We didn't pay for that either! Lovely Lesley did another swap with the owner Geraint Jones (another friend! You make lots of friends when money isn't involved!) so we could stay there! The cottage was set on beautiful grounds and Geraint was very welcoming, telling us lots of stories about the Welsh and Lester himself (More about Geraint and his cottage in Part 2!)
One of four cottages at Rhosydd Bach Cottages
 Dafyn then took us to his wife's beautiful shop Lavender House, where we had coffee and chatted the morning away.

As for Lester, he is not keeping this cruise for himself! He will exchange it for something else, keeping his experiment alive.

He is offering this up for swaps! He's looking for the strangest, funniest, craziest swap offer!

Please MESSAGE him through facebook, or through www.swaptothetop.com He promises to go through every offer carefully and chose one the winner on Sunday 3rd March 2019!!

So if YOU would like a private cruise on the Lady O get in touch with Lester on facebook and let him know what you can offer him in exchange! Check out his website swaptothetop.com and read his story. He has made life long friends and had many laughs along the way, something selling items for money could never have achieved.

We're really excited to follow his story and find out who gets the cruise and what they swapped for it! In fact I think the whole of North Wales are waiting in anticipation!

So to whoever that may be … Let's Cruise Together!

Written by Eleni Nicolaou