Walk around Crete in 50 days – Day 25 from Spili to Selia
Number of steps 31538
Burned calories 1210
Distance 24 km
Walking time 04h 30´
Pulse at arrival 112
Weather: Very sunny and hot Average 24C
Woke up at 07.00 and had breakfast (coffee, bread, cornflakes and self-made marmelade, bravo Kate !). “The Robinsons” are perfect hosts and lovely people. They’ll live happily in their nice house.
At 08.30 we met Elida at “Georgos”. We had another coffee (me “elleniko sketto”) and George gave me my walking stick back (a nice straight piece of wood from a giant fennel), which I left yesterday at his place. Keith and Kate showed me (and walked with me) the E4 path in Spili. We walked on it for about 500m. It brought me to the main road and is a wonderful piece of nature.
I left “The Robinsons” (Blue stayed at home – but got its “sticky” from me before we started) in Daribiana and will see them back in June for the Psiloritis walk ! It will be a nice group there at the top ! But first 25 more days to complete this walk!
It is 09.30 and I am walkikng on the main road towards Asomatos. Hot and 22C. No wind.
10.00 Arrival at Mixorouma, small mountain village with a lot of farming. It is quiet because of the National Holiday (25 March), the liberation from the Turkish occupation at the end of the 19th century. For the first time I see the Lefka Ori (White mountains). More snow on the top than on Psiloritis. Everywhere people are dressing up for the celebration. A little boy is running up and down in the traditionnal Cretan clothes (“stivania”, “vraka”..) Really nice to see.
10.15 I take a local road to Frati. More quiet and no cars.. Going left and climbing… To my surprise, this is the E4 path… No sign on the main road.. Have a splendid view of the Pachnes, the summit of White Mountains, and the valley below me.. Fabulous ! I am walking in a real bird paradise, surrounded with only green clover ! An eagle overflies the green valley, looking for his “daily bread”. Everywhere there are barrel dogs.. Too many ! An old man is brushing his teeth in his “outside bathroom”. I am amazed by the colors all around me.. lots of flowers !
10.25 More climbing now and 25C !
11.00 I am in Frati. Peaceful mountain village, only farming.. A woman is cleaning her husband’s grave. Going down from Frati I spot a barrel dog on the mountain side, all by himself. No sheep or goats or whatever around..
11.15 I reach the main road again and the majestic Kourtaliotis Gorge. I will walk along it for a while, because there is too much water in the riverbed.
A short break at 11.30. Some honey and sesam bar and ready to walk on ! I have a tremendous respect for this nature and giant rock formations. I feel like I am nothing.. After 100 years they will still be there..I won,t. On the top of the mountains (right side of the gorge) I see about 20 “Gypaetus Barbatus”, Bearded Vultures. How gracious they are using the wind, looking for a meal.. Passing the first rest area, there is a church built in the rocks and called Agia Kyriaki.
12.00 I reach some steps, leading down to the church of St. Nicolas, at the riverside of the Kourtaliotis. Worth to visit. 7 out of 10 cars that are passing me are rent-a-cars…Tourists are coming.. Be prepared, folks ! Down the water is streaming fast and seeking its way towards the sea.
12.35 Arrival at Asomatos and passing it.. Here I hold the right direction towards Sellia. I walk on a local road again, no traffic. Birds are leading me and pointing out the wonderful panoramas. The sun is burning (27C). My left foot starts hurting again… Maybe because Pamelaki thinks about me ? But should it not be my heart then ?
13.20 Deep in the mountains I hear some barking dogs.. Don,t see nothing.. Some foreigners (Dutch, French) are fixing their houses. I reach the village of Mariou and meet Joanna, English and very interested in my walk. She is training for marathon running…
Leaving Mariou I spot a nice church, built in the rocks. A man is standing in front of it, like a statue. Makes me thinking about “the general” Manolis, in Spili, always marching, moving his arms and legs, like a soldier on parade… Funny. I spotted lots of “grasshoppers” on my way to Mariou. Hi Aurelia !
13.50 first glimpse of Sellia and arriving in the village of Myrthios. Very touristic.. Rent rooms, hotels,handicrafts,souvenirs…Hi, my friend ! they say.. I continue but I am getting exhausted…
15.00 Arrival in Sellia and calling Barbara to meet up for my overnight stay.. Hot shower, some toast and Barbara tells me she arranged a special massage for me in Hapimag Hotel… Two professionals gave me a perfect treatment with relaxing “tibetan” sounds… Did not know what overcame me, but… THE MAX ! Almost 1,5 hour ! This is what I needed, right on time, for the next 25 days ! Thanks Babs !
PS: You can find Ingrid and Andrea (for the “tibetan” treatment) in Hotel Sofia at Plakias. Contact Annemarie there, to make appointment. I recommend this to everybody ! Afterwards we (Barbara and me) met in a local (Plakias village) restaurant for a meal with Ingrid and Brigitte (working hard for animal welfare and in contact with Gayner). Guess who were also there…Keith and Kate from Spili ! Nice to see them back… See you tomorrow in Frangokastello folks !
I passed a superb evening and the batteries are loaded for the next 25 days of the “second half ” of my walk around Crete!
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