Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Into Samaria Gorge

Blown away by a program on the Minoans,and simply how advanced they were (think modern housing estate in 1500 BC) I head off to Crete. As it happened I ended up away on the Western side,in the beautiful Venetian city of Chania.This is centred on the Old Town set around the picturesque harbour. Perfect timing as the Euro football tournament is on so matches shown in the bars most nights and thus always folk to chat with. On this trip I seem to fall in with loads of Scandinavians,many good sessions with Swedes & Danes. The daftest night was when I loudly knocked the arm off a female dummy (clad in Greek footy kit) -very embarrassing,with the whole bar turning to look.I fixed her arm back on, and for good measure said sorry and gave her cheek a little caress,-to much laughter! 
Samaria Gorge -and people at base of pic
Samaria Gorge is Europe's longest at 16km,it begins south of Chania in the Lefki Ora (White Mountains). The bus drops you there and then it's a free walk down into the gorge,which narrows from 150 to just 3 metres wide at the bottom.There's a stream,and regular supplies of water which is pretty handy on a 6 hour trek. At the lower stretches you feel like Apaches are gonna pop out from the boulders -it's just that sort of 'Saturday morning Western' terrain.At the end walkers chill out in Agia Roumeli until the boat takes you to Sfakia for return bus trip.I have NEVER seen a sea as blue as the Libyan Sea. A cracking day,and whilst not being one for organised trips, this is a must. 
By chance Viki,a friend from the past,is living in nearby Kalyves so I bus over there, and get given the tour of the hills and stunning Souda Bay. Check out her & Steve's website simplycreteholidays.co.uk if you want a bespoke Crete holiday.Well,a million beers,and some village wine later we're putting the world to rights to the soundtrack of Social Distortion just like 23 years had never been. Nice to know that though we've both walked through some shadows, these days are mainly spent in the sunshine.

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