About Me

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Crete, Greece
Married to the lovely Geoffrey, my soulmate. I have two fantastic big kids,both married, whom I love and miss every day I'm not with them, but I know they're living and loving their lives and we make up for time when we get together.I now have three granddaughters too...

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Mardati to Kroustas,

Since January we have undertaken a series of hikes with friends Joan and Russell.
They normally take all day and always include scrambling, climbing, picnics, brew ups, getting lost and alot of scratched legs!!
We started this trek by driving towards Kritsa from Aghios Nikolaos. Just after Mardati, we pulled over and parked in a lay-by.
If you look carefully at the above photo, on top of the mountain centre left, you will be able to make out a radio mast....that's where we are heading, yeah!!

First hurdle is trying to get through the river without getting our feet wet...
You can see the mast clearly now and the first part of the walk is on concrete and is up a slow incline

First brew up, we sit in the church yard enjoying the wonderful sunshine.

As the track gets steeper, we enter an area shaded by trees where the flora enjoy damp and shade.

Looking over the Mirabello Bay, you can see the visibility is hindered by the dust laden breeze coming from the south, giving very pleasant temperatures for this time of year.
The track is an old donkey trail and as you may have noticed has now fallen into disuse.

This part of the walk is a little uncomfortable as these bushes have very sharp thorns, note to myself...cover legs up next time!!
Soon, we are back on a wide path and enjoying the fresh air and jolly banter..
That's Aghios Nikolaos in the mist!!!!
Over there is Sandy's house...remember the photos from the last post...how crystal clear it was!!
And here is the radio mast...I made it!
Here is a Snakes Head Iris. Below, is some almond blossom, the perfume was gorgeous!

We finally entered Kroustas...the village is 500 metres (1700 ft) above sea level. It's known for it's almond growing. Later in the year, the old ladies sit outside their houses cracking the almonds open, just as they've done for centuries.
Joan's wooden leg has decided not to work at this moment!!

Geoff's legs got their first airing!!
As usual, we had to peek in to some derelict houses, I do believe that's a sewing machine case balancing on that pithoi!

Look at the colours!! And the abandoned family photos!!

This is a very common sight at this time of year, trucks over laden with olive prunings...they are taken to feed the sheep and goats.
As we start walking back the air has cleared slightly and you can see the road the car is parked on way down below.
That is Kritsa Gorge beyond Kritsa...maybe one day we'll walk that gorge.
Last year I concentrated on the flowers of Crete but this year I'm going to tell you more about the walks/treks. But, as orchid season is just getting underway, I can't really leave this out...
This walk took us 6 hours, some parts were uncomfortable due to the stony surface. We stopped for a picnic at Kroustas.
Once back down again we all fell into the car and went home for a well earned glass of wine(or 3) and a lovely supper cooked by Joan... we slept well last night!!!!
p.s. Joan does not have a wooden leg really!!


menopausalmusing said...

.......But does Geoff have hairy legs?

Great post! Just great.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

dont believe you - bet she has got a wooden leg really :-)

Tattieweasle said...

Very pelased to hear Joan doesn't have a wooden leg. I just love all your photos and the almond blossom is heavenly but what really gets me are the Iris. I love them!

Cheryl said...

I want to go hiking with you! :)

ArtistUnplugged said...

What an amazing trip! That looks like quite the hike, loved all thephotos.....just how long did that hike take?>

FeatherDuster said...

Great photo tour. I'm ready for a glass of wine (or three) myself! ;-)

Jenny said...

I think 'retirement' in Crete is getting closer!

Nutty Gnome said...

I think I need a holiday in Crete - and a guided walk with you 4 ...it looks like such good fun!

Ms B. Thrift said...

What a beautiful walk (well apart from the thorns!) again i adore the abandoned houses, such treasure troves, maybe one day they will be lived in again