around Crete in 50 days - Day 13 from Ierapetra to Mirtos
Number of steps 21452
Burned calories 787
Distance 16.3 km
Walking hours 2h 55'
Pulse at arrival 102
Weather: sunny, average 20C, but with very strong South-West wind.
Woke up at 08.00 (it is Sunday today). Only a bit more
than 14 km...Will be no problem. Christina and Steve prepared for me
again a magnificient breakfast with toast, eggs and (my favorite) mushrooms..
A strong coffee and off we went. They drove me to Ierapetra harbour where
I arrived yesterday. Lovely people who I will certainly see back after
my walk around Crete.. Steve is working (with his website www.littlelemur.com)
on the protection of endangered spieces on Crete. Great job ! See you
guys and thanks for the wonderful stay !
I am sitting at a few meters
from the "Napoleon House".
In 1798 Napoleon landed at the Ierapetran coast on his way to Egypt.
An Ierapetran family gave him a place to stay in their house, which is
still there. He only stayed one night.
In fact I am at the cafenion of "Jimmy
the Greek" right in fromt of the small Venetian Castle. Everywhere
people are running up and down. The cafenion is full. Time for the last
meat, because Lent is starting for 40 days now.. They talk about the
weather, politics, other people, the scandals etc... In the small fishing
harbour people are fixing their nets, cleaning up, painting carefully
watched by the "captains" on the harbour side.. Fishermen are
leaving for the open sea to look for their daily bread.
I paid a visit
to the old mosque and the turkish bath in the center and left Ieratpetra
at about 10.30. Everywhere I heard publicity for the coming events, out
of the speakers all over the center. The smell of cooked and roasted
chicken touched my nose as I was leaving via the "backyard" of
10.40 I pass the junction of Kalamafka, the mountain
village from where you can see both Aegean and Lybian Sea from a fantastic
point of view. 10.55 I am now forced to walk on the main road again,
in the middle of only industry. Cars, tiles, cement, petrol, tractors,
greenhouses, furniture...This is definitely the "business road"..
Crazy driving again...and bikers, passing cars at super speed, not wearing
their helmets.. Next year more "road chapels". Gipsys selling
their stuff. Lots of unfinished beton constructions, many barrel dogs,
guarding "the business"..
I am at Gra Ligia at 11.15 and it gets
really warm (21.8 C). Lots of dust and everywhere dirty. In Gra Ligia
I join the coastline again...some rest, because on the main road I am
constantly watching the cars and bikes.. It is a hell of a walk on these
roads.. Next village is Stomio, nothing special and more South-West wind
is coming. I spot lots of foreigners working everywhere, most of the
time in the vegetable business (Hungarian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Romanian,
Pakistani etc...). The "lotto" offices are packed with people..
I am still followed by the Chrissy Island..12.00 I
am now in Nea Anatoli, idem dito as the formal villages. South-West wind
is very strong now and I am fighting against it.. It is noon now and
people are starting the barbecue.. Nice smell.. 12.15 Ammoudares, as
far as I can see, greenhouses.
12.30 The Animal Mobile Clinic, with Gayner and Sandra
Germany) is passing me. They will wait in Mirtos and contact Ella meanwhile.
12.50 Nea Mirtos, only greenhouses and one older couple,
living there since their mariage, 52 years ago. They grow their own
vegetables, potatoes and have some chicken. One does not need more,
so close by the seaside.. At the border of the cliffs I spot a beautiful
13.05 I reach the "Myrtos
- Fournou Koryfi" Minoan settlement. Mirtos is right in front of
me now. Small village, with its houses spread out against the slope.
Waw ! 13.25 I am at the bridge and the entrance of Mirtos. Fab panorama
! Just before the bridge, another Minoan settlement " Pyrgos Myrtos".
In the village I call Ella and we meet up with Gayner
I wait for them at the (closed) Paradise Hotel. A German couple is cleaning
up and painting, their business for the summer season. Sitting on a bench
now and enjoying the sun (27 C), listening to the breaking waves.. Ella
brought me to my appartment, Nostos, at the end of the "promenade"..
Man, this is it !
Hot shower and we went to the village for a coffee
(my daily "elleniko
sketto") and gave some leaflets to the locals to inform them about
the Animal Mobile Clinic and how they could improve their attitude towards
animals and pets..They seemed to be pleased with it. In one of the cafenions
I saw "raki Linda".. I know her from Kritsa.. She always comes
in the "Olive Press" there.. Apparently she moved.. Nothing
changed anyway.. The place is owned by the mayor's daughter and she will
help Ella in the future. It will, although, not be easy to sensitize
the entire population of Mirtos... Ella is living for 5 years now in
Mirtos and stays only in the winter. In summer she goes back to Sweden,
where she was born. When she is in Mirtos she takes care of the animals
(strays) and gets support from "wereldasielen" in Holland.
Well done, Liesbeth ! In summer the tourists take care, most of the time,
of the strays. Some of them leave also some money for Ella.
Animal Mobile Clinic we drive towards Ierapetra to see a dog. Gayner
will take him (Kai) to "The
Haven" in order to find a new home. .Great job, all done by Ella
! I had dinner at Ella's place, this evening. She cooks very good Thai
food. Was I spoiled today ! And good white wine too ! It will be a quiet
night at the beachside, in a fantastic place. Now only solving the stray
problem and Mirtos will be a real paradise !
Gayner, Sandra and Kai leave...Good
luck, Kai, you deserve it ! And as for Gayner and Sandra, see you next
time ! Keep up the good work ! Kalinichta !