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Archive for the ‘Samaria Gorge’ Category

SamariaGorge_1786

Taken at the top

Yesterday I successfully walked the length of the Samaria Gorge. For those who haven’t heard of it (and a year or so that would have included me), it’s about¬†16 kms long, with an additional kilometre or two at the bottom for the walk-out to Agia Roumelli. There’s also a 1250 metre drop in altitude.

I arranged an excursion through an agency in Paelochora, starting at 7:30 yesterday. The first thing I did was to have some breakfast at a snack bar and bakery just by the pickup point. I bought two filled sandwiches – one for breakfast, the other to eat during the day. This is important as there is no food available during the walk. I also took two half-litre bottles of water, with the aim of replenishing them during the day – there is water available in the gorge. I was glad there was, as the litre of water I’d taken wasn’t enough – I must have got through twice that amount overall. I wore a hat, and I wore good footwear – I don’t think ordinary trainers (and certainly not sandals) would do. I have a pair of North Face walking shoes – think ‘tough trainers’ – and they were a good choice. Boots would also do, of course, but would be very heavy and hot. (more…)

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Just a quick post to say that I managed to complete the Samaria Gorge walk. I’ll do a fuller report with images tomorrow, but this post is just to report success, and to admit that I’m rather pleased with myself. The whole day lasted just over 12 hours, and I was walking for just under 7 of them. But as I say, I’ll do a full post tomorrow.

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Last year I was attracted by the walk down the Samaria Gorge, but in the end I didn’t attempt it – I blogged about my reasons here. This year, however, I’m going to do it. As I’d hoped, there are excursions from Paleochora to the top of the gorge and I’m booked on one tomorrow.

It starts at 7:30 am and takes us to Omalos, which is a small village some distance inland and up in the mountains, and is near the start of the gorge. I’m not clear if we get dropped in Omalos village (which is two or three kilometres from the top of the gorge) or whether we get driven to the top. I hope the latter – it looks as if there is a reasonable road to the start of the walk.¬†Then after 15 (or 17) kilometres the weary hiker arrives at Agia Roumelli, another small town/village along the south coast. This is the one that doesn’t have any road links to anywhere; instead there’s a ferry from Paleochora that calls there. The ferry back leaves at 17:30, and takes a bit more than an hour to get back to Paleochora.

There are a couple of things that could still spoil the plan. First, if the weather is rough – specifically, if the sea is rough – the ferry doesn’t run. However I gather this will be known early in the morning and in that case the whole excursion is cancelled. The other problem is my propensity to tummy upsets – one of these was part of the reason why I didn’t do the walk last year. However, I’m reasonably OK so far this year, and I’m well-supplied with the appropriate medication! All being well, I shall do it tomorrow.

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