Walk from Arolithos to Heraklion

Day 50 from Gournes to Hersonissos, Stalis and Malia

Gouves, Hersonissos, Stalis, Malia

Number of steps : 35138
Burned calories : 1316
Distance : 26,7 km
Walking time : 04h 53′
Pulse at arrival : 95
Weather : Sunny all day (average 26C)

Woke up at 07.30. Quiet at Zorbas Beach .. Weather is sunny, only little wind and already 20C. Eric knocked on my door to say that breakfast was ready.. What a service ! He and Nienke were waiting for me at the pool bar. Special espresso coffee, toast with cheese, orange juice, yoghurt with strawberry taste.. this was a breakfast ! I really enjoyed it very much. Now I am ready for the last 25 km to Malia!

Simon, my friend, who will walk with me again today, came at 09.00 and we left, after he had his coffee too, around 09.15. Eric and Nienke would join us at the arrival in Malia. As we were passing the old American Military Base, around 09.40. Simon told me that the biggest Sea Aquarium in Europe has been built here.. Will have a look next week.. I saw already a very big one in Boulogne sur Mer, in France.

10.05 Arrival in Gouves and joining the parallel road to the main road (too much “horror” road). Alan walks with us from here to Malia. Gouves is a tourist center, but lives in winter too. Many people are making a living out of olives, taverna’s (for the locals) super markets and shops.. The big village counts also some very famous hotels, bars and clubs and has nice beaches.

10.35 Passing the Aposelemis Gorge, a beautiful peace of nature, which I walked many times with my friend Jorgos (from Zorbas taverna and “Red Rooster” in Analipsi), following the riverbed towards Potamies. Gorgeous! So, passing “his” village at 10.50 we pay a visit to Jorgos.. Talking about Cretan hospitality, he knows everything about it ! Immediately raki and lots of “mezedes”. “You still have some km’s to go, my friend, so eat and drink to get energy !” he said.. Like this I know him, o filos mou, eating, drinking, enjoying life and nature! A great man ! Ta leme, George ! See you next week. “Ta leme, megale !”

As we walk on and passing “Manolis” old taverna in the center of Analipsi, we decide to drink coffee. All three “elleniko sketto”, made by “mastoras” Manolis. He brings us raki too ! Lucky we don’t have to walk “straight” to Malia.. This walk is one hell of a “fiesta”, animated by the so many friends I have in the area.. Bye Manolis, see you soon, you and all your “young” boys ! And thanks again for the magnificent “winter parea” !

Arrival at Anissaras (the place where I live and trained so hard for this walk) at 12.35 and walking along the very quiet beach road. Passing “Yannis and Marina’s” taverna (not open yet), I have a chat with my friend Andy (joined me on some walks) and Kostas, from the Coral Diving Center where I make many dives, every year.

Slowly we walk into Hersonissos, around 13.10 I call it Hellsonissos.No comment.

14.15 Arrival at Stalida, a small area, just before Malia , where one finds the “better” tourism. Many people from the mountain village Mochos, have their business here and return in the winter to Mochos. We meet volunteers, Gayner, Michael (her husband), supporters and friends, at the cross road, around 14.40. They all brought their dogs and are going to walk the last kms with me ! Gayner follows with the Animal Welfare Clinic! Fantastic publicity for the local Animal Welfare Group “The Haven”! A cameraman, from an Austrian film producing company, was making video and will make a documentary from the walk, later on. One big triumph towards “The Haven”.

15.30 I was welcomed by the mayor of Malia and had a very good conversation with him, about the future of the strays and the cooperation with The Cretan Animal Welfare Group “The Haven”. I believe he will plan a project, maybe parallel with other surrounding villages and their mayors. I was given, as a remembrance to Malia, a fantastic photo book, representing pictures from almost one century. Thanks, Mr Mayor, for your kind hospitality. I hope everything will be done soon…

16.30 Arrival at “The Haven” and welcomed by a lot of people.. I got emotional, happy at the same time, thinking at the moment I started here, at this very place, 50 days ago. Can hardly believe it, but YES ! I did it ! Champagne was served with all kinds of snacks..

Looking forward to the Gala evening now, at Zorbas Beach on April 23 rd .so we can make the balance of all donations and finally hand over the so much deserved money to Gayner and “Her Haven”!!

Thank you all, visitors of the site, friends, family, supporters, sponsors and those who I maybe forget, for the best 50 days of my life so far! I am getting ready to write my book now, but first I need some rest.


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