Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sitia Stopover

Tuesday, July 19, 2011—Sitia, Crete, Greece

Finally made it off Karpathos, out of Diafani. This is a good thing. Even though I really enjoyed myself there I was beginning to get too comfortable in the place, too entrenched. It was past time for me to be on the move again.

I only made it as far as Sitia today, on Crete’s east coast, which is where the plane landed. Though it was a very short flight—just forty-five minutes, including a brief stop on the island of Kasos—including the travel time from the Diafani down to the airport a ways past the airport in Pigadia, I’d already been on the move for about four hours. If I would have kept going all the way to Platias, which was my original plan, I would have been on the road for at least another four-and-a-half hours. I decided that I wasn’t in the mood to spend that much time traveling today—I’m not in a big of a hurry to get anywhere at this point in the trip. So breaking things up by crashing here seemed like a good idea. The question is do I stay here more than one day. I might just get up early and catch the eight-thirty bus to Iraklio, from which I can catch a bus to Rethymno and from there another one to Plakias. My other option is to stay here one more day and see V’ai, a beach area about 26 KM down the road, which I missed last time thru and would like to check out. I’m leaning towards just bailing out for Iraklio, mainly because, though it’s pleasant here in Sitia, it’s a bit too urban for my current frame of mind and putting up with that for an extra day doesn’t really thrill me, not when the only payoff is V’ai, which is of moderate interest to me at best.

Feeling tired today—I took an almost three-hour nap this afternoon, one of those naps where you wake up all sweaty and out of it and don’t even know who you are let alone where you might be. My tiredness is not just an outcome of getting up early today—it’s that kind of fatigue one gets at the end of a trip, when one is wearying of the machinations of the road. While there are still things I wish to see and do here, the truth is I’m starting to look forward to getting back to my day-to-day life at home—with some improvements. During my time here in Greece I’ve done a lot of thinking about my life back home and have figured out a few things as to what it’s missing, what I need to change about it to make myself happier—and I can’t wait to start putting those changes into place. I’m also itching to get back to work, believe it or not. I’ve been teaching far too much this last year, but this time off has really helped me to recharge my batteries. And like my life in general, I’m now seeing ways to improve my classes that are really making interested in teaching again.

To backtrack a bit, the trip down thru Karpathos was quite beautiful. We took the twisty, sometimes dangerous road, which runs from Diafani down thru the mountains all the way to Pigadia. This route really makes one see how rugged and wild and beautiful Karpathos really is. The place also reveals itself to be greener than generally apparent; most of the run is thru patchy pine forests that extent to some amazingly low altitudes. This drive also reveals how few people there are in most places; the villages that seem to be clinging for dear life to the mountains or resting in the valleys are few and far between and really look quite insubstantial compared to the harshly attractive landscape in which they exist.

Oh well, enough for today. I’m going to read for a bit and then head off to an early dinner. It’ll be interesting to see what place name the next diary entry carries.


Anonymous said...

Rob, just looked up V'ai beach on the google imaging, and it looks nice enough, but I can actually see the rows and rows of umbrellas!About 1k or so to the south looks better. And Itanos, abit north from there looks less touristy and supposedly has some ruins at Erimoupoli and some minoan ruins at a place called Roussolakkos.

Anonymous said...

And I just realized that the above comment probably won't reach you in time....