Walk in Palaikastro – Day 7

from Sitia to Palaikastro

Wake up at 09.00 after a quiet and peaceful night. Little breakfast and 1, 5 hours on internet and emails.

Around 12.00 I started a walk towards the Ancient Minoan Settlement (c.1500 BC) of Roussokalos. It was cloudy and raining a little bit (16C). Suddenly a strong north wind…. The Settlement was about 3 km from Palaikastro Center.

The village of Palaikastro is very colourful. One finds houses in pink, yellow, beige, rose, creme, green, light blue and white. On my way to the Settlement I spotted a chained dog (female) with 4 young puppies. The dog was chained but the puppies run free. A friendly man came with food and water. All were well fed and the puppies were very lively.

200 m further another two barrel dogs. One had food and water, the other one, guarding a chicken barn, and living in an old water reservoir.. they had nothing.

To reach the Minoan Settlement, one has to walk trough olive yards, full of yellow clover, on a dirth road. Nature took again possesion of me….After a bit of research I found my way (bad indication as there are many small junctions) to the Minoan town. The Settlement from the Neo Palatial Period was about half excavated. This happened between 1986 and 1996. Many interesting potery and coins were found here. From the Settlement one has a fantastic view on the bay and harbour (ancient).

As I was walking around, it started to rain heavily..I took shelter at the excavation place. Suddenly a man turned up.. Oops, don’t speak Minoan…! It was a shepherd, looking for a shelter too. He knew a lot of the Minoan civilization and we had a good chat..! When the rain calmed down a bit, we both left. “Ta leme !”. I found my way back via the village of Agathias, leaving fantastic views of the Tenta and Plaka Akrotiri (cape) and the island of Grandes.

Back at the hotel, Maria from Sitia called me. She had contact with the police of Sitia (after the broadcasting of the film we made yesterday, on Tele Kriti), saying that I was not allowed to walk around Crete without permission….So, this was the reason why they could not act our complaint. What ??? I needed an “adia” (license) for animal welfare? Did they understand something, yesterday ? I guess not, but to me the following is still right :

1. Every European citizen (within the European Commission) is allowed to walk around Crete, and able to complain about anything and anybody, even about the unknown, at any moment. Police MUST act against these complaints and register them in a book. No need to take immediate action if not necessary, but ACT IT.

2. I am walking around Crete to put attention on the terrible situation of strays and some “home” dogs, helping, as a volunteer, on my own expences – 1800 Euro so far – the animal welfare organizations on Crete, in particular “The Haven” in Malia. What is wrong with this ?

3. Any money which is raised, due to my walk goes immediately to “The Haven”, and they have a registered number at the Ministery of Agriculture (see my site at the km sponsor item)

4. There is nothing wrong to work as a volunteer for good causes..Law has to be implemented and followed, and respected.

I do hope that, one day, all will go well. This beautiful Island deserves it !

Ok, having said this, it is still raining…Going for a meal now. Omeletta and “lahano dolmades” with a good glass of wine in taverna “Finistri” in the center of Palaikastro. Friendly people, Manolis and his wife (I call her Eleni). Good food and perfect service. Recommended !

While eating, my good friend Simon called me. He calls me every day to know my situation…Good support. Thanks Simon!

While women are at home, men are playing cards, discuss about politics and the weather, play backgammon of with their koboloi (worry beads). The taverna is full although it is Monday. Asking for my omeletta, “Eleni” said, “endaxi” (ok) . Five min later her husband came in with a carton full of eggs..That is what I call service. Bravo pedia ! A fantastic young couple, doing everything to make the business running. In front of me sits “Billy Turf – so I call him” (for the ones who read the cartoon) and plays with the remote control of the tv..He is, to me, about
45 years old. Zapping to Tele Kriti for some news, now..He should have done this yesterday…when I was on TV..Billy is popular and talks with everybody..

What a great life they have, these men..Manolis brings me some fruits : apple, orange and kiwi. Delicious, with a small raki, and the ideal medicin for a another peaceful night !

Until tomorrow in Zakros !

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