Walk from Tsoutsouros to Pirgos – Day 16

from Tsoutsouros to Pirgos

Number of steps 32958
Burned Calories 1260
Distance 25,04 km
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. Inflammation 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”. Magnificent 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 bicycles…no protection.

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 beautiful building.

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 !


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