Sunday, May 27, 2007

Crete: Iraklio -> Sougia

We are now in Sougia, on the south coast, and I really shouldn't be blogging as I am under the influence... influence of sugar that is. There is a rather nice little bakery with some top Greek baklava and a mean chocolate chip sponge slice thing which has had the sponge soaked in honey, its well good. I shall try and blog anyway.

From Iraklio we hit the track again for an eventful two (or was it three?) days walking, cruising through olive groves, vineyards and quintessential Cretan villages. I can't think of any particularly striking events... but it was terribly bromantic.

We then hit the base of the Psiloritis Range and after scoring some real good beans and wine from a local (read more about that here) we de-stroyed an 800m ascent up to the first hut. From there we crossed the mountains, where we found a plateau. I love plateaus, New Zealand needs a lot more. Staying on the balcony of a surprisingly well located Taverna we gained strength before we conquered the 2456m peak that is Mt Psilitoris, the highest peak in Crete.

Some sheep we saw on the way. They smell that same here as they do at home! But dads look a lot tastier.

So we got to the top, well tired and proud of ourselves. Cam had the brilliant idea of getting naked and taking photos... seen as it was only us (a Swiss guy and 8 Germans 20mins behind), I figured why not. I have some tasteful pictures which I will refrain from publishing, although I am sure they will boost my rating significantly... on the other hand... sorry mum:

Whoop whoop.

Down a tricky rocky section, singing some songs we composed. Next day we started out in overcast weather which quickly turned into a downpour. We hitchhiked with a local who seemed to stop to pick up a snail from the road and as an afterthought put us on the back of his truck. We eventually arrived in Rethymno for 4 days to ride out the storm (well, unseasonable rain). The hostel was fantastic, although there was a bakery, a souvlaki shop, a cafe with pastry treats and a roving donut man who always smiled at me blocking my path to the Internet cafe so I was unable to blog... oh the humanity.

Good times in Rethymno at a hostel, destroyed a yellow banana boat with the Allies (ie, a pom and a yank). Also went to a Greek basketball game, boy they were passionate fans! The players were alright... I think I was well taller than most of them.

From there we got back on the track towards the ominous WHITE MOUNTAINS...

... which allied with the bad weather defeated us. So we are making our way a long the coast instead. A whole lot easier.

This has been a huge post and yet only touches on the good times being had and the male bonding we are experiencing. So until next time I leave you to get back to what ever the heck it is you are doing, and truly hope you are having as good a time doing it as I am having here in Crete.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Crete: Kato Zakros -> Iraklio

I thought I would be away from computers for a good five weeks but alas I have again been drawn back to the screen. Which is a good thing as I am now able to tell you about our adventures in Crete!

Crete is fantastic. Its hot, rocky, mountainous, tasty and long. I love it. The ferry ride over was fun (aside from the disco/bar that refused to play music..). We started in Kato Zakros right on the eastern end of the island and have been walking about 7ish hours a day, usually starting at 7ish, then having a midday siesta then walking in the evening. The views are very cool, lots of mountains and rocks and islands. The food is awesome, I love olive oil... on everything... in large doses. The small villages scattered every, perched on every hill are just as you expect. White houses with narrow alleys. We haven't really been roughing it, been sleeping in hotels, cafe steps and olive groves. Only downer is I have pretty sore feet, blister central!

Me and a view. Just before we got lost... good lost though, exploring adventurous lost.

Looking down into the Lasithi Plateau. Very flat.

One of the many excellent vistas. So pretty, so romantic. An excellent place to spend quality time with Rox and Cam. I love those guys... so far.

This is an orange and an olive grove. Two very important things. In case you were wondering, the orange was very tasty and the olive grove was shady and comfy.

My undies in an olive grove. Look mum, I am doing my own washing!

Am currently in Ireklio, the biggest city in Crete. Chillin out for a few days, then off to the mountains. Rox pulled the Red Card last night which made for interesting times with a few Englishmen...

I hope life in all your worlds is good. For more information and contradicting accounts see here.

Love from Tony, Cam and Rox.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Istanbul -> Greece

I have so much to write about but so little time. Gallipoli was fantastic, really well done and, without sounding too emo, moving. Istanbul was very cool. Met Rox and had our first couch surfing experience which could not have been better. Train to Athens was long but good, and Athens is fantastic. Cam, Rox and I jump on a ferry tomorrow for Crete... where will will endeavour to walk 480kms in 5 or so weeks. Good times a coming. I think I will be off line for a while so be sure to enjoy life without any contact from me for a while.

Love Tony.