so as usual I have taken my sweet time uploading anything. However, I blame technology making that annoying, as I like to upload pictures and, well, it hasn’t been so simple for me to get pictures of create so far… Oh yes, I’m on Crete!
I left Athens (finally) about a week and a half ago, I believe. A simple ferry ride, complete with sprawling out in one of the ferry hallways along with many Greeks as we tried to sleep…. I got no sleep. I arrived in Chania as the sun rose over my first Greek island, in what turned out to be a very sunny day (Rare it seems. I have seen so much rain… I really didn’t expect so much, even for this time of year).
I was greeted by so much green ( trees that is, none of the Cretan special I’ve heard about), and fresh sea air. I ft so invigorated to be on the move again, to be out of the concrete metropolis of Athens. Chania is beautifully small, and at that time, so quiet. I immediately found bougatsa, as I heard Chania made the best in Greece… While it was tasty, the one I tried, it didn’t beat that of a town I can’t remember the name of in Pilio. But hey, the search goes on.
I strolled up and down the city coast, visiting abandoned buildings, talking to the local cats and dogs (getting scowled at by the respective owners, naturally), and just enjoying it all like a dirty pigeon who had been freed from his grisly cage of urban civilization. I then made my way to my couchsurfing hosts house, where I stayed with a lovishly sarcastic woman whose five cats ended up being my portable heaters for the next few nights (being that they slept all over me). I was introduced to Greek carnival, which is basically Halloween in February, or early March…. Actually, it’s like a month long come to think of it. It was strange, but entertaining. What I learned from it is how much I feel like an alien at parties, even when I have my fill of free liquor. Always learning!
In between rain storms I made my way to Palaiochora, hitching at night (which is very uncommon for me). My second ride, with Albertos the Albanian, took me through the Cretan mountains, which were just stunning. Rolling foothills covered in olive trees and little white houses dotting the landscape. Just what you would imagine the Greek countryside to look like. I also found out that when a Cretan asks if you would like coffee, that means raki (Cretan ouzo/tsiporou).
Palaiochora lies on the other side of the mountains on the south Western coast of Crete, and after descending and being shown around the quiet town of about 2000, my driver made a very awkward request for 30 euros. He tried signing the amount to me, and at first I was just plain confused. I then remembered his mentioning that he drove a taxi service for tourists between Palaiochora and Chania… Oh joy. I told him I had little money (that’s why I’m hitchhiking after all…) and he was very nice about it, and let me go on my way without a fuss… I mean, really, why would I be Hitchhiking if I would be willing to pay 20 euros for a ride (a bus being about 7 euros for a greater distance than he had taken me). I guess I don’t look dirty, poor, or smell bad enough… Yet.
So I found a lovely spot on the beach, a little cave cut into a forest of bamboo. I quickly set up camp, and did some exploring. Which was about a week ago now.
It has been so rainy here. There is lots of sun as well, but every few hours, a rain storm. it’s not a horrible problem, but my my dies it get old. And makes leaving a bit of a problem. Apparently it’s like this all over Crete, and my couchsurfing requests have so far very much failed, so I’ve just been hermitting it up here. I’ve come to enjoy it, though. Food is cheap (I’ve fallen in love with this cheap cheese I can’t remember the name of), I’ve been reading some good books, meditating during the rains, and yea, having alone time.
It really is a lovely place. I’ve befriended a man in a local taverna where I have come a few times for Internet now, and I got to witness the end of carnival, which consisted of a very loud and colorful Street parade, as well as a sort of burning man thing on the docks (which I witnessed from my camp, fireworks and all). It’s warm at night, I’ve got lots of wood to burn, and here and there are other free campers who I have yet to actually see.
Phew. Here’s the video. Until next time.