around Crete in 50 days - Day 16 from Tsoutsouros to Pirgos
Number of steps 32958
Burned Calories 1260
Walking hours 4h 41'
Pulse at arrival 80
Weather: Sunny, warm,
average 23C. Sometimes heavy North wind.
Woke up at 07.30 Sunny and warm. Inflamation is better,
but still feel some pain. Go on with voltaren, at least until tomorrow
I drink my "elleniko sketto" in Sarakina taverna and witness
a huge discussion between a German (Horst) and a Cretan (Manolis).
Horst is building a house in Tsoutsouros and has no water... He shares
it with a neighbor and is now presented the "bill"
As he discuss about it, the Cretan says "This is Crete, not Germany".
I understand that the Cretan asks money for the full
installation, waterpipes included, using it by himself too ! Of course
Horst does not agree.
It is 09.00 and I start my walk
Poor Horst.. Hope he can solve his problem.. As I leave Tsoutsouros behind
me it is 21C. Will be a hot day and a long trip again
A long and winding road...and I face a strong North wind.. Siga siga
simera !! Only climbing ! About 2 km out of Tsoutsouros
I spot the first "lords and ladies". Magnificient flowers.
I am in a deserted area with only sheep and goats. Bells are ringing
deep in the valley. This is "shepherd land". Amazing nature,
one valley after another, full of green and yellow clover. Animal
paradise. An eagle is at my level and watching me and the sheep..
He loves the wind, but I don't ! He is the king of the valley, graciously
circling around the mountain top.
10.40 I am at
the highest point of the climb and finally going downhill.
11.00 I spot the village of Arkalohori, deep in the
valley. Still lots of snow on the Asterousia tops. Sunny, 17C but a lot
of wind ! The road winds down and is very steep. Although the view is
breathtaking, it is very dangerous for cars, bikes and
11.25 I am at the junction Skinias - Pirgos
and turn left on the main road. I am in Kato Kastellania
and take a rest at the church for 30'. My foot is painful again and temperature
raised up to 25C. Another voltaren...I understand
that here there is only farming activity.
12.00 Pano Kastellania. Small
old village, nothing special. At a petrol station two
dogs, chained. One lives in an old car, the other in a barrel. They look
well fed. Don't see water. Walking along olive yards
and spotting some "barlia" orchids. Everywhere colorful anemones.
Many grape (wine) yards as well, very well maintained.
12.35 I am entering the Municipality of Asterousia.
13.00 and very hot 27C, wind drops now. Still walking on the main road
(asphalt) direction Pirgos. As far as I can see only olive trees and
grape yards.I spot Mesoxorio now. An old woman is cutting
'horta' in an olive field. Yassou ! Mesohorio is rather big but only
populated with farmers. I stop at a small field chapel
to take care of my left foot. I am in a terrible pain...another voltaren..Two
barrel dogs, but well fed. I see no water. On my
right a deserted safari farm, annex zoo park.
14.10 First glimpse of
Rotasi. Bigger semi-mountain village. Lots of farming
again. I see the top of the Psiloritis (highest peak - 2456m - on Crete)
and the south slopes of it. Still snow on the top.
The valley is very green and large. Life is easy here, I think. Lots
of very small houses. The church is again the most
14.50 Pirgos right in front of me ! Finally, I am
exausted and have a lot of pain...I find the "fourno"
appartments. Very clean rooms and only 20 euro/night. I decide to stay
there. Water and orange juice in the fridge. Eleni,
the owner is very friendly and helpful. Just perfect ! Pirgos is big
and had over 1800 inhabitants. Now its a lot less, she tells
me. Younger people look for the big cities. Hot shower now and looking
for a doctor afterwards.
15.30 no doctor in the village.
Going to the pharmacie and take more voltaren...There is a medical center
in Harakas....Will visit it tomorrow. Walking in the
center, I am recognized by a man, having seen me in the newspaper and
on tv..He offers me a coffee in his cafenion. Locals
are going in and out and asking me all kind of questions..They don't
understand that I walk for animals.."trelos eisai ?" (are you
crazy?) they ask me.. Jorgos from the cafenion smiles.."exei dikio",
(you're right), he says, and brings me another "elleniko sketto".
He pays. "for the animals".. That's a good start in Pirgos