The last few days we have good weather. It is 15-17 Celsius and no rain. So I decided to find the E4 trail in Heraklion region. Wind&Water give us a little bit old, but helpful book what was about how to go on the E4 trail. For example turn after a while where an olive tree is etc… (In practical not much help)
Yesterday I put some food and water in the backpack and George left me near Archanes where is an E4 signed on a rock. Nearby is a cache too still waiting for the FTF. I told him I will phone him at the afternoon to pick me up. I wasn’t sure where I will be.
I had an E4 map, a printed page from the book, and a GPS, but I still wasn’t sure where to go.
In the beginning I was very happy; I found a lot of sign for the trail. I got next to the stream quickly. Till there I was walking on a muddy dirt road and the water in the stream also wasn’t clean. So I took off my boots and carefully crossed the running mud. Then I started the search for my way. Fortunately many people were working on the fields. I ask them but they never heard about E4 trail and didn’t notice any yellow sign. But they showed me how to go to the village Profitis Ilias. That was my main target. With the maps I had the filling where to go but I didn’t saw any path or dirt road. On the way I found a nice small church with a fantastic view, so I hided a box nearby.
I ate some fruits and got a brilliant idea. Why I don’t try to find the path from the opposite direction, from Profitis Ilias.
After going around the village and enjoying the view of Temenos-there is a cache there too- I found the first sign a little bit out of Profitis Ilias. And more and more signs on the way. I was very happy and liked this so I started heading back to Archanes. It was about 7km till there so I thought I can manage the back part too.
After 2km I had to cross a little stream again. It was much smaller than the first one; I didn’t take off my shoes. That was a BIG mistake.
After this I was climbing an olive field to find the next dirt road. Just imagine the vet boots stacking in the field getting very heavy and in all this my feet is vet.
After finding a dirt road I got in a grape field. From there was really hard to get out, it was fenced. Finally I saw the church where I placed the cache before. Hurrah!!
I got the printed copy out again and try to figure out how and where is the proper crossing for the big stream. I followed the instructions. “END. No way! I can’t go there.”
I went back on the dirt road again. I crossed again the muddy water, but this time didn’t bother me to be clean.
I saw on the GPS where I left the last E4 sign from the morning. I targeted that and like this I found my way back nice and “easy”.
My conclusion to all this is it isn’t necessary to follow the REAL E4. If you want to get to the next point, just follow the dirt roads, it will take you there.
Today we went for a shorter and easy walk. George got the great idea to take with us an extra map. We made a print from Google Earth zoom at the area Moni Paliani. We studied last night the written book, and draw a possible map for the path.
The target was from Monastery Palianis to get to Pirgos village and back.
It was a really nice walk with a short hike at the end. Today the problem was only the very strong south wind, what brought some rain too.
Nunnery Paliani is big and old monastery. This time the main church is renovating so we couldn’t manage to see inside. Definitely we will come back to see it.
Today we placed 2 new caches, a micro box near the monastery and a small box on the hill next to the E4 path.
Generally: for the path I will post a map with waypoints where the walkers can find pools or signs of E4. So, even if somebody gets lost, he can get back on the path.
I hope more people will walk on it and enjoy the marvelous Cretan nature.