Walk from Heraklion to Kokkini Hani and Gournes

Walk around Crete in 50 days: Day 49 from Heraklion to Kokkini Hani and Gournes


Woke up at 07.00 and had coffee and and orange, with Verena. I said goodbye to Sissi, Lucas and Nelly (her 3 dogs), the two goats and Tara , her horse.

Left my “caravan” at 08.00 and she drove me to the “Mires” road, where Kathy (from the Official Animal Welfare Organization of the City of Heraklion ) picked me up to bring me to the capital’s center from where I would start my walk towards Gournes. Press, TV, friends and Gayner with Korenza, her daughter, and the Animal Mobile Clinic were waiting for me at the Morosini Fountain.

When the National TV station was about to begin with the broadcasting (live) the police showed up.They asked me to follow them to the office.. There they showed me a complaint against me (based on copies from newspaper articles (the journalists should not write anything I did not say to them !!), made by a certain Kostas (formal owner of an animal welfare shelter in Heraklion) and accusing me to collect money for Animal Welfare along my walk, without permit to do so ! Completely ridiculous as it was not the case. I only informed the locals about the existence of Animal Welfare help and my supporters donate via the site and the pay pal or credit card systems. Money goes straight to “The Haven” and they have a permit to collect donations ! What a “small” person, to make such a complaint ! He should have better joined me on the walk !

Anyway, the police, being very friendly to me, understood the bad “joke” and wished me luck for the last days ! I was constantly surrounded by Animal Welfare workers from Heraklion, protecting me.. Very good feeling ! Thank you all for your support ! So at about 09.30, almost one hour after my arrival in Heraklion, the interviews could start. I had a good conversation with the board of the Animal Welfare of Heraklion and made appointment to see them back in the coming weeks. They make a lot of effort to improve the life of strays in the area, working together with ArcheNoah.

After the interview with Kriti TV (09.45), me and my friend Simon (joining me for the walk to Gournes) started at 10.15, passing the Heraklion harbor towards the old national road..

11.20 passing the “Gipsy camp”, just outside the city, near the airport. Hundreds of foreigners (mostly from Eastern Europe ) live here with their children in self-built, plastic houses.In the winter period it must not be very amusing.. They sell fruits and goods on different markets. The children hardly go to school. Sometimes you see them selling flowers in the center.Mr Kostas should better complain against this ! Some kids are not even 7 years old !

12.20 We are at Tombrouk, a long and sandy beach, opposite to the rocky island of Dia. It is warm, 23C and only little wind. This place is still empty and will have tourists as from the first week of May.

13.15 Arrival in Kokkini Hani, where I have my office. A tourist place with lots of good tavernas and restaurants like “Neraida”, the restaurant of Tony and Chris, strong supporters of my walk around Crete. Tony is an excellent cook ! If you are in Kokkini Hani, don’t miss “Neraida”! Some nice hotels can be found here too.

Passing the Kokkini Hani we arrive to Gournes around 13.40 and drink coffee at Simon’s house, welcomed by Humphrey, his dog, and his wife Edith, before walking on to Zorbas Beach around 14.15. Fifteen minutes later we are in front of Zorbas.. Nice welcome. Eric and Nienke, as well as other friends are waiting for us. “Welcome home, Ivan, one more day.” they wrote on a big sign ! Fantastic feeling ! A cool beer, and Eric showed me my room. Very clean and supplied with coffee, orange juice, coca cola, water etc. Really professional! And he also carried my backpack to the room !!

17.00 I leave Zorbas, after a hot shower, together with my partner Christina. We visit her mother, still in the hospital, but going to be repatriated (to a hospital in Belgium ), tomorrow morning at 05.00.. Very early for me as I have to walk my last day.. So I will see her tonight..

I am back at Zorbas around 21.00 and go for a well deserved rest.. One more day.

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