Walk from Agia Roumeli to Profitis Ilias

Walk around Crete in 50 days – Day 30 from Agia Roumeli to Profitis Ilias

from Agia Roumeli to Sougia

Steps (I adjust my step at 60 cm today because of the constant climbing): 34651
Burned calories 1668
Distance 20,7 km
Time 06h12’
Pulse at arrival 108
Weather Cloudy until 13.00, then warm, up to 26C

Woke up at 06:00. A nice evening was spoiled a bit by young people having a party in Agia Roumeli, so I slept only 3 hours.. No problem, we have to walk on!

It is 06.30 now and slowly getting clear. We wait for daylight to start, as the walk is very steep climbing and not without danger..We make ourselves a coffee in the kitchen of “Gigilos” and walk on at 07.15! Behind “Gigilos” we find the E4 track and start our climb.

08.45 arrival at the top of the first mountain having walked only in a pine forest ! VERY STEEP and slippery, because of the many stones. This is only for experienced walkers, strong on their feet !

08.50 again a steep climb for about 200m, bringing us to 450m above sea level.

09.30 We are at 510m and going down. It is 20C and very cloudy, but no rain so far. Some young sheep (I guess just being born a couple of hours ago) are looking at us. The E4 winds towards my Lybian Lady now..

09.45 Crossing a valley to the other side of the mountain. Still on the track and going up and down. The wild “thymion” is flowering and the aroma of the Pinus Brutus is making me a bit “high” or is it the adrenaline ?

10.20 I met a shepherd coming down from the beach and climbing up towards Roumeli. He said he was 68.. but looks very strong.. Another 6 hours to Sougia, he said..We’ll see.

10.40 Spotting Domata beach and the chapel of Profitis Ilias on the top of the cliffs in front of us.. but not close !

11.20 We cross the beach towards the Tripiti Gorge, the sun says hello and it is now 22C. I kiss my Lybian Lady.. We took a rest here and left at about 11.45. Passing a small gorge at 12.50 we are climbing again and arrive at a broken path around 13.00 The path (E4) is SERIOUSLY BROKEN (at the place where there is a small fenced door) and almost impossible to cross the valley (big slope of loose stones).. We sat down and were thinking what to do.. Not too many solutions.. I wanted to continue my 50 days..My friends felt strong and confident enough to take the challenge.. Indicating each other where to pass, hanging, just with our fingers, on the rocks! almost no place to put our feet and with the heavy packpacks (mine is still 20 kg).. we managed to cross the slope in about 15’ (distance about 40m).. When I look back at this! Good for one time..too risky and, please don’t try this alone, or don’t try this at all! We were just lucky to pass.. Maybe it is getting worse now, who knows. I informed Yannis (Gigilos) and he would take action to improve this bit of E4.

The path stays dangerous until we arrive at a shepherds place and decide to walk on to Tripiti and higher to find Profitis Ilias. We find no water here and are almost running out of it. Today I sweat, I sometimes cracked, nearly died! but went on! and here I am (16.30) at the top of Profitis Ilias.. Don’t ask me for my feelings.. Can’t tell you. .I am so happy.. The most beautiful panorama since I left Malia. .I enjoy every second of it.

16.45 I am going down towards the ruins of a Turkish castle to find Andy and Alan and looking for the well, a shepherd was telling me in Roumeli. It is nearly 200 m below the castle and in between both places we decide to set up camp. We fill our bottles and start “cooking” at 19.00.

Fantastic evening, super sunset, open fire.. no wind, just the perfect place to camp, protected a bit in the valley, down from Profitis Ilias (wonderful old church, by the way !). I cooked some rice with mushrooms, some soup (I ad a bit of fresh origano) and we had a glass of crystal clear water from the well !

Right in front of my tent I discovered a pair of “orchis cretica”! Can’t imagine a better place ! Lost my fork somewhere, so I made myself a couple of chop-sticks!.That will do to eat my plate of rice in the middle of a field full of wild ‘thymion’. Kalinihta !

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