Many of you know that Kathy has been to Kea before. She’s been enjoying showing me the various hikes she did during her last visit. Yesterday was no exception. She recalled a pleasant short downward stroll on a wide, paved, evenly stepped path to a pretty beach. Less than an hour’s walk. How lovely.
We we packed our lunch and beach towels. It was a glorious swimable sort of day. We even packed art supplies so we could relax in the sun on this fabled beach and sketch. How perfectly divine.
“Yellow Bird” took us up to the parking spot on the road at the top of the trail.
We set off, first exploring a tiny hamlet and watching some men load a well hung donkey up with a heavy jug filled with water from a spring. There’ll be a picture of that in the next post.
We begin down the trail. Quite narrow, no sign of a stone path, very overgrown. It gets more rough, much more steep, much less of a trail, even more overgrown. Bush and cobweb whacking ensues. Kathy says she doesn’t recall this trail as being so densely overgrown, but she was here in October after a summer of drought so everything was crispy brown and dead. Surely that accounted for the difference?
We are supposedly on path number 8 of the Kea walking trails. I only see signs saying path number 3 but Kathy sees 8s peeking out of the dense vegetation as well. Our written instructions indicate paths 3 and 8 share space….
At one point we head off on a tangent following blue dots but realize after about half an hour that despite this being a well trodden path it is going in the wrong direction. We back track, then back track further to a place I can 100% identify on the map. Then onward again, this time actually walking right in the steam bed (dry) watching for some form of trail leading in the correct direction. We find it, deep in shade, well disguised as an unused goat path. Without the assurance from the map we’d never venture in this direction. There are no 3s or 8s or blue dots. Just dense scratch bush and cobwebs. We are now deep in a ravine – where we should be according to the map but can’t see much of anything to landmark our location.
Felling confident we continue our painfully slow progress through under brush and over rough terrain. We manage to get one rusted gate open and climb another. Clearly no one uses this route. Eventually we come upon a place where the main trail intersects this one. Eureka! Kathy knows where she previously had come down a different trail. Here we are intersecting with it.
The remainder of our expedition was a pleasant walk – as advertised – and soon we were at the beach. Our 40 minute stroll had taken almost three hours. We have added numerous new scratches to our scabs and half healed wounds from our Crete misadventure! We enjoy our picnic lunch, a bit of time to recharge our batteries then head back up – on the main trail, with #8s – only 8s – clearly marked all the way. Our entire return trip – up hill every step takes about an hour!
By the time we got home – in faithful little “Yellow Bird,” the sun was setting, it was windy and getting pretty chilly. We lit a cozy fire and settled in for a nice home cooked meal. It’s great travelling with Kathy – I chop veggies and she produces delicious meals.