Where are we?

Lots of sightseeing with the car :)

 Monday we get the car delivered just after 10 and by the time we got the paperwork done and things in the car it was close to 11.

Yup that's our little pipsqueak Hyundai i10 :) 
when we stopped for gas this was a funny sight - dog standing on the straw bails going for a ride

Sights along the highway to Heraklion

Today we are going to go to the largest city on the island - Heraklion which is 2 hrs away. And why you ask - because there is an IKEA there! LOL!! Have to check that out plus the cell company Vodaphon is on the same street and we have to go there to get a Greece SIM card since I am out of minutes on the one I bought in Holland. And now since all calls are local I'm switching over. Plus the Dutch one expires on Nov 15th.

Yup pretty small
We get the SIM card pretty easy and on to IKEA - which is disappointing because it is more a store to pickup online purchases :( Not much to see. But did buy a wall clock for only 2.49E- since my fitbit quit I need something to tell time when cooking and checking my phone all the time doesnt cut it! LOL!!

After that we went back onto the highway since parking in these cities is not great! We are heading out to Ierapetra where my girlfriend Sue and her dad spent a week back in 1996.  She said it was pretty out there with shells on the beach :)  But as we continue oolong the highway we figure we wont have time to get there, have lunch and be back before dark - it was already 2:30.

So instead we head north east to Elounda - a pretty looking place from pictures I had seen that our campervan friends Jo and Si from England took last winter when they spent time on Crete with their motorhome.  When we get there its a lovely little bay with a few restaurants still open. After walking around a bit we go to one of the cafes and ordered hamburgers. Menu is very limited at this time of year, burgers, club sandwich were about the only choices.  So burgers it is :) plus a cappuccino for me and coke for Dwayne.

travelling thru one of the little villages once we got off the highway - just got a little tight when that truck got closer - but we made it
Lots of rock walls in this area - reminds me of Morocco  

Replicate of one of the 10000 windmills that were used for irrigation many years ago in this area

If you click on the picture you can see all the lots divided by rock walls 

More rock walls coming down the hill 

This huge bus made us stop when we saw it come around the corner! Didn't expect to see something that big on theses narrow roads! 

Not a lot of room to spare as he passes us 😱

Looking down to Elounda and the bay area

fishing boats in Elounda marina. In the background is Spinalonga Island - where the last leper colony was kept in Europe until 1957. 

They look like toy boats to me :) 

Yup burgers and fries (no cheese pies here!!)- and they were very good - Dwayne had beef and I had chicken. Both great for 6E each

Ya I know its cute - ya so is Dwayne 😍
After that we started to hard back to Tsiklaria since it was now 4pm and we have a 2 hour drive ahead of us.

Tuesday - decided today we would head to the west coast. As we are driving along the highway we turned off to head towards Paleochora instead, which is on the south coast. The south coast is only reached by taking different highways south off the National Coast highway which runs east to west.  There is no road that goes completely around Crete.  Paleochora was 'put on the map' as a favourite place for the hippies back in the 60's.  In the summertime it is very busy - main street is closed off to facilitate the extra tourists that arrive.  That is the best thing about travelling now - no tourists! Its cooler and I'm probably not going to go into the sea, but that is fine - its nice a quiet and laid back now.

The drive is interesting to the south coast.  Road is very winding and we go up high and then down into the valley. The valley is full of olive trees. We see a sign indicating a Olive Oil Mill in a small town only a kilometre off the highway. So we head over to it.  We speak with the only girl that is working in the office - tours actually ended this past weekend. But she speaks English and said she can show us around. Great :)  She said not much is happening in the wine making area so she takes us to the main building where the olives are brought in, weighed, and put into a hopper to separate the olives from the leaves that are also collected when the olives are raked together on the tarps in the field and put into gunny sacks.  Each farmer has his own bags which are labelled and returned to him once the olives have been removed.  The olives then go into a long tumbler where they are washed, mashed spun around in a cylinder and comes out as oil.  But at this point the oil is to bitter and now goes into huge tanks where it sits for a year settle before bottling and sent out to the retailers.

We go back in the tasting room to try out some of the olive oil - unfortunately since tours are over there is no bread for dipping, but it still tasted pretty good on the spoon, so bought a 500ml bottle of EVOO for 5E.  I can always take it with me to Honduras and then home since I also have a another can of EVOO that I bought at the market last week :) We could also have tasted their wine selection for 5E each but passed.

Olives go into the hopper to remove the leaves which are sucked up the shaft and blown into the back of a truck outside the building

Each bag has a label with the farmers info 

Olives are washed in the large tank

Then the oil is extracted in the tumbler 

Then comes out as oil and goes into large tanks to settle 

Bags emptied and rolled up waiting for the farmer to pick them up again to refill with olives

This is the dried mash from the seeds that can now be used as heating fuel in the house
Leaves are blown from inside into this truck. The leaves are then spread around the base of olive trees for fertilizer

Vats full of last years olive oil ready to be bottled

Filling machine on the assembly line 

Labeling machine
After we drive thru the olive groves the landscape gets rockier as we get near the coast.  We drive thru the village and have lunch by the main beach. It was very windy coming into the village but this side of the peninsula where the beach is located is very calm. The east side is the windy side which we found out when we stopped there for a coffee :)

We then take one of the roads heading up the mountain to get a good view of the village.  Then its time to head back.  This time we take another route back to the main highway that takes us a little further west and the terrain along this route is very different.  It goes along the side of a very deep gorge. Very narrow road in sections, a tunnel and some great viewing sites.

Looking back at the olive groves

Now it becomes more barren and rocky

Great beach in Paleochora that was empty today :)  

The calm side of Paleochora is the west bay where we were sitting. 
Hard to really see how deep the gorge is - just have to believe me LOL!!

One way traffic thru the tunnel

The road becomes a little more narrow after the tunnel 

Hope no one is coming the other direction!! Very steep cliff on my side!! Also happy there is a rock catcher above the road!
Thats ends another day of driving around. Not sure what direction we'll go tomorrow 😁

1 comment:

  1. Was that Samara Gorge? We didn't get there. Loving your descriptions of every day. Makes me want to go back for sure. Keep 'em coming.