Crete - May 1st-8th 2007

The original plan was to do some walking and a bit of climbing on Crete...

 

... as it happened  to both of us were recovering from recent injuries so we decided to lighten our baggage, leave the climbing gear behind and just do the walking and check out the climbing areas if we had time.

 

 

Tuesday 1st:  However 15 minutes out of Heraklion airport we crashed the car into a roadside concrete block... bald tyres on a slippery road whilst trying to follow the car hire rep who was guiding us to the small town we were intending to stay at... I was taken to a doctor and had several stitches put in the back of my head. Deirdre was also very shaken and knocked about by the crash.

Wednesday 2nd & Thursday 3rd: Our car hire rep (no doubt feeling guilty and worried lest we report the accident and lodge a complaint about the state of the tyres) had taken us to a doctor and then found us a very nice place to stay in Georgiopoulis. Both of us were feeling decidedly shaken and we did very little for two days, mostly short walks around the town/village and along the seafront.

Friday 4th:  Feeling a lot better Deirdre & I walked down the Imbros Gorge from Imbros on a very hot day but luckily there was lots of shade in it, (this gorge was used as the main escape route for the retreating British Army in WW2). We went about 5km down it (about 800mh),  had lunch and then walked back. (4.5h)

Saturday 5th:  We drove to Xyloscala (1250m) at the start of the Samaria Gorge and walked (about 18km in all) up the mountain to the summit of Gingilos (2080m) and then scrambled a little further to the second summit Volakias (2125m). We saw several ‘Lammageiers ‘ - huge bearded vultures. There was a spring halfway up.

Looking down the Samaria Gorge

The summit of Gingilos

The route has some interesting rock architecture on the way!

Sunday 6th: We travelled inland and despite the language difficulties we found a nice place to stay in the mountain village of Anogia. This village was completely razed by the Germans in 1944, it has quite a history (see: http://www.explorecrete.com/history/WW2_Anogia_Destruction.html ) and the animosity towards the Germans is still very evident. On the walls of the restaurant we eat at were childrens murals depicting the events of WW2 which have some quite disturbing images.

The plateau at Nida-Ebene

Monday 7th:  We drove from Anogia to the half-built Analipsis refuge at Nida-Ebene (1412m) and then on a very hot day we walked up Psiloritis (2325m). We encountered a few snow patches on the way but these presented us with no difficulty. In the end we didn’t quite make the summit, just before one reaches it there is a col which is notorious for catching the wind and on our day it was so strong that after one attempt we turned back!  (about 12 miles & 1200mh). On the way back we led a lost Austrian walker off the mountain – it’s very easy to lose one’s the way on this route - we’d seen him twice earlier on and given him help both times!

Approaching the summit of Psiloritis

That was the end of our trip, I've made a resolution to always check out the hire car (especially the tyres!) before I drive off...

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