The “usual” team RenPet, Juktas and Omilos went out for “some” hike again. After a difficult weekend at work I had to go out, enjoy the nature and relax. For me (Susana, the female Omilos) the best way of relaxing is walking, hiking at the mountains or gorges and of course find or place some caches. In Crete I am lucky; we have enough places like this.
It’s long time, since the first days of February, we wanted to visit Agios Ioannis (this was my wish for my birthday) near Hora Sfakion. We’ve been there a few times and it is always a pleasure to stay there. No TV, no news, difficult Mobile connection. Perfect. Only GPS signal!!!! Here everybody can get what he likes.
George (the male part of Omilos) at the first day was busy placing new caches at his favorite pine forest where we had a relaxing warm up walk for the second day adventure. Aradena gorge was for me the highlight of the 3 days. Especially how we did!!
After a good breakfast with strong sun, but not too hot weather we started our walk. First we wanted to do Aradena gorge around, but soon I found on the map a better way. So we went down to Marmara beach at the west side of the gorge, one hour on the dirt road and other one hour on a very good path. At noon we arrived at the beautiful Marmara beach where Juktas and I had our first swimming in the sea.
It wasn’t warm at all, but we enjoyed it. After a picnic and rest we got ready for the hike. We wanted to start in time so no rush if something comes up, as with us it usual happens. And also it is a 650m different in elevation!
The beginning of the gorge is very impressing. More then 300m high walls at the sides is something we can’t see everyday. Some parts were easy to walk, but mostly we had to climb enormous boulders.
In the middle of the gorge RenPet found our cache (with some difficulty because of bad signal). The logbook is not getting many logs; this is not an easy walk. As RenPet recommended we raise the terrain 1 star more, so now it is 4, 5.
After a rest there we started the second part where we had to decide which path we were going to follow.
1. Up and down on the side wall where last time George (problems with height’s) had some unhappy moments or
2. Climbing on some metal stairs, what I was very excited about. What can I say; we ended up on my way.
Everything went well on the stairs. They are good and steady. On top of the boulder after the second stair we saw a few ropes, and I started to suspect what is waiting for us. Before anybody can say something (definitely I didn’t want to go back on the scary stairs) I puled myself up with the help of a rope. And encourage the others-if I did it the whole company can manage it; my physical condition is not the best. Only I felt a little sorry for Juktas because she’s only 10 years old and she was frightened but she also, like the others, managed it. After this we thought (and hoped) that we won’t have any more difficulties.
But we lost the “path”. George went up 20-30 meters on a side with rolling rocks, below Juktas and me. Renate and Peter just started to climb up, when I stopped them. I started to look for signs, but I saw nothing. So we had to go back. Except George we managed to roll back to the proper path and soon we found the marks again. This part of the gorge is not well marked, so be careful end don’t do our mistake. The next 30-40 minutes we tried to find Georges a way to come down safely and continue the hike. He’s my hero, a little scratch on his hand and a hole in the water pack was only the price for his mistake. After all this the rest of to trip was an easy Sunday walk before lunch-how my brother says-and about 6 o’clock we arrived at the car.
Before we left Juktas found the cache at Aradena village.
Later we had the fantastic spaghetti of George and chatted about our experience.
We really had great time at Agios Ioannis area although the difficulties we had and all of us will remember this experience.