26th August - You get to see Kedros close up and enjoy fabulous views back over the Amari Valley to Psiloritis and forwards over the high, little-visited plain above Spili. Once off dirt roads, the path is generally pretty clear on the ground but as ever the GPS helped me not to stray too far. As you come up out of Yerakari on the Spili road (a tempting ten kms) you take a left just after a fresh water fountain and immediately by a large cistern. There are many distracting side roads along here but you stay with the main dirt track as it winds close under Kedros before turning west. Distance:20km Mov av 4.6 km/hr Height overnight: 402m. Max. height:1,050 m Start at 680m
27th August - I set off from Spili at 0740 under a rather cloudy sky and with a cooling breeze to keep me feeling fresh. Today was always going to be a bit of a road slog and the first few kms to Mixourama was on the main road with cars flashing by. The GPS suggested that there was a road link between Koxare and Agouseliana even though there was nothing on the paper map so, after 6 or 7 kms, I cut across to Koxare. Distance: 32 km Time: 8 hrs. 25mins. Mov av 4.8 km/hr Height overnight: 272m.
28th August - Because we had researched this bit in May, it wasn't so daunting to leave the tarmac-bound E4 and to launch off uphill to make the old crossing (not yet on any map) between here and Askyfou. The first gully climb up to 3,300 ft was quite straight forward as we had done it before. Distance: 22.4 km Time: 8 hrs. 35mins. Mov av 3.7 km/hr Height overnight: 714m.
29th August - Nicholas Crane, at the beginning of his huge walk across the watershed of Europe, writes that Julius Caesar and his Roman Army probably had it right when they walked for three days and rested for one. He ignored the advice (to his regret) and so did I in Part One, but now I had learnt my lesson. So for my rest day, I went for a little 7 km walk around the Askyfou plateau (without a pack) and found my way up to the Turkish fort which dominates the skyline there.
30th August - The day dawned with a cloudless blue sky. I was lucky. The route starts with a gentle two km warm up across the Niato plateau before turning more vicious. The next phase is a very steep 700 meter climb up the north east ridge of Kastro. One of the pluses is that you are doing this in the relative cool of the morning - one of the minuses is that you will probably be carrying something like five litres of water. Distance: 17.0 km Time: 10 hrs. 5mins. Mov av 2.5 km/hr Height overnight: 1,913m. Max. height: 2,060m.
31th August - Katsiveli to Kallerghi via Pachnes- The day dawned with a cloudless blue sky. I was lucky. The route starts with a gentle two km warm up across the Niato plateau before turning more vicious. The next phase is a very steep 700 meter climb up the north east ridge of Kastro. One of the pluses is that you are doing this in the relative cool of the morning - one of the minuses is that you will probably be carrying something like five litres of water. Distance Total (with Pachnes climb): 25.3 km Time: 9 hrs. 30 mins. Mov av 3.3 km/hr Height overnight: 1,518m.(Kalergi) Max. height: 2,453m.(Pachnes) To Pachnes and back:12.1km, time 4hrs 10mins.
1st September - The last two days of the walk were rather low key after the drama of the White Mountains. I left Kallerghi at 0800 after a proper Austrian mountain breakfast served up by my new Bulgarian friend Daniel. It is about an hour down the dirt road to the Omalos plateau and half way down I realised I had left my beloved katsouna (shepherd's crook) at the hut. I couldn't bear the prospect of going all the way back up so I rang Joseph to say that I would collect it the following week. I have learnt that it is now forbidden to cut sticks from the wood of the rare ambelitsia tree so mine is now a museum piece (with the distinction of having walked 450 kms across Crete). Distance: 28.4 km Time: 8 hrs. 20 mins. Mov av 4.2 km/hr Height: 405m.
2nd September - I was up and away from Kandanos by 0650 with the intention of meeting Susa at Elos, spending the night there and dropping down to the west coast next morning. However, it is good to be flexible. The verges of the road to Elos were full of "mellow fruitfulness" - I enjoyed handfuls of blackberries and a couple of the sweetest figs I have ever tasted. The sweet chestnuts were looking good for later, but as all over Crete the grapes had been badly spoiled by a very cold wet Spring. Distance: 32.3 km Time: 7 hrs. Mov av 5.3 km/hr Height: Sea level.
The Port of Heraklion is the main and most modern gateway for the transport of passengers and commodities on the island of Crete. There are three main companies that connect Iraklion to mainland Greece, Minoan Lines, Superfast Ferries and ANEK. During the winter months there are daily trips from Athens to Iraklion. The trip takes approximately 6 - 9 hours by ferry boat. The ships depart Athens in the evening (10.30 p.m.) and arrive in Iraklion at 5:00 - 6:00 a.m. There is also a weekly trip to Thessaloniki. During the summer season all companies operate also an extra daily trip that departs in the morning from Athens and arrives at Iraklion port in the afternoon. Finally various other companies operate ships connecting Iraklion with other island in the Aegean (Rodos, Santorini etc.). Daily cruises are also offered to the island of Santorini.
The tradition and history of Douloufakis Family in vine-yard cultivation and production started in 1930 when the grandfather Dimitris Douloufakis fist established the professional wine production in old traditional premises... http://www.cretanwines.gr/