Treat yourself for a job well done

continued from the previous post, “Scenic, but dangerous”…

We hiked, slipped and slid for 13 km down the trail. We had started high in the White Mountains and dropped 1,250 meters in elevation through the Samaria Gorge to reach the National Park’s southern exit. The walk didn’t end there. We continued another hot and sunny 3 km on a sometimes cobblestone and sometimes rocky road into the small town of Agia Roumeli. Time to celebrate!

DSC07540

Agia Roumeli, Crete sits at the base of mountains on the Libyan Sea.

We didn’t have to worry about getting lost in Agia Roumeli. As we walked toward the sea, we passed the ferry ticket office and stopped to purchase tickets for the 5:30pm ferry to Hora Skafion. Why take a ferry? There are no roads to other towns. Agia Roumeli is locked in by mountains and the only way out of town is by sea or hiking.

We had 3.5 hours before the ferry was to depart, and we knew just what to do. We popped into a restaurant on the waterfront and took the last seaside table. More thirsty than hungry, we shared a calamari platter and had very large cold drinks, as we watched a slow procession of tired, sun-burned, overheated hikers enter town.

We looked out to the azure blue Libyan Sea and watched the ferry arrive.

We looked out to the azure blue Libyan Sea and watched the ferry arrive.

We ducked into the taverna’s changing rooms and switched from hiking gear to swimsuits. Paid our bill and made our way to the best section of the pebbly beach. We dropped onto lounges, ordered more cold drinks, and relaxed under umbrellas.

The umbrellas are reflected in Joe’s glasses.

The umbrellas are reflected in Joe’s glasses.

We waded into the clear water of the Sea of Libya to cool off and felt ever so much better. What a great way to end the hike! As the sun lowered, we knew time had come to catch the ferry to Hora Skafion.

The ferry was not fast and an hour later we landed in Hora Skafion.

The ferry was not fast and an hour later we landed in Hora Skafion.

We’d read that the bus would be near the dock to meet the ferry, and, indeed, about ten buses were awaiting the many passengers. We quickly found one, No. 66, headed to Chania, and, within minutes, the bus was climbing the mountain, hairpin turn after hairpin turn, to take us back the hour-long ride.

We both had taken pills for motion sickness – more for the bus ride than the ferry.

We both had taken pills for motion sickness – more for the bus ride than the ferry.

We walked home after 9 pm, and stopped for one last celebration ice cream cone. The hike had been a challenge, and our time in Agia Roumeli gave us the perfect ending. We slept well that night.

But that wasn’t the end of the hiking story. For three days afterward our legs were so sore we could hardly walk – a memento of a long 40,000 step downhill hike. Our achy legs seemed a price worth paying for views of the beautiful Samaria Gorge.

 

July 2014

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
This entry was posted in Around-the World - 2013-14, Greece and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Treat yourself for a job well done

  1. Thank goodness you didn’t have to walk up again.

  2. Cliff Mail says:

    Well done guys, what is next on the mountaineering agenda- Everest?

  3. bernice rowe says:

    Notice how you both look younger than when you left!!!seriously

    Sent from my iPad

Tell us what you think, please.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s