Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Crete: Day 3 - Loutro to Agia Roumeli

Day 3: (April 4, 2013) - From Loutro to Agia Roumeli
This was a long day of walking that provided some of the most beautiful landscapes that I have ever witnessed.
E4 Leaving Loutro
Immediately outside of Loutro are ruins and a short distance from there is the ancient port of Finikas.
Technical section of E4 near Likos
The E4 around Cape Moures was great, but the section near Likos was difficult.  The photo above shows how the suspended path dwindles away to a 4th class scramble up to a catwalk that skirts the cliffs leading to Marmara Bay.
The catwalk near Likos
It took some thinking and a bit of determination, but I pressed on and we conquered the obstacle.  
Marmara Beach
By the time we reached Marmara Beach, it was already 13:00, with over 15k left to walk... but with perfect weather, Cape Plaka was incredible.

Several hours later, we reached the welcoming pine forests near the small 10th century church of Agios Pavlos.
Pine forest near Agios Pavlos
On the beach, Agia Roumeli in the distance
The last 5 k was on the beach, more or less.  Agia Roumeli slowly revealed itself like a surreal ghost town.  Was it real?  Completely quiet, with nobody visible, it seemed a bit strange.  Fortunately, our first encounter was with a friendly man who was baking bread and offered us a beer and a homemade roll.  Perfect welcome.  We found our accommodation  the Samaria, and realized that this place was of heaven.   

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