Walk from Ierapetra to Mirtos

Walk around Crete in 50 days – Day 13 from Ierapetra to Mirtos

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 the city.

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”.. Sad.

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 (volunteer from 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 church..

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 and Sandra. 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.

With the 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 !

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