Walk from Episkopi to Rethymnon

Walk around Crete in 50 days – Day 43 from Episkopi to Rethymnon

Episkopi to Rethymnon

Number of steps 33816
Burned calories 1258
Distance 26 km
Walking time 04h 40′
Pulse at arrival 88
Weather: Cloudy in the morning, hot in the afternoon. No wind Average 23C

Woke up at 07.00. Breakfast (yogurt with honey, orange and coffee) and left Episkopi (Calamon apts) at 08.00. It is still quiet and the village is slowly waking up, laying peaceful at the hillside, in dark and mysterious clouds. 19C and it does not look very sunny…but, it is still early.

I am walking on the dirt road towards the center from where I will join the old “Rethymnon road”. Lots of barking barrel dogs, competing with hundreds of birds in all kind of varieties. Green and yellow clover, all over.. Slowly, slowly now and enjoying this wonderful present !

08.45 Passing the center of Episkopi.. Lots of activity here.. Men are drinking their “frappe” or “Freddo” in the local cafenion. Others get ready to go to work. All shops are open.

09.30 Passing the village of Koufi, on top of me and a bit hidden behind the hill. Very quiet, 22C, no wind and perfect for walking, so far..

09.55 I meet Yannis, a shepherd. He does not believe that I am walking around Crete in 50 days..”Me ta podia..hahahaha !” he says. “And why do you have black trousers (my gore-tex leightweight) and no black shirt ?” Well, Yannis, that’s because of the sun.. Black attracts the heat, you see…”hahaha, kalo taxidi” he laughed my answer away… Yeia, Yannis, ke tale me ! An amazing man, looking back at me, to be sure it was not a “fata morgana” !

Leaving the Municipality of Lapeon now, where in the early Byzanthine period more than 100.000 people have lived. The area is 51 km2 big and together with Episkopi, Argyropolis is the most interesting village, with its many wells, fountains and waterfalls.

Passing the junction towards the Monastery of Profitis Ilias now (10.20) and spot at least 15 barrel dogs on a plain. All chained up on old rusty cars or trees… None of them have water… Nobody around to ask.

11.10 I am at Agias Matsi, only one house (cafenion) and some ruins. I decide to rest a bit and take a coke (the refreshment) and an energy bar.. I am still on the old road to Rethymnon which goes up and down but leads me to one of the most beautiful green area I saw so far on the North of Crete.. A paradise for birds and animals.. and for me ! Realy heaven, and no traffic.. Hundreds of lizzards crossed my way. Everywhere oregano, vaskomilo (sage), wild mint and cister rose, name it..!

11.30 Ano and Kato Varsamonero. I am walking in the middle of both, small villages. Some activity, mostly farming, as well as in Agios Andreas, the next one, where the owner of a petrol station is sleeping on a chair.. A client gets realy nervous..

11.50 Village of Gonia, small and some industry… I spot many big, white plastic bags, nothing written on them.

12.35 Leaving Prines, a large village with lots of movement and entering Atsipopoulo. More traffic now, and I spot the Aegean Sea. Close to Rethymnon… Here I see an internet cafe and ask if I can use a computer. A friendly young woman (a real beauty !), shows me one of them, but an arrogant man (the owner ?) says they are not ready.. The woman asks me to come back in one hour.. Thank you, darling, next time I will fly over your village…

13.00 I am in Violi Haraki and seeing the “Fortezza” below me, some 4 km away..

13.30 Walking into Rethymnon, after 2 km of “horror” road, because of the road works (huge new bridge)… No fun..!

14.00 I am at the “Fortezza” (Venetian Castle) and walking into the old city, looking for “Olga’s Pension”, to find my overnight place, generously sponsored by Albert from Kalypso Diving Center together with Stella and Jorgos, owners of Olga’s House.

As I find it at 15.00 I get a very warm welcome with food and a “Mythos”. Jorgos shows me my room, in the middle of the old city… I spot already many tourists.. Season has started here.. Albert joins me one hour later and we make appointment to eat some “meze” this evening. I passed so many times outside of “Olga’s House”, but I had never the time to stop (guiding tourists)… Coming back here, that’s for sure !

19.30 now and I am going to explore the old city again… Albert is waiting around 20.30… Tomorrow Perama, no problem, I will have a quiet night in “Veneitia” !

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