The island of Crete

I am sitting in bed recovering from my hike down the Samaria Gorge. It was 18 Km all down hill. Only today did I calculate it out properly and realized it was 11.2 miles! This was like hiking down into the Grand Canyon. Fortunately I did not have to hike back out – we took a ferry from the bottom to a town where our van met us and drove me back near my air BnB. I was not in proper condition for that long of a hike and it ended up being grueling. I had fortunately signed up for a tour to include transportation, so had a guide along to coach me thru it. The ride up and down the windy mountain road in the van was really hard too, since I have motion sickness – I did yoga breathing plus medicine and avoided throwing up- but it took all my attention. It was day of having to be focused the whole time and succeeding despite very difficult circumstances, because I had no other choice, I was committed. It was a reminder and lesson to me about how commitment and focus are important to success. This is a photo of initial steps down.

This is a photo of me plugging along near the bottom by the guide, Thomas, who kept me going and gave me a hand to balance over the tricky bits. I fell several times due to muscle fatigue before the half way point and then had to just get my head focused on making the ferry ride at 5:45. I made it to the ferry dock at 4:10 (we started down at 8 AM)

I really enjoyed my time in Glasgow last week with Robbie – we had a lovely time on Monday, a bank holiday. We visited an acupuncturist and had lunch downtown, walked around to see sights. Had an amazing dinner at this place:

Robbie and I shared pig’s cheeks, cauliflower salad, fresh Gluten free Pasta plus an amazing mutton and artichoke dish. It was amazing food and we got there as they were closing and they were nice enough to still serve us beautifully. It was such a lovely heart connection with Robbie, I truly feel like I have a younger brother now.

It has been quiet in Greece, I arrived on Crete about midnight on Wednesday night after travelling all day and had to adjust to another two hours of time change. I slept and read and walked on the beach, not much more for several days. Then I got the brilliant plan together to hike down the Samaria yesterday. This is the best photo of where I am taken from a hill looking back at my airBnB behind the hotels. This area is called Doratsos, a suburb of Chania on the island of Crete.

Travelling like tourist is much more expensive and lonelier than visiting friends and staying at places like Findhorn, in community. It is harder to interact with anyone other than service personnel at restaurants, stores, etc. My landlady speaks almost no English. More like a retreat being here. The air BnB is only $300 for 8 days, so Greece is pretty affordable right now. The alphabet characters are different, so label reading for gluten free foods has been tough.

Tomorrow I travel towards KaliKalos, a Findhorn related facility. I am going to work there for two weeks helping them set up for their summer retreat season. I expect it will be some lovely new people to get to know and new challenges.

10 thoughts on “The island of Crete

  1. Terri

    Painful now but an adventure you will look back on with a great sense of accomplishment! You go girl!

  2. Blanche Berreman

    What wonderful adventures you are having. So glad you survived the hike and did well. You are doing amazing things.

  3. Cheryl Edmonds

    Really like reading about your adventures! I would venture to say you will be a changed woman after this journey your are experiencing.

  4. cindy cauble

    CRAZY VAL, Dancing Crow and I had that exact same experience yesterday on a hike that ended up too long at least for me. I struggled terrible and Dancing Crow was doing just enough better to keep me on my feet for the last mile. Good for you…we love and miss you. And we weren’t on a 11 mile hike!!!! Congrats on the success of it all!!!!

  5. Care Lengel

    Ah, the joys of travel. It’s all challenge, beauty, and new adventures. Lots to add to the story of your new lease on life! Blessings! ~Care

  6. Merilee Fox

    Dear Valeria, you were on quite an adventure! it’s fun to read about it and the keep up with your travels. Sending you love and blessings, Merilee Fox

  7. Sandy Spooner

    Dear Valeria,
    What an experience never to be forgotten! You have showed your determination needed to be successful at every challenge you have encountered. I admire you Valeria! Thanks for sharing this experience with us. God Bless! Love you, Sandy Spooner


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