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Pride comes before a fall

December 14, 2011

Yesterday John and I decided it was time to go for a walk and explore.  I felt pretty unfit after playing no tennis for at least 6 weeks, enjoying excellent food from friends and family and sitting in a car on the French and Italian motorways.  So we had a look in the book of walks in Eastern Crete and found a trail in the Kapsa Gorge which is about 10 miles away.  The guide said it was ‘a relatively easy one to walk’ and takes 2 hours.  That sounded just about right.

We stopped off at Makrigialos on the way as we had seen a shop advertising Christmas puddings.  Christmas does need a Christmas pudding and we didn’t have one.  This shop was amazing.  Only English speaking voices were heard and not only did we come out with a Christmas pudding, we bought mince pies, bovril, worcester sauce, peanut butter and some orange squash.  I didn’t really think I needed any of these (except the pudding) until we got in there.  An ex-pat’s paradise. I shall try to keep out of it from now on.

We got to the Kapsa gorge and marvelled at the Kapsa Monastery  which is built right into the rock at the end of the gorge.  Why it was built there who knows but there did seem to be a lot of greenery there so maybe there is a good source of water.  I decided to walk in my heavy trainers as it was just going to be a bit of a ‘dawdle’ but John put on his walking boots.  So we set off.  It was warm and cloudy and in Scotland would have been ideal walking weather for the summer.  And we saw nobody else the entire walk. 

The landscape was fantastic.  The hills were high on either side and the rock was a mixture of orange and grey.  Underfoot was more difficult than I had imagined.  There were large boulders to be climbed up and  lot of scree which wasn’t going to be good on the way down. The path was well signposted but this had been done from the top of the gorge so sometimes the signs were not entirely obvious.  And it was not about sticking to the river floor even though it was dry.  The path went up and down on a regular basis.   We kept thinking the village at the top of the gorge would just ‘be round the next corner’.  But after an hour and twenty minutes no village had appeared so John decided to have a rest and I was sent onto find the end of the path.  I arranged to be back in 30 minutes. 

I set off and first I was slightly scared by coming across a herd of goats.  The gorge was completely silent so the sound of scurrying feet was disconcerting.  But once I knew what the noise was, I had to take some pictures.  Then I continued for 20 minutes and still did not come to the village.  I turned round. I don’t think it was too far away and I hate not getting to the ‘end’ or the ‘top’ but this was taking a lot longer than expected.  I started to jog a bit, found things to think about and fell over a big stone.  Luckily I was not hurt and except for a bruise or two, a tear in my lovely trousers and some injured pride.  And the moral of the story is to wear your boots even if the guide says it is an ‘easy’ walk and concentrate! 

On the way back John and I drove into the hills and saw some mountain villages which looked pretty from afar but rundown the nearer you got.  Today the sun shone and we sunbathed, read books and and tested ourselves on the Greek alphabet.  More exploration another day.

Sheila

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One Comment
  1. Mairi Marlborough permalink

    This all sounds so idyllic = I remember doing a gorge walk in Crete thirty years ago. We had to get upat dawn to start to avoid the heat of the day. It was fabulous but i remember being horribly sick on the way home in the bus.

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