around Crete in 50 days - Day 8 from Palaikastro to Zakros
Number of steps 26.478
Distance 20.12 km
Burned calories 1001.3
Walking hours 3h 43'
Pulse at arrival 96
Weather: cloudy and cold in the beginning, heavy wind,
sometimes sunny and warm
I woke up at 07.30 and checked some email at the hotel Hellas. Phaedra
from Elounda sent me mail about the feeding station in Almiros. She and
Ann Adamaki provide food regulary for the strays, but discovered that
people were stealing it ! Now they don't put it out in winter anymore
as there are not so many strays. They will continue to control it as
from the beginning of the tourist season.
At 09.20 I left Palaikastro
behind me, having an apple strudel and a coffee for breakfast. It was
very cold (14C) and raining lightly. Maria told me she had to go early
to Sitia, so I left my room key and wrote her a post card to thank
her for the fantastic welcome and service. I will certainly pass by later
to enjoy her hospitality again. Thanks Maria !
Once out of the village,
one finds himself in beautiful nature, full of olive trees, the smell
of goats filled my nose. Now, almost every 500 m the panorama changes,
leading me from one fantastic valley to another.
At 10.50 I reached
the village of Lingada, where I saw many barrel dogs, most of the
time at private houses. This is definitely a 'farmer' village, lovely
surrounded by olive yards. Only older people to talk to, the young ones
leave for bigger cities. As in all the villages that I passed, the church
is the most beautiful and maintained building. The sky is more open
now, sun is peeping and it starts to get warmer (19C).
A few hundred
meters after Langada I met Manolis from taverna 'Finistri' in Palaikastro.
He was helping a 'Topografos', measuring the roadsides, as they are
going to make it wider for easier passage of the tourist busses in
the tourist season. Friendly man, this Manolis. He will see me back in
'Finistri', for sure (excellent food).
11.30 Chochlakies, an even smaller
village than Langada, very peacefull laying at the foot of the Gorge
and in a georgeous valley ! It is getting warm (21C)...One day I am
going to walk that gorge...looks wild.
On the road to Azokeramos, I rest
a bit at the church, built in the 18th century and rebuilt in 1951
after being destroyed in the 2nd WW. Azokeramos is the oldest village
I faced since my start. Many ruins of old Cretan houses. Only few
(old) people living here. Two houses are restored and look very pretty.
It is now 12.15 and I am in the middle of olive and grape yards. This
area has an irresistable nature ! 13.00 I passed the village of Kelaria.
The few people that live here (20) are only farming for a living. Kelaria
has some very old Cretan stone houses on top of the today's village.
Cloudy again and colder here (15C).
13.30 I reach Adravasti. Zakros is very close now..My supporting team
left half an hour ago at Gournes and will meet me in Zakros center. Christina,
Alan, Andy, Eric and Nienke are expected to be there at 15.30.
is a bigger village and has a lot of farming activity. All dogs are
barrel dogs and chained....It's a pity...Meanwhile I get the first glimpse
of the Lybian Sea...The wind blows heavily..Everywhere people are working
on their land, cutting olive tree branches, burning cut wood...etc.
The smell of fresh bread makes me hungry. Before entering Zakros, I pass
the old village of Klissidi with only a few houses.
14.00 I spot Zakros.
It is only downhill now with just a small climb to the center of
the village. On my right I see the 'death valley'..That's for tomorrow
! 14.10 I entered Hotel Zakros, took a room and a shower...and waited
for my friends. While drinking my daily 'elleniko sketto', they arrived
and installed themselves...We had a nice 'meze' and went a bit later
to a nice taverna for a raki. Later in the evening we had a great dinner
in Zakros' center. There I met Nikos from Akrogiali Taverna in Kato
Zakros ! It was nice seeing Nikos after a couple of years...We'll drink
a coffee, at the end of the 'death valley' tomorrow ! About 23.00 we
left for our rooms, facing a cold night...!