06/22: June


On my last post I mentioned how hot it had got … well it just got hotter.  And we did less and less and what we did do was slooooow.  Real feel was around 36C most days.  I think we saw cloud one day.  Now, don’t think I’m moaning as I really would rather have a blue sky and excess heat than grey cold.  Just such a shame electricity is so expensive … we sweated rather than run the air con.  To be fair, we have acclimatised.  I remember being in Corsica and Sardinia in a heat wave, only a few degrees hotter, and we imploded.  At least on Crete we generally have a breeze down by the beach.

Big events during June were:

J Cardio Check up

For the princely sum of 90EUR that J paid, he had a full heart check up with a private cardiologist. ECG and other tests that J doesnt know the name of (!), and he was declared perfect!  Several times … Perfect.  Well, I know he’s practically perfect (aka Mary Poppins, who also had eternal youth), but it was good to hear the cardiologist declare his heart perfect at the end of every test.   All clear until the next check up in 6 months.  

High Maintenance Man

J has had prostate cancer treatment 2018, and bypass 2021; he also had skin cancer quite a few years ago.  Definitely high maintenance man.  A result of living and working in Jordan for 9 years.  Im sure everyone is aware of the high skin cancer rates in Australia and other hot places as it was just never a concern.  Facial areas were removed eons ago and he had a particularly nasty cream that burnt off any subsequent flare ups.  One patch on his face was persistent so he saw a private dermatologist.  90EUR for the consult and skin patch removal the following week.  I mention the prices as trades to the house always seem to charge EUR70 and medics EUR90!  But also how inexpensive and how immediate the treatment / appointments.  Don’t knock Greek healthcare, it’s fabulous.  Bless the dermatologist … he was concerned that J would worry that he would have scars on his face.  A) the alternative of having pre-cancerous cells that become cancer is MUCH worse.  And B) He’s lovely scars from his shoulder surgery and a long one for his bypass.  One more is not an issue.  But please, James, no more bullets; you can’t dodge them all.

You will be pleased to know I am well!  J has been running and I do Killer Pilates with Inke (German goddess married to a Greek).  You know that you have a good teacher when they make parts of you ache that you’ve obviously avoided using!  I’ve a few friends that attend these classes, so its fun as well as achey!

Maddy and Jordan Main Holiday

A two week holiday in Crete, close to the sea, what’s not to love when you work hard.  We had intended to leave them in the house for 3 nights whilst we went off in the van, but Stella kyboshed that.  We offered them the car for day trips, but generally they wanted to relax.  We ate out a fair bit, of course.  Jordan is getting into cooking and cooked one night.  A couple of BBQs.  Chania for a wander and Gyros.  Maddy went brown.  Jordan used 12 bottles of Factor 50 and his freckles and his hands joined up.  They’re coming back for 6 night over Christmas … yay.  Think they like Crete!

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Jordan had THE conversation with M … no dogs in our bed!  Guess Corrie won that one. 

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Sunset BBQ on our balcony.

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Octopus Bay for a swim.  A salty swim as no rivers to dilute the sea water.

Introducing Stella


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There must be SOMETHING left in here!

We have gone mad.  But not as mad as you think … YET!  Two dogs is plenty and I do keep saying that as soon as CO2 go to the rainbow, we can start travelling by plane together (J had to stay in Crete to mind CO2 in March when i flew home for the Aged P’s 60th wedding anniversary.  Not opposed to leaving them, but Oscar has other ideas!  And we could do long haul!  So NO MORE DOGS.  Do remind me of that … please.  
So why Stella?  There are a huge amount of cat and dog rescue organisations in Greece.  We’ve done a little … our Merc was driven back to the UK with 4 dogs.  Attended the odd function and bought at auctions.  But not a lot.  Felt we ought to do something more practical.  A FaceBook plea popped up. A UK tourist wanted to adopt a dog that lived on the hotel beach.  Fed by guests at the breakfast, lunch and dinner service.  Julie discovered that dogs cannot fly direct into UK and the dog needed fostering whilst rabies jab and passport sorted.  It was late, we were already in bed.  Alright, I’d had a glass or two.  So had J, so when I said I would message to offer to foster the dog AND bring it back to the UK with us, J grunted assent.  By the next morning, events moved fast.  We drove east to near Kolymbari.  Julie had already left to fly home that morning.  We eventually found Stella asleep under a sun lounger. All the hotel guests seemed to be English and confirmed Stella was a dear little dog.  She visited the vet next morning … EUR144 for puppy jabs, Leish blood test, pet passort, chip and general health check.  Oh and puppy food.  I thought she was full grown, but NO about 5 months, so no chance of being pregnant!  Not having had such a young puppy before the chewing has been ‘interesting’.  My new and expensive sandals were a victim.  The clever cobbler took the old pair and ‘cobbled’ together the straps onto the new pair.  So far, that’s sandals, 2x flip flops and 2 x charging cables … we are pretty vigilant now!  Julie had left EUR300 at the hotel reception and has asked me if I need more money … I’m confident she and her husband will turn up to collect Stella.  She is a dear poppet but we really DO NOT WANT 3 DOGS!    So why 4 dogs???
Introducing Herclues!
Before spontaneously offering to foster and transport Stella, we had contacted the rescue organisation who repatriated the Merc with 4 dogs … we could bring a smallish dog back with us in our motorhome.  Well they came through.  So the morning of the day we left Crete, we collected Hercules.  He’s 5-7 years old.  Was abused, starved, dreadlock fur.  Had been in foster for 2 months.  He loves cuddles, but flinches and nips and growls if you approach him fast or startle him.  He’s had warning bites at both J and I.  And he is moulting big time.  I had no idea moulting meant whole clufts of hair.  He is allowing me to brush him 2x daily.  The ISSUE is  anyway, so he’d become Feck!
Gill Visited

An unplanned but very lovely visit from Gill.  She stayed for 5 nights near Rethmyno; we had Maddy and Jordan staying, so Gill would have been sofa surfing, if she’d stayed with us.  I collected her from her hotel for lunch back at ours … Maddy and James wanted to see her.  We returned to her hotel via Chania (can’t come to Crete and not visit).  A dip in her hotel pool and a meal out.  She’d a mini apartment so loads of room for me to stay.  On Sunday we swam and drove up the mountains to Spili.  Maravel Gardens is one of my fave places.  Stefanos created a medical and herb garden.  He sells home made remedies, herbs and spices.  I am now totally ‘into’ his lotions and bar soaps / shampoos.  A lovely lunch on the terrace with soothing music with a very dear friend from eons ago.  Hopefully I’ve persuaded Gill and Bron to visit in October.
Karl’s 60th
Karl and June have become very good friends on Crete.  They given us material things (table chairs, curtains, knives etc) and lots of advice.  As well as being good company.  I particularlylike eating out with them as J and June like nursery food (fish and chips, pie).  But Karl cooks and I mean COOKS.  So he and I peruse menus and decide what to share …a bit of this and a bit of that … just like I do with Mutt.   His 60th was 29th June … he was talking about paying for a load of folk to eat out … we offered to host it.  Our house in Almyrida is set up for parties … ground floor kitchen with large opening doors to ether covered patio.  It was a fabulous evening with folk that had never met, all getting on well.
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Decorations and table in place for 14.
Post party there was little clearing up to do as the female guests (why is it always the females???) had down all the washing up and clearing.  But we managed to do little  … in the afternoon I binge watched Love Island.  I KNOW its crap, but I’m now addicted …. blame Maddy!  The next few days were busy with packing cleaning and making beds … Ian, Mel and 3 boys are using the house in July.  I was relieved to work out how to pull out the sofa bed … funny how little things worry at you.  

05/22: In Search of the Perfect Beach

Komatose At Komos!

Saturday 28th May

We exercised.  Swam.  Sunbathed. Read.  Repeated.  Big beach so no worries about the weekend and tourist bodies being too close.  Lovely staff at a mobile snack wagon who plied us with cold drinks, ice cream and J’s burger lunch.

Beach showers used with my natural bar shampoo.  Toilet emptied under the cloak of darkness into the public loos.  A really lovely site.  Only disturbance, other than Oscar barking at passing dogs, was lads arriving for beers at 1.30 a.m. playing loud music.  

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Reward after a longish and warm day. 

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Beach Bum Jez!

Agios Pavlos

Sunday 29th May

Moving from beach to beach has never been something we do.  Being beach bums for days has never been something we do either.  But they are so pretty here.  It’s hot.  And we’ve done pretty much all the sites nearby.  So now on a beach cruise.

I didn’t fancy another full day at Komos.  Needed a change of scenery.  So we upped sticks, cos we can, and moved to Agios Pavlos, arriving early before the  Sunday crowds.  Snack shack staff asked us to move right into a corner, given it was a smallish car park.  All very pleasant, so we went in for breakfast coffee and a shared plate of humous.  And then for a drink and icecream.  The sun loungers were a tad expensive at EUR6, but the shade meant we didn’t have to erect the kiddies UV beach shelter for J and CO2.  

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Agious Pavlos beach. Walked up the steps to the cave and over the massive sand dune to the beach the other side.  A really pretty spot.

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Time to turn back CO2!

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This amazing rock formation was on a boat cruise poster.  We saved £££s by cruising there in Jez.

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Up some steps from Ag. Pavlos and then over the huge sand dune to another nudist beach.

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Supper at the hotel slightly up the hill with lovely views over the bay.  Cash reserves running low, so we were relieved to be able to pay by card.

Ammoudi, eventually

Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st May

We were headed to Triopetra (3 rocks) and long beach, but we didn’t like the look of the shortcut turning … tarmac only about as wide as Jez’s wheels.  So re-routed via the main road adding 25 mins to the journey.  Didn’t like the look of that turning either.  Cobbles and steep … not Jez’s favourite!  We filled with diesel and asked the attendant about the road.  Road good, village at the start is  small and may be difficult.  As the solo driver, I’m a lot more adverse to risking it than I used to be.  Another quick re-route and onto Ammoudi, a recommendation by friend Lin.  

Suddenly we found ourselves in Spili.  We’d been here only weeks ago to the Maravel Herb Garden.  The main car park wasn’t too full so were able to stop.  I re-stocked on natural products of bar soap, shampoo and creams.  J had an omelette for breakfast and both had coffees … to 2 bills were EUR 6.60 and 7.00, but the charge was 9.50 … confused.  And we found a bank.  Back in funds.

Ammoudi is very pretty.  A short walk either side to nudist beaches.  A snack shack … already sampled ice cream and a drink.  A few small campers look pretty well installed.  They’ve hogged all the shade under the trees, but we wouldn’t have fitted anyway.  And a taverna just up the road.  A reprieve from the heat of the weekend.  Only 28C today and a cool breeze on the beach.  And bargain sun beds at EUR5.  And reading our blog from a few years ago we had walked here from Plakias and identified it then as a great park up.  We hadn’t stay ed there then as we had an appointment in Plakias to watch a rugby game in a bar.  Great to be able to ‘remember’ what we did by reading about it!

We stayed 2 nights and walked over the Damnoni Beach for supper both nights.  I got up very early one morning to climb to the chapel with views both ways.  The temperatures have generally been 29C by 7.00 a.m., a real feel 33C for most of the day, so reading, swimming and dozing has been the order of the day. Every day.

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Another beach snack shack.

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Despite the early start, it was still sweat making.  A few other folk were on the path also trying to avoid the heat.

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Ammoudi Beach.  Jez is invisible as he’s concealed by the mountain rocks.

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View the other way to Damnoni Beach where we ate … twice.

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The Summit to prove I made it!  Looking inland

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First cherries of the season.  They are grown in the Amari valley, where we started out.

Plakias for the Last Time

Wednesday 1st June

We have been to Plakias a few times, stayed and driven from nearby to eat, but always out of season.  We used the sells-everything-supermarket and a butcher.  Parked up and then were asked to move by the Life Guard … the season started today and we could not take up more than one parking bay.  With his OK, I moved us onto a rough area … it suited us as I could angle the fridge out of the sun.  And a bonus was that we were a little distance from the late night revellers loudly wending their way back to the their holiday accommodation …. we still heard them, but at least from a bit of a distance.  We have both agreed that out of season with only a couple of bars and restaurants open is much preferable and have no desire to stay there again.

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A drink stop in Plakias.  Last time we were here with the Aged P’s we watched a car being pulled out of the harbour. 

Secret Location P!

Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd June

This is a park up that has not yet appeared on any of the parking apps and we will not be the ones to change this.  We were introduced to Secret Location P by friends Lin and Bo who are good friends with some of the business owners there.  Lovely sandy beach.  Showers.  Great inexpensive tavernas.  It is a special place …. calm and quiet.  It feels healing somehow.  The two days here just oozed by.  Maddy and Jordan are coming to stay from 11th June and to give them some space,we will come down here again in the van.  We think this IS the Perfect Beach.

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Coffee Break.

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 View from the van 

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Rocky walk with CO2

And so back home

Saturday 4th June

I walked CO2 through the rocky undergrowth to the next beach and came back by the road!  J cleaned Jez … not a deep clean as we will back in him in a couple of weeks and before we leave Crete on 2nd July we will wash all the rugs etc.    Swapped vehicles back at the airport parking and returned home to Almyrida.  Feels hotter here as less wind.  I’ve already made my jobs list for the week and made a batch of soup!!!  Our mini holiday was a proper beach holiday.  Not our normal choice but it was relaxing.  

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 Back at Almyrida and these are the temperatures inside and in the shade!!





05/22: Amari Gorge Tour

Since the last trip, we’ve had some fun, mostly based at home.  Highlights include:

  • A musical lunch at the Botanical Gardens with friends
  • Various meals with friends …. still not loosing weight!

And Danny and Lisa visited from Thornaby.  They became part of our Turkish lockdown family.  We’ve been up to see them and they stayed in our Devon house in January.  Danny had been unable to get a dental appointment for 18 months … what is that all about?!  So for EUR50, he had a filling replaced over here.  could have had a next day appointment, so we are moving into Dental Tourism as a money making exercise!  just don’t expect your flight to arrive on time!  Once that was down, we headed off to Spinalonga for 2 nights.  Lisa only just managed to finish ‘The Island’ before we arrived.  We parked up at Plaka beach for 2 nights, visited the island and ate out.  Super hot so used a bar’s sun loungers and had a few swims.  En route, we stopped at Knossos (Minoan main city) and on the way back at Moni Arkadi.   And we managed just fine all 4 of us plus CO2 in the van.    We also has a WW2 tour about the start of the invasion … will probably repeat this with the Aged Ps in October.

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Spinalonga Island and Elounda behind.

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Danny and Lisa are not lepers, honest!

So Danny and Lisa left on Monday.  House cleaned Tuesday.  Next guests arrive on the 11th June … we have a few weeks to head off in the van … yay!


Potamon / Potamoi Dam

Wednesday 25th May 2022 (IRemembering Nicky’s who would have been 57th today)

Before we collected Jez, we went via Chania for J to pick up his repaired hearing aid … he’s been on one working for over a week.  And let me tell you 50% of hearing aids is not equal to 50% hearing loss.  I am sure people think I must be more unpleasant than I am, due to the aggressive sounding shouting.  And he has missed most of the conversations when any background noise.  

Our 2nd chore was to take Jez to a Fiat garage to have a new remote key programmed.  When we were thinking of selling Jez last summer, I hid 2 sets of remote keys, along with all locker etc keys somewhere SAFE.  Of course, we kept hoping they would turn up.  The van has been emptied and turned over, but at some point (probably much earlier than now) it is sensible to get a replacement key.  Especially as we are thinking of Turkey come July.  So down some narrow lanes to the Fiat service centre.  A chap came out and wanted to drive Jez down to the back of the garage, between a wall and lots of parked cars.  It was TIGHT.  I don’t know if he had ever driven a right hand vehicle before.  Keys programmed … apparently if we do find the missing 2 sets they will no longer work anyway!  But then I had to reverse out.  J was my rear end man and another man on the front …. big sigh of relief when out onto the road.

Only 1.5 hours drive to Potomon Resevoir  We’ve stayed here before, but this time we’ve moved around the other side of the dam.  So hot, we got the chairs out and sat in the shade of the van reading and knitting.  Peaceful views only briefly disturbed by a drone!  What?!?  Two photographers and a bride and groom for a photo shoot.    And thankfully CO2 didn’t jump on her!  Once it cooled down, I walked CO2 to the junction of the road we want tomorrow.  It was impassable on our last visit here due to massive subsidence.  It’s been re- tarmaced and slipped again.  Along with landslip across the carriageway and encroaching foliage making sections single track, but passable.  Signs up declaring it a ’slow speed road’!  And no prizes guessing for the person who didn’t pack the mossie spray! I’m OK, J is my decoy!

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Potomon Resevoir.  For the second night we moved up to the chapel.

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We’d gone cheap on a replacement roof light, and it doesnt open as far as the previous one.  After exploring lots of alternative routes up the roof, I finally managed to get through the aperture and cleaned off the various Sahara dust storms.

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The wedding shoot.  Do wish men would have their too long trousers turned up!  Lovely dress, but grey from the dirt at the bottom.

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View for the chapel parking.

Patsos Gorge

Thursday 26th May

We ran the dodgy road but only for a 3km run.  Getting warm.  And recently we’ve been driving to where it is virtually flat to run, so the hills were taking it out of us.  A short drive the Patsos Gorge.  Anther revisit.  Very pretty … a (much) younger couple ahead of us indicated that it was impassable from the bridge, so we aborted on part of the climb down.  Into the taverna there for lunch.  Decided to head back to Potomon reservoir, but stayed next to the chapel.  More shade and higher up to less mossies.

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A prayer to St Anthony and you don’t need your crutches to walk out of the gorge.

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Lots of prayer offerings and scraps of written prayers stuck into the rocks.

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Patsos Gorge.

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Syvritos by Thronos, Monistraki a mistake, and Moni Asmaton a ruin

Friday 27th May

We stopped by a church in Agia Fotini to ’steel’ some water.  Such high pressure, it should have been called Agia Fountainii!  I did a mini hand wash, filled the van.  Proper working town so managed to buy mossie repellant and itch cream from a pharmacy.  J suggested a cold drink at the cafe …. good to ‘pay’ the town for the water.

A sort hop onto Thronos, destination Syvritos.  J is normally up for most of my suggestions.  He had some comments on this mini excursion though.  Mostly along the lines of the sense in climbing a rocky track in the heat of the day.  And hadn’t we seen enough Minoan sites already.  At the top, he sat with CO2 in the shade and I went to explore Syvritos.  I was back pretty quickly.  It was so overgrown that there was very little to see.  Just a few signs denoting building A or B.  Thorny bushes so couldn’t even walk around what was there.  Ho hum!  It was much quicker going back down to Jez.  Had to move the van from a dirt area as apparently that was the bus parking!  Lunch in the shade with a breeze.

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View from the climb to Syvritos.

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Was the climb worth it James?

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Not when this is all there is to be seen!

Then onto Moni Asmaton and just before we arrived, J suggested an ice cream at a cafe …a quick swerve and parked.  Coffee and ice cream. I looked at the map … Mono Asmaton was all of 150m away.  So I left J with CO2.  A stunning ruin with an intact chapel in the middle.  From 1927 to the 80’s it had been an agricultural school.  One much newer building had been replastered recently.  It would make a good hotel complex.  I was tempted to ‘lift’ a couple of shutters and doors to decorate the patio area in Almyrida, but would have had to walk back past the cafe with my swag!  Too embarrassing.  

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Is Moni Asmaton worth walking to James?

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 Yes, it was! 

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We drove towards Monistraki.  Another ancient site with a parking that promised views (ergo a breeze) and water.  Errr … not down that road we aint!  Sat nav re-routed us to another unfeasibly narrow road with over hanging trees and parked cars.  A 5 point turn and the bemused faces of locals as we passed by them on the way outta town!  Similarly we headed to Amari, but it didn’t seem to have any larger roads.  Another 5 point turn.  Ooh a lovely parking identified with water, a breeze and on a hill top.  We arrived and decided we may have got Jez up there and under the arch, but then again … Abort.  Tired now, we went for safety.  And drove down to Komos Beach.  We had cycled here previously when we have stayed at Matala.  Much as we like Matala, we knew it would be rammed with a small beach.

We arrived.  Parked.  I swam.  And availed ourselves of cold drinks from the mobile snack bar.  Once the beach front parking cleared out, I moved the van into a prime position.

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Our prime beach front parking at Komos Beach.

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We used the Snack Shack … 

Having been the solo van it felt a bit congested to now be one of 4 vans.  A D, Ch and Greek rental.  The German Swiss chap I disliked.  He seemed to think it was to let his large German Shepard roam free.  Disturbed CO2, who promptly shot out under our new £600 door flatscreen.  Minor damage.  The concertina trellis was no deterrent.  Humpf! 

05.22: Mini Road Trip East Crete 2

Chiona And Xerokambos

4th & 5th May 2022

We started the day with a run. Fab views over the Chiona Bay.  Set off on a walk up to the Peak Sanctuary associated with the Minoan site of Palaikastro, but it was super steep and full of loose stones.  We aborted, but still skidded our way down.  James landed heavily, which for a diminishing man (loosing weight … I’m not!), is quite a feat.  He has the bottom bruise to show for it.

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Views from our aborted walk, the Peak required peak fitness!

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Relocated to Xerkambos.  3 sandy beaches but only inhabited by a Dutch man being shot blasted by the sand.  I chatted with his wife about the treasures of Crete.  They are here for 2 months, will leave the car and return in September by plane to save the ferry expenses.  It is sunny still but the winds are at 37kmph and gusting at over 60.  The van is facing the wind and the hab door tied back.  We are passing the time with walks to the beaches and  the salt lake and coffee / wine in one of the 2 tavernas.  I dont much fancy driving Jez in these winds so were are here another night.  

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The cafe yesterday brought us a tasty advert  … lemon chicken and potatoes. We shall eat here on night 2.

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Our Xerkambos parking for 2 nights.

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The salt lake.  

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Even the taverna staff were bringing in the tables and chairs due to the winds.

Voila, but with a Greek accent, Kapsa Monastery and Gorge

6th May 2022

A stunning drive up over the hills.  We had been this way before, but in a hurry.  We had been headed for Ierapetra to get new acquired Corrie her booster injections and have no memory of how remarkable the scenery was.  We tend to think the west of Crete has the best scenery, but this area is special.  

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Up in the hills it was a short detour to an abandoned Medieval village with a Venetian fountain, called Voila.  Wondered if it had a French connection.  Chatted to a lovely Greek dog walker who explained that one property had been pretty much restored so people could see what the interior looked like.  She was a geologist who worked in hotels. Time again we find people with degrees as Doctors, teachers etc who cannot get work in their field or it is better paid to work in tourism.  

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Then the day didn’t quite go to plan.  We parked up by the Kapsa Monastery.  Incredible location, hanging in rocks.  Got chatting to two lovely Canadian couples who had flown their bikes in.  Needless to say they looked super fit and lean.  But whilst chewing the fat (ours not theirs!), we watched a chap arrive by car … as we were about to go into to the monastery and chapel, he came out and told us it was now closed.  10 minutes early too!  

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Kapsa Monastary.

Lunch back in the van.  J nanny napped and then we walked back along the road to the Pervolakia Gorge.  We managed to scrabble up quite a few boulders before calling a halt.  Corrie being a Greek mountain goat, bounds up and over, stopping periodically to check we are still coming.  Oscar, our solid plodder, however, was struggling to find purchase with his claws.  And after a a bit of a slide down a large rock, I called a halt.  It’s quite handy being able to blame the dog for our not completing a 9km there and back gorge walk.  I did read after that this gorse is considered challenging.  Note to self, do thorough research first!

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Pervolakia Gorge … looks easy at the mouth!

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Cave Dog.  Otherwise known as Hanibel Lecter!!!  

The muzzle is to stop him eating everything … bones, poop etc.  We can’t seem to get through to him that he wouldn’t have to wear it if he refrained from making himself ill.

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We bimbled further west along the south coast looking for a remote spot to stay.  All the turnings looked too rough of narrow, so we ended up in Makrigiolos.  Our hearts dropped on arrival as it was wall to wall hotel complex.  But we knew there was a car park along side the beach.  And it was right on the beach.  And the original, much more charming,  part of the village was from here on.  An ice cream and a glass of wine helped us forget the horrors of hotel complexes.  But the wine wasn’t sufficient to knock us out so we didn’t hear the 2.00 a.m. revellers walking past.  Why is it drunk people have not quiet button?


Pefka Gorge

7th May 2022

Just a little way back into the modern part of Makrigiolos is the start of the Pefka Gorge.  Billed as being much more accessible.  We knew we wouldn’t make it all the way to the top as it was over 6 km each way.  And today was warm.  Now I’m going to blame Oscar again!!!  Corrie being Greek, sun bathes in direct heat at 32C.  Oscar melts at 20C.  I prune his fur but he still pants.  And we had an incident a few weeks back where he had a mini fit from over heating.  So we are careful of him.  So we made it a little way up the gorge before deciding O had had enough!  Lunch was back in the old part of Makrigiolos.  

This was our last activity before heading back home.  Dropping and emptying the van at the secure airport parking.  Picking up the car and heading back to Almyrida.  We’d had a great trip and it totally reminded us of why a) we love touring in Jez and b) how wonderfully diverse Crete is and c) how Oscar can be blamed for everything!

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 View of Makrigiolos from the Pefka Gorge.  The walk was more along the top of it than in it.

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Bonus pic … not every day you get to see James’ bottom!  His bruise from where he slid coming down a mountain is developing nicely!




04.22: Mini Road Trip East Crete 1

Heading East

Friday 19th April

Kalimera readers – James here blogging after a long gap – for all kinds of reasons…..   We Jazzed to the east of Kriti – via Heraklion for a new Jez key – we seem to misplace keys – occasionally…  (K:  What he kindly doesn’t say is that I hid two sets of Jez keys somewhere safe.  Along with the roof box keys.  News sets all round required!) We wild camped overnight in exactly the same spot as 4 years ago – big Spinalonga.

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A repeat overnight … just over onto Big Spinalonga

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K walked up to a chapel and later when looked oat our blog from 4 years ago saw I’d taken the exact same photo.

Pachia Ammos

Saturday 30th April 2020

While wrestling with the roof box on our Suzuki car, I strained my wrist – painful – so Nurse Clune bandaged (not banjaxed) me up. No running and an easy day and Lidl shopping… 

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Nurse Katherine LOL!  A tea towel was sacrificed to make a bandage and dog lead used as a sling.  K wasn’t a Girl Guide for nothing, even if they did ask her to leave!

Tholos Beach

Sunday 1st May 2020

Another lovely beach overnight – hair pruning – moi and big O…In the morning, I ran and K did Pilates of the Caribbean – or Aegean…I’ve got up to 5Km walking and running – keeping my pulse rate below 106/120 max. We’ll run/walk a half marathon in October – to accompany Maddy and Jordan – virtually – raising money for MacMillan nurses…

We liked Tholos.  One close Taverna and a few bodies (alive).  Only the Brits were sunbathing with a needed wind break. Walked to the end of the beach and spotted a chemical loo  (which we used: not us but our cassette). 

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Tholos Granary was used in Roman times.  Goods were shipped in and stored until they were sent by pack horse to a port on the South.  The question has to be, why didn’t the ship just sail to the next port?

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Tholos Beach and some geezer taken from the granary.

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 Corrie STOP!

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Oscar post pruning.  J had his head sheared too! 

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We do not have a choice.  Too many so called friends have spoilt CO2 and now they expect to have a bed snuggle every morning.  Corrie goes to extremes and lays her head on a pillow and is often under the duvet!


Monday 2nd May 2020

Parked at Mochlos – as 4 years ago…  Am – drove to the town – it rained – sought refuge in a taverna – for local lunch – aubergine salad, fava and moussaka (K:  You forgot about your side order of fries James!) – noshtimo! 

Overnight was near Sitia … a turtle hatching beach.  Again a spot revisited.  K checked when turtles come up to lay eggs on the beach (May-to September is the answer) and did a recconnaisance walk before releasing our beasts.  Locals smiled and waved at us or even came and had a CO2 cuddle.  Nowhere have we found people to be as friendly as in Greece.

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Looking back to Tholos Beach.  

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Mochlos.  When it rains  what to do but have lunch.  Last time we were here we sat outside and watched a cat try to climb a pole to reach a squid hung out to dry.  Today we watched rivulets of water come under the restaurant awning.

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Fortunately the sun came out as we walked back to Jez.

Sitia and onto Chiona

Tuesday 3rd May 2020

City of Sitia  – walk – seeking a phone case, cable – no luck so will order online. Lovely city Sitia.  Proper working town. Obligatory coffee… 

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Yep, cold and windy.  May in Crete!

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Roman Fisheries.

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Coffee stop.

Drove to Toplou Monastery – famous building – and scene of defences against Ottomans and Germans…..Well worth the Euro 8 for entrance. Ecclesiastical vestments and altar bits – reminded me of being an altor boy in Glasthule St Joseph’s…

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Toplou Mnastery.  It’s wealthy as they own tracts of land on this this western point.

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And it does look like a fortress.  Part of the museum was guns from the Ottoman resistance and WW2.  It seems incongruous but most Greek priests and monks took up arms.

On to our overnight stay at Chiona.  We chose a different restaurant to last time we we were here, just to shake it up a bit!

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So far it has been too cold, wet and windy to get the stand up paddle board out.  It is travelling strapped into CO2’s sofa …. they have to take turns and occasionally they both manage to get up there.

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Chiona Beach Wetlands.

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Chiona Beach.

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Nearby Palaikastro Minoan site.  It was second in size to Knossos but not fully excavated.  Free to wander as no warden or box for the EUR3 fee.

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Local sausages for J.

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Possibly the best shrimp saganaki I’ve had.