Surviving Samaria continued.....

After a little while, we heard a loud rumbling behind us. This freaked Gail who wanted to run. I convinced them that running was more dangerous than walking on the wet rocks and I didn't fancy having to carry out someone with a broken ankle. Soon after the rumble, three men came running past us. They didn't even stop to say why they were running. A short time after this, another group came walking quickly down the track. They told us that there had been a large rockslide. The people who had run through earlier had narrowly missed being buried. His group had a close call. They were not even sure if anyone had been under the slide.

The rain began to ease. The water was still running down the rock faces. Just as things had begun to calm down, Gail of all people, had a golf ball sized rock miss her by about half a metre. The wet rocks in the gorge were absolutely stunning. Quartz veins running through the rocks were reflecting the warm light and looked like gold. These veins had amazing patterns. Unfortunately, my walking companions were not in the mood to hang around while I took pictures. Frankly, neither was I.

Finally we reached the toll gates where the gorge narrows to 3 metres. There was no choice but to go through as quickly as possible and hope for the best. Finally the gorge widened considerably and we were safe. We all breathed a huge sigh of relief. We walked out to Agia Roumelli and had a couple of cleansing ales at a tavern while we waited for our ferry to arrive.

There is a funny ending to the story
Gail and Claire fell asleep on the ferry. I went out to the foredeck to admire the view. When the ferry docked at another small port halfway to Paleochora, Claire and Gail woke, saw I wasn't there and thought it was Paleochora & I'd disembarked, leaving them on board. Luckily, I saw them disembarking and called them back. There is only one ferry in the afternoon/evening and we were on it. Had I not seen them getting off, they'd have spent the night there.

Joe Cali

 

 

 Samaria - Guided Tours or DIY?

Guided tours cost quite a lot. From what I could see, the guides didn't walk the gorge with the patrons. They only travelled up to the gorge entry and leave the customers to walk the gorge alone. They would then take a bus and a ferry to the gorge exit to escort the groups back to Hania. If you can manage to catch buses and ferries by yourself, there is little point taking a guided tour. If you visit he gorge without a guide tour, the costs are much less. From Paleochora DIY costs are as follows

  • bus to the gorge $3 - $6;
  • park entry fee $4
  • ferry bus tickets back to your starting point $6 - $13