Sunday, 15 November 2015

The only way is up...

Today for our last day of walking we headed back into The White Mountains.  Leaving Charnia behind us we drove through mile after mile of orange groves , through the olive groves and chestnut woods and across the Omalos Plateau.  Goats and hardy Cretian sheep wandered across our road, too set on grazing to give us much thought.

The going was steadily upwards around the Agia Irini Gorge, and if we were silent there was nothing to hear except for the occasional bird song.  It was as though the earth was as content as we were.

The terracing to the left is originally where wheat was cultivated, which can't have made for an easy life given the remoteness.

The way was 'paved', after a fashion and was probably done when Adam was a lad!, if not many years earlier!

Eventually, the higher we walked, the trees petered out to be replaced by othe plants more resilient to this climate.

Light relief was a key hole, set into a piece of foam board.  Don't ask why,  it was just there!

This sign keeps you on the route.

But with Jonathan as our guide and a clear, if uneven, path underfoot we had no problems finding our way.

As in life, it's alway good to stop and take stock,to look back from where you've been and then move onwards.

The fading leaves of the acers provide a bright spark of light to contrast with the dark green of the cypresses.

Whilst there was a path you needed to look down to make sure you didn't trip on the exposed root systems.  I rather wish I'd taken more photographs of tree roots.  Aren't they marvellous?

Are we there yet??

Yes we are, and here I am to prove it.

We're all smiling, which is just as it should be.

After a rather tasty picnic lunch Nikos drove us a little further along so Jonathan could introduce us to the Samaria Gorge.  Closed at this time of year, it is just stunning and quite takes your breathe away.  Perhaps that is another walk for another time?

In the evening dinner had been organised by Jonathan in a restaurant a short walk away.  Plate after plate of Greek meze and then we were served some of the very best fish and chips.  

And if you have never seen newly pressed olive oil then take a look at this, the most beautiful Chatrese green colour. Almost too good to eat.

So with the tins of honey and olives already packed it's time to head off home.  Walking the paths of Crete as part of Jonathan's Autumn walks has been a delight.  The beautifully sunny weather was a bonus,  each meal a taste bud explosion and many happy memories stored, to be taken out and remembered in the cold dark days of winter.

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