Walk from Kalives to Georgioupolis

Walk around Crete in 50 days: Day 41 from Kalives to Georgioupolis and Filaki

Kalives to Georgioupolis

Steps  39377
Burned calories 1449
Distance 30 km
Walking time 05h 23′
Pulse at arrival  90
Weather  Extremely hot (average 27C), with peaks to 31C. At the end of the walk heavy south wind

Woke up in Kalami at 06.00. Breakfast (bread, coffee and fetta). The sea was calm and the weather looking good.. Carolina ordered a taxi to bring me from Kalami to Kalives, from where I should start the walk to Filaki…

07.45 Dimitris (taxi driver) arrived at the Kalami village and drove me to Kalives. Thanks Pure Crete ! Starting at Kalives, Sunday, and already lots of movement, it is 19C. Singing priests and ringing bells, tell me there is celebration everywhere. The road is climbing, but with the fantastic view on the snowy White Mountains, I don’t even feel it ! Majestic morning !

08.35 The village of Tsivaras.. Small, nobody to see.. quiet little place.

09.40 Arrival at the center of Vamos and 26,9 C ! No wind, man, it’s hot ! Drinking my “elleniko sketto” in a local cafenion (all are very busy), while resting a bit. Only men in the cafenions.. Many field tractors.. lots of farming here.. And real estate ! I spot some very nice renovated houses and everywhere (on a Sunday !) people are building.. In the cafenions I hear discussions about politics, family, business etc…as well as the local “gossip”.

I was thinking, this morning, that the old road to Rethymnon would be quiet, well it was wrong ! It is a hell of a road, with fast traffic.. Leaving the cafenion, two young women, dressed in black, sat down and ordered coffee.. Business talk.. All men were looking…. The climb to the top of the village is very steep.. Lots of old and not maintained monuments remind   the Turkish occupation, from which the village suffered so much..

10.15 Taking the junction towards Chora Sfakia..and I am attacked by a shepherd dog.. Free, and immediately jumping on me.. trying to bite.. In a reflexion I punch him on the nose and he leaves me alone.. Lucky that I had my backpack (extra 22kg of weight), if not I would be knocked on the ground.. Powerful animal.. but I am strong too…! Very curious I saw nobody in or around the house. Asking the neighbors, they did not bother and said.. “kathe mera to idio”.. (Everyday the same..). I hope that no children are passing today.. I am not wounded, only a few scratches… but very surprised.

Going downhill towards Georgiopouli (on the road to Chora Sfakia – nothing else is indicated !) it is much more quiet.. Less traffic and easy walking.. Everywhere barking barrel dogs..!

11.20 I am in Kalamitsi Alexandrou after another steep (45′) climb. 29C ! Small village and apart from a rooster and three men, playing “backgammon” at the local “plateia” I see nobody.

11.50 Leaving Kalamitsi Amigdali. Georgiopouli is almost at my fingertips..

12.45 Arrival at Georgiopouli and Guido, my friend and business partner, is waiting.. We have a “meeting at the bridge”.. He joins me to the Kounas Lake.. Some small “meze”, I change clothes and shoes ( from today I walk again with my “trezetta’s”).

At 14.00 Guido returns home and I leave this beautiful area for Filaki. Lots of wind (south) at the Kournas Lake. The meze was good, but a bit expensive…

15.15 Arrival at the Kounas village. A mix of old ruins, nice renovated old cretan houses and newly built (concrete) appartments. Life is easy here, I remark. Smelling the grilled meat, while walking through the old streets. Everywhere locals have their sunday “parea”, sometimes joined by exited tourists. The Kounas village is known for its old , 14th century, church (old frescoe’s inside), Agia Irini. The church is most of the time closed…

15.50 I am in Kastelos and turn to Filaki, calling Pat and Liz, where I will stay for the night.

15.30 I am in Filaki and welcomed, first by Pat and afterwards by Liz (cooking).. Nice glass of wine and they show me my room, view on the valley.. Excellent ! Pat and Liz live just in front of the old Turkish Jail (filaki), owned by my Belgian friends Agapi and Eric. The last ones are looking to renovate the place (huge buildings)… Would be very nice.. We had a “vegi” meal together (perfec cooking, Liz !) and after a nice conversation I went to bed (bit tired..).

Two wonderful women, with a clear look on their “Cretan” future. All the best, Liz and Pat ! Thank you for the superb hosting !

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