6 Cache trip Trip to the south coast
for The Cretan Runners (Sue and Jules) and Omilos (Suzana)
It was the 14th January and we were lucky enough to have a beautiful sunny day for our trip to the south coast. We left our home in Exopoli at 8:30 and headed west down the National road to Tavronitis before heading south. We had the GPS set to “shortest route” which is never as simple as it sounds in Crete. It often takes you down the old narrow tracks where you never know what you will meet. January is olive harvest time in Crete and we saw many trucks and cars pulled to the side of the road and olive nets laid out to collect the olives.
On one of the wider tracks we took a bend when Omilos shouted for us stop the car. She had spotted a waterfall at the side of the road and wanted to take a drink. When we got out of the car Omilos spotted a homemade ladder lent against the rocks heading up in to the trees. She was half way up the ladder when another car with two Greek men inside stopped to fill their water bottles with the spring water. They suggested it may not be the safest ladder and so she came back down before she discovered where it led and we continued on our way.
We arrived at Sougia in brilliant sunshine so we headed off up the gorge in T shirts. The first obstacle was a goat coral across the path but we quickly found the gate in the fence and headed off to the first cache called Sougia – Lissos. It was a quick easy find and we continued off up the gorge. Considering it was January, the gorge was remarkably dry, with only occasional puddles.
The track is however littered with lots of boulders and branches to scramble over along the way so progress was a little slow. Toward the exit from the gorge there are amazing high rock overhangs to the east side and then a zigzag path which steeply snakes up the gorge to the west. We needed a short stop toward the top to get our breath back.
When we reached the top we arrived at a flat ridge with some gentle bushy pine trees which looked stunning against the deep blue sky. I imagine these will provide welcome shade in summer but we were happy to enjoy the sun and pushed on across the plateau toward Lissos. From high up there are lovely views across Lissos bay and beach and you can see the archaeological site laid out before you.
Again there is a steep path zigzagging down the mountain side. In one place the track was quite narrow and you need to take extra care but we managed it without any mishap. At this point there seemed many worn paths down but they all seem to lead to the same place so there is no need to worry. We found a sign offering boat trips back to Sougia and for fun we rang Captain George but his boat was out of the water for the winter. We didn’t really need a ride but I guess this would be a useful service in summer for tired walkers.(6947605802)
On the way back we stopped on the plateau and Omilos placed a new cache called Pine Ridge to be published soon. As usual, the return to Sougia Harbour was much quicker than the journey outward and Omilos took a swim before we had a picnic lunch on the beach.
We headed off after lunch for “windy Rock” cache near the wind farm, high up in the mountains, before turning toward Omalos, at the top of the Samaria Gorge where there is another cache. We drove through the snow line and on the way we had to stop the car to remove three snowmen built across the road barring our path!
We arrived in a snowy Samaria and had to abort finding the cache here because we could not even find the path in the snow.
We also had a late addition to our caching trail as a new cache had been published that morning at Theriso Museum. Our dear friend Omilos spotted a short cut on the map that appeared to save us 20 km on the drive but this proved to be a very windy road and we think took longer to get there. We arrived at the Museum as the sun was setting. The Cretan Runners decided that we wanted to get the FTF so we tried to lock Omilos in the back of the car but she escaped and we hunted for the cache together. We had seen a picture of a gun on the smart phone so, when we saw a gun, the GPS was forgotten and we all ran to it together. After searching we thought it may be the wrong gun. We looked about, now with our torches, and saw another gun and ran to it…. Again it was the wrong gun. Now we went back to the GPS and Sue found the right gun and Jules found the cache. Hurrah! The Cretan Runners thought they had beaten Omilos to the FTF but when we opened the log we saw we had both been beaten to the FTF by RENPET.
We went home tired but happy having had a challenging walk, a swim, some great caches, a visit to the snow and some fun at the new cache on the way home.
The caches we visited were:-
Sougia – Lissos GC1T3GC by Wind&Water – Found
Lissos GC2BC3V by Heidels05 – Found
Windy Rock GC28YJF by luxi – Found
Omalos GC1YDAW by Wind&Water – postponed due to snow
Thermiso Musem GC44BDO by Thouvou – Found
Pine Ridge New cache by Omilos GC to be confirmed
Thank you to all of the cache owners for providing these great caches.
The Cretan Runners January 2013