Walk around Crete in 50 days - Day 46 from Anogia to
Burned calories 12.8
Distance 25,7 km
Walking hours 04h 29'
Weather: cold first but sunny after midday, average 22C
Woke up at 07.00 and had breakfast in "Crete" rent
rooms: few slices of bread, one small plastic cup of marmalade and coffee. "Breakfast
included", they said yesterday... Kalinihta !
I left Anogia at 08.10.
It is still cold (13C), but the sky is looking good. Plenty of activity...
cars, lorries and pick-ups passing through the village. Young men (I
saw two of them, not even 14 years old, driving big pick-up cars) are
gathering wood and bushes (maquis) for the coming Easter festivities.
08.30 I start my descent towards Gonies and Arolithos,
at the petrol station, just at the end of the village. Getting warmer
now (17C) and sunny. Almost no wind. I will be careful with all these "pick-up
09.00 Arriving in Sissarha, a small, old village with
only 25 people living there. I stop at the cafenion "to karteri".
Nicky, the owner, her husband died 6 months ago, serves me a very tasteful "elleniko
sketto". "The number is going down every year",
Nicky says... "In a few years, the village will be dead too".
She shows me an old Cretan stone house (kind of a ruin) and the
beautiful, old and small church of the village. I like very much
house", an old cretan one, kept in good shape. When I am about
to leave at 09.45 she gives me 5 "kombolois", made out
of wood by a man
(Manolis) of the village.."doro" she said. "Manolis
likes me, and brings me lots of them... he has nothing else to
do, I can offer them to tourists or friends"..3 fresh oranges
are the next "doro
sto dromo".. Wonderful hospitality...This is the way I like
it.. Unfortunately you don't find it in every village. People are
having more and more difficulties to survive... Hard times...but
here, in Sisarha, everybody lives in harmony with his/neighbor
and the other inhabitants.. Time stood still, but they don't bother.
No sorrow, no stress.. just more difficult than before... But,
as Nicky says "life goes on". Sto kalo na pas, pedia,
and live long in your nice little village !
10.40 I am in Gonies.
Mountain village with houses spread out over the hillside. Old
men drink their coffee or "fanta"
at the local cafenions, the normal scene. Getting warmer now (22C)
11.10 I take a short break on a point of view. Again
I see young boys driving these big and heavy pick-up cars.. They must
be around 14 to 15 years old and ARE RACING with other people ! Unbelievable
! The nice "orchis
Italicca", I see, when leaving the rest area, make my day
12.20 Saw the first snake since my start at Malia..
A small one, 50 cm, I guess.. hiding itself in a rocky space. Grey, green
and white colors, perfect cammouflage. Hot now (not because of the
snake) and 27.7C..
At 12.45 I get the first glimpse of Heraklion,
the capital of Crete, and the Island of Dia. Nearly home...
Arrival in Tilissos, a nice village (if you leave the main road),
with lots of activity.
14.00 Arrival at Arolithos, the beautiful
village, built in 1985 by Yannis and his family. Many times I came
here (when I was guiding) with lots of tourists.. The village shows
the real Cretan tradition.. Nice architecture and warm atmosphere.
As I changed my plans the last days (normally I should not stay
at Arolithos), I asked for Yannis.. What a warm welcome ! He offered
me immediately a room with breakfast.. And what a room ! Real Cretan
one, completely in the old tradition. "Filoxenia
apo mena", Yannis said, "my hospitality for you". He has his
heart at the right place.
Guido, my friend and business partner,
comes later to see me and to have a meal together. At 16.00 Alan
and Simon call me..They will come too !
Well, if you are in the
Heraklion area, don't miss Arolithos, on the way to Anogia, just
(on the right) before the junction with Rethymnon. A peaceful little
paradise, where you sample the real Cretan life from before.. Congratulations
and many thanks, Yannis and family, I could not have a better surprise,
nearly at the end of my walk around Crete. A quiet and "traditional" night
is waiting for me..