Tuesday, July 12, 2011—Diafani, Crete, Greece
Another good day, pretty much like yesterday. The main difference is that I attempted to hike to a beach not on the map that exists just south of Papa Mina Bay. The only way to get to this beach, by land, is to take a narrow trail that runs along a very high ridgeline and then drops quite steeply for a long run down to the water. I made it up to and then across the ridgeline. The trail itself wasn’t too tough. The problem was the wind up there, which came in huge gusting blasts, which literally almost blew me off the trail a couple times (twice I had to lift a leg higher than usual to get over an obstacle just as a big gust hit that was so strong it spun me in a half circle). I made it to the point where I could look down onto the beach, though. But I decided not to head down. I could tell that the beach wasn’t any better than a couple much more accessible ones that I could go to and that it was less sheltered and getting a lot more wind than I wanted to deal with. It also would have been a pretty dangerous descent, in that I could see trail sections that were runs across narrow spines with really long drops on either side. Given the wind situation it wasn’t hard imagining me getting blown down one of these drops. So, since the beach wasn’t that cool looking and I was in no mood to die, I headed back to the beach I was at yesterday, where I had a similar day as the day before, except that for the last part of my day there I was joined by Carla, this Italian woman I met at La Gorgona last night.
On to other topics. I’ve finally decided that I will be heading back to Crete next to wrap up this trip. The question is when. There’s no ATM in this town and so I either have to leave by tomorrow (I’ll have enough money to pay for my room until then and pay for an afternoon boat ticket south) or I can wait until Thursday and catch the morning boat down to Pigadia, get some money, and head back up here to pay my bills. The problem is that the ferries back to Crete run only on Tuesdays and Thursday s and most don’t stop up here in Diafani. This means if I don’t head down to Pigadia on Wednesday and catch the Thursday ferry I can’t get off the island until the following Tuesday. The main question is do I want to be on this island that long. There are some places I want to explore still, but another five days might be pushing it. I also have to figure out how much time I need on Crete. I think I’ve pared back that part of the trip to three for sure stops: the Plakias region on the Crete’s south-central coast, Frangokastello, the area of Hania’s southern coast I missed, and another round on Gavdos Island. If these are the only places I go I should still have plenty of time. There are a few other spots I wouldn’t mind checking out, though. At the moment leaning towards taking the Thursday—even though I have really begun to enjoy this place, I just don’t think I want to devote five additional days here, even I don't need the time for Crete.