After the very long day yesterday (up at 05h30 and back at 23h00), this morning started late(r).
The plan for today was to complete one of the most beautiful walks in Western Crete, with extensive coastal views from a narrow scenic coastal path.
The 10h00 bus was full (again), this time, accompanied by Mr. Tourettes. Arriving at Melissourgio, I got off the bus and walked up a few steps on to a side road and set off through the little village. After a short stretch of following the main road, the track began to wind up the hill, getting steeper whilst the sun got hotter.
Stopping at a little red-roofed church, I took a drink of water. Continuing up the hill, the sun seemed to strengthen but the views over Maleme were stunning. Finally, on reaching the brow, I found the path for which I was looking and headed almost vertically, straight to the very top of the ridge. Reaching the top, I was hoping that the wind would cool me down but sadly, in the heat, I was still wetter than a fish's wet bits.
Here, on the summit, I now had a very clear view
to both sides of the Rodopou Peninsular.
Walking along the ridge, the occasional cool wind provided some respite from the heat of the sun, until, finally, I found my path down off the summit and into the little village of Ravdouha. Heading for lunch, a kind old lady (who had not received a pension for several months as a result of the current Greek financial crisis) produced vast quantities of pies filled with greens. When asked with what they were filled, she waved at the fields indicating that the contents came from all that could be seen.
After a fine meal, I headed farther into the village, stopping briefly at a little white chapel overlooking the azure sea.
Continuing down the road, I eventually came to a narrow goat path which headed straight out onto the cliff tops and descended through the olive trees. Occasionally, the path dropped steeply to the right - directly into the sea.
The views along the path were utterly incredible, made all the more delightful on reaching a group of Oleander trees, shining like a pink beacon, and a ruined chapel.
Climbing over some rocks at the end of the
beach, I eventually reached a track that headed back to the main road, a bus stop and, much later, bed.
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