Wednesday, June 14, 2017

2017 - Greece - Day 7 [Crete]

Today, Samaria Gorge! It will be a full day activity where we leave at 6:00am and expected to come back to the hotel by around 8:30pm.

Kydon breakfast bag
Our hotel, Kydon, had a breakfast bag if you were leaving before their breakfast actually opens and it consists of a sandwich, slice of cake, banana, apple, and a bottle of water in a nice paper bag. Very nice.
Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge

The trip to the gorge consisted of us leaving the hotel at 6:00am, getting transferred to another larger bus shortly after and we made it to the pit stop near the start of the gorge hike at 7:20am where we had 25 minutes to buy any last minute items and washroom break.

Samaria Gorge
Our actual start time at 8:00am. Note, it is colder up here, so you might want to bring something warm for the beginning of the hike and just bring a backpack to put it away when you are warmer.

How'd these rocks get inside the tree?
It is a steep decline in elevation where you will hike from 1,250m (4,100 ft) to 0m (0 ft) and the hike is 16 km in length (14 km for the gorge and 2 km to get to the town where you will take a ferry).

Samaria Gorge
I would say that the initial portion (the downhill hike) is a bit boring and dull, whereas the last half is where the pictures that you see online are and it is just as nice in person.

Samaria Gorge
It took us from 8:00am to 3:00pm to get to the town at the very end of the hike. We did bring hiking poles and while personally I'm still not sure if they helped, Allison did appreciate having them.

Samaria Gorge
Along the way, there are a number of stops where there are rangers in case you have any issues and there are plenty of signs to tell you where you are and there are water springs as well to fill your water bottles so you don't need to bring all the water you need for the day, just fill as you come across them.

Samaria Gorge
With our tour, included was a guide who makes sure that everyone has returned and made it to the bottom and she did start well after us, although she did end up passing us less than half way through the hike. The guide was very knowledgeable and told us a lot about the area and the gorge while we were making our way to the gorge via the bus.

Samaria Gorge
Note, once you make it to the bottom of the gorge to the little town, you are still a 1 hour ferry and a 1.5 hour bus ride back to Chania. If you are going further than that, expect it to be even longer. In our case, the ferry back was at 5:30pm and we ended up at the hotel at 8:30pm.

So pretty!
Rouscis is where we stopped in the town for a snack and we got the spaghetti bolognese, eggplanet salad, pork souvlaki and a frappe for 21,50 euro. Food was okay. It was a good stop though since we were fairly tired by then.

Spaghetti on the bottom left, eggplant salad on bottom right, pork souvlaki top right
While on the hike, we actually met with someone who was doing the hike down with all their gear today, and was going to the do the hike up the gorge the next day! Absolutely crazy!

Samaria Gorge
Overall, a very nice and worthwhile hike. We actually lucked out since the gorge was closed due to weather and was only recently re-opened.
Our ferry
Dinner was at Goody Burger and we got the Texas BBQ, and Bacon and Cheese Salad which came out to 11,50 euros. It reminded me a bit of Harvey's and it was a welcome change from all our souvlakis.

Texas BBQ on the left, salad on the right
1 euro ice cream!
Tomorrow, we drive back to Heraklion.