Walk around Crete - Kantanos to Elos

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Walk around Crete in 50 days - Day 33 from Kantanos to Elos

Kantanos to ElosSteps 26979
Burned calories 1006
Distance 20,5 km
Hours walk 03h44'
Pulse at arrival 94
Weather: Heavy clouds, heavy North-north/west wind. Very cold (average 11C) Difficult walking conditions.


Woke up at 07.30 in a very cold room (10C).. Made myself an "elleniko sketto" and ate my "croissant" and a banana after an ICE COLD shower..brrrr.. Outside it was 7C !

I set off at 09.30, cold, stormy with threatening clouds.. I used the local road that Bob showed me yesterday, passing a field with very old olive trees (villagers say more than a 1000 years old).The olives are not picked yet and everywhere there are nets to catch the olives, knocked down by the strong wind. Strange way to collect them. Same with the oranges.. Bob found this also a pitty.. All those waisted vitamines !

10.20 I am now at the junction with the main road and turn right. The old olive trees make me thinking of "The lord of the Rings", the movie, in which the trees decided to help Frodo and his friends fighting the Orks.. Scary... Can't resist to a fresh orange. Thousands of them, all over the place ! I hear and see a lot of barrel dogs. Most of them well fed. No strays at all, only few cats. The road to Elos is a semi main/local road. Almost no traffic. Still cold (14C) and lots of wind. (North-West).

10.50 I am now in between the blue sky at the south and the very black one of the north. I am going towards the north...!

11.05 Arriving in DRIS, small village, where I met Yannis, bringing his sheep (including two small ones of only 3 days old !) to the greens in front of his house. Yannis assure me that it is NOT going to rain.. He takes good care of his animals. His two dogs are free and very happy, playing around all the time. It is again colder (11C) and I am looking backwards (for the last time) at the blue sky of the south and my crying "Lybian Lady".. I am sad, but walk on.

11.30 Arrival at Psariana. Here also very old olive trees. The "movie" is coming back... Only few houses with older people. Nobody outside..

11.50 I am in ALIGI now and smelling the open fires. Very few and small houses, spread out left and right from the climbing and winding road. Still extremely cold (8C) and a very strong wind.. Terrible conditions to walk uphill with a 20kg heavy packpack ! I am fighting against the wind and myself. "Don't give up now !" Two men are pulling a big water pipe and wish me "Kali Dinami" ! (lots of strength)

12.30 Entering the village of STROVLES. Small, two cafenions, both closed. I am in fact in Kato Strovles. Some houses on the top of the hill are Ano Strovles. All dogs are barrel dogs. I read some information about the area of INNAHORION, a protected valley for the "Gypaetus Barbatus", the bearded vulture. Because of the bad weather, I don't see any. The terrible wind blows me in all directions and I have to be careful..

13.00 At the junction in MILI, where I take the direction to Elafonissi, turning left to Elos.

13.20 Meeting another Yannis, very friendly man, fixing his taverna for the coming season "many tourists pass here".. His two sons are working hard as well. "Have a nice season!". "Thank you, and good luck with your walk!". Nice people, speaking very good English too !

At 13.35 I arrive in Elos. It is now 15C but the same, heavy wind. I find a room in the only "hotel" in the village. No other choice. The son of the house ask me 30 Euro for a room. Not clean, door does not close..and the bathroom is a common one, also used by the family, living there... dirty.. but no choice. For camping (Plan B)the weather is realy bad.. This "hotel - taverna", a yellow and red "aquarium", is definitely made for the passing tourist busses towards Moni Hrissoskalitissa and Elafonissi. Don't feel any Cretan hospitality...

I pay my 30 Euro's and I survive.. I fill up my bottle with the cristal clear water of the Tiflos river and decide to cook some dinner (I still have some mountain food in my backpack) in my room. After "dinner" I discover an old Turkish aquaduct in the village as well as some very old houses. Most of the tavernas are new.. This is a village, based on tourism.. The son of the house, where I stay, tells me that in Kambos, my next stay, I will find nothing... I will find out that he was not right..

I go for a long sleep now, as I am walking to Sfinari tomorrow. (Got a phone call that I can overnight there - at the house of Debra's (from Cretan Journal) friend).. Yannis was right..It did not rain today.. Amazing man.

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