Walk from Perama to Anogia

Walk around Crete in 50 days – Day 45 from Perama to Anogia

anogia on the map

Number of steps 43314
Burned calories 1636
Distance 33 km
Walking time 06h 05′
Pulse at arrival 85
Weather: Sunny, strong wind, average 22C

Woke up at 07.00. Breakfast (coffee, paximadi, sweets and cheese). Anna, (the friend of Yannis and Maria from the cafenion yesterday) the “lady of the house”, where I spent the night, said the weather would be good today.. She was already working on a nice tablecloth and listening to real Cretan music. She was the only one in the village with rent rooms, she told me. But when her husband died, her children would not continue and she stopped the business. Thanks to Maria, I found her.

After she gave me some “koulouri” and oranges, I left this helpful woman and started my walk to Houmeri at 08.00. At the junction to Houmeri, I find the house of STAVROS KALLERGIS (1865 – 1926). He was the pioneer and leader of the Greek socialism and organized the first Labor Day in Greece on May 1, 1893. The hous is nicely renovated but closed. It is 08.45, 20C and windy..

09.25 I am in Houmeri, farming village where everybody looks suspiciously at me. Especially when I take some pictures of old doors !!

09.40 Another, small farming place, called Krasounas. A pick-up is passing. The driver sells all kinds of household and calls the locals via a speaker on his car, to have a look at his goods. He goes from village to village..

10.00 I meet Stavros, a shepherd from Keramota and watching his small (20 sheep) herd. Yesterday, he said, I had too much raki (can still see it)..! He asks for a cigarette.. Signomi, Stavro mou, den kapnizo ! Sto kalo ! All the best with your walk, he says, when I walk on to his village Keramota, arriving there at 10.15. I pass on the lower part, on the old asphalt road. Almost nobody to see..

10.45 Avdelas village, leaving a climbing, winding and boring road behind me. Everywhere the keys are at the doors and I smell goats and sheep. Many people make their own cheese, to sell or to consume themselves.

11.00 Entering Agios MAMAS (Hi Mamas, thanks for burning your candle everyday, for my safety!) I take a small break and continue at 11.20.

I arrive at Agios Ionannis at 11.45 and meet Nikos, a strange local… He shows me an old Turkish villa (huge one !), currently being renovated to be used as guest rooms… Will be back here in a couple of years… All the original stones (pieces of art) are kept intact… What a beautiful place… Curious to see when it is finished.

12.50 Arrival at Kalivos and stopped by a woman from a cafenion. She asks me if I speak and understand German… Yes, I do. “Well, can you translate a letter for me, very important with information about my pension?”. Of course.. I explain to her that it is better to see the insurrance office in Heraklion. She is waiting for 6 years now to get a pension from her late husband who worked many years in Germany. All papers in Germany are ok, but the ones from Greece are since 4 years on their way… For “my work” I get a raki and an “elleniko sketto”.. Very friendly woman, Efthimia, running the cafenion on her own. Dimitris, a blind man, wishes me good luck for the walk, when I leave them at 13.30…Lovely people..

As I continue towards Livadia, I gave the road a new name : Skoupidia-dromo (the rubbish road).. My God, from Agios Ioannis until now, nothing else than rubbish….everywhere down the hillside and in the slopes and gorges.. A real pitty..

14.15 I am in Livadia, a big moutain village with a few hundred families living here. Many “cheese making” machines and a lot of unfinished houses. From a big “tirokomeio” (cheese making factory) I have a fantastic view on the valley and the Ida mountains (Psiloritis), still covered with a lot of snow..

14.30 I am in Krana, where, I guess, everybody makes his own cheese. No wind here and 23C. Steal blue sky…

14.50 Arrival at Zoniana, laying in a fertile and green valley. One can compare this village with Livadia.

15.45 Passing the monument of Stavros Niotis, a hero, from Anogia, in the war against the Turks, in the 19th century (1866). A German couple is taking a sunbath, next to their camper, but sleeping. Stavros does not mind, neither do I…

16.15 Arrival at the backyard of Anogia and looking for a room.. I stay at “Crete” rent rooms.. 30 Euro for one night, hot water and breakfast included. Although I am not very satisfied, (dirty, general bathroom) this will do for today’s overnight. Since I decided to change my program a bit (today I could not stay at Zoniana – no rooms), I will walk towards Arolithos tomorrow and sleep there. The next day I’ll go to Heraklion and stay there for two days.. It will be possible to visit the mother of my partner Christina, who is in the hospital, after a bad stroke, since she visited me in Spili.. She will probably be repatriated to Belgium in the weekend.. So. Saturday and Sunday I will overnight at Verena Well’s place (Animal Welfare Heraklion).

It is 18.45 and I am in Kato Anogia at Michalis’ cafenion “I Plateia tou Syntagnatos” and drinking a “Mythos”, surrounded by only men, dressed in black and discussing, even without drinking something. Michalis, in his traditional Cretan costume (vraka and boots) smiles.. He recognizes me from my passage, in the winter.. And he knows I am walking around Crete ! Ela, na piume raki, yamas !

Behind the cafenion, women are selling all kind of carpets, tablecloths etc.. All hand made…. In front of the cafenion, the house of Nikos Xylouris, the famous born in Anogia lyra player and singer (I like his songs !). He left this world too early, many years ago ! The “black men” are leaving and I stay alone with an older one, wearing a traditionnal black scarf.

It is getting cold (Anogia is a real mountain village at more than 600 m above sea level) and Michalis burns some wood in his stove.. I am going to look for a meal.. It will be a cold night, here in Anogia…

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