Sitia has become more than just a temporary home. The city with a population of approx. 10.000 is very lively and offers a wide variety of shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. Pickups outnumber „regular“ cars and are the preferred type of transportation. Wherever we go we meet people that make us feel welcomed. We don’t know if it’s the weather or the culture but most likely a mix of both. The days fly by and we enjoy the breathtaking scenery of Crete by taking hikes and exploring the numerous gorges in the area. But we are also confronted daily with the downside of our consumption oriented throwaway society. The amount of plastic garbage that gets washed-up on the shore is unbelievable. Not far from Sitia lies Analoukas Beach, a beach covered with debris. Most of it consists of plastic bags, plastic canisters, screw tops and parts of fishing nets. Strong northern winds and current drive all this garbage into the bay and make the beach look like a dump. Despite seeing this supermarket shoppers still ask for plastic bags and buy huge amounts of water in plastic bottles. What more will it take to make us change?
The gorges in eastern Crete are in direct contrast to Analoukas Beach. Our latest gorge was Pefki Gorge on the south-eastern coast. At this time of the year there are no hikers and the gorge was exclusively ours. Because of the recent rain fall the gorge was filled with lots of water and we got our feet soaked more than once. It was worth it. Pefki gorge differs from the other gorges (Richtis, Dead, Toblou) we hiked. There are lots of Pine trees and white rocks that can only be found here. Pefki village is situated at the entrance of the gorge just underneath an impressive mountain scenery and overlooking the gorge towards the sea. Just before we reached the village we were greeted by a bunch of puppies that looked like Joiz. They were with a man cutting back olive trees and the followed us a bit along the way before running back downhill. As we are still in pre-season the tavern in Pefki was still closed but we managed to get a coffee in a cafe that at first seemed closed. Despite being the only guests we were offered some freshly brewed greek coffee. While the old lady was preparing the coffee she gave us some information about the village e.g. why so many houses are up for sale. Some of the houses have been bought by foreigners (Dutch, Swiss, German, British) but most of them avoid the contact with locals. In Romania we’d experienced first hand how important it is to integrate and how beneficial such an integration can turn out for both sides. From Pefki we hiked back to our car and drove back to Sitia on a badly washed out dirt road.
We love being so close to the sea and watching those beautiful sunrises and sunsets. It never gets boring. We are so lucky that we can travel free and without fear and live our (one) life.
One Life. Live It!