Friday, 8 July 2016

Fri 8 Jul 2016. Heraklion to Chania to Mithimna Beach/Nopigia

Fri 8 Jul 2016. Heraklion to Chania to Mithimna Beach/Nopigia
1 hr late off ferry, refreshed by the air conditioning overnight in the cabin since hitting high summer. Parked early in a paid compound to look around, very happy, but woman in booth kept trying to tell us something before we packed up to walk walls of Heraklion. She finally got a customer to translate - we would not be able to get out later in day as it was a one-way street and on road ahead was a low awning and an impossibly narrow street. Sigh, as it was we had to back down the one-way street to "escape", much to chagrin of arriving commuters. She had directed us to centre-town parking and we followed signs into unbelievably narrow streets that ran out and became the town square. Much manoeuvring, shrugging sorry, and returning the way we’d come in, finally arriving back at port, one hour after departing!! 

First view of Crete
Little boxes, on the hillside...

Parked on wharf and had breakfast, discussing Plan B. Took advantage of wonderful fresh breeze from the ocean, made up bed with all fresh bedding, sorted, folded and put away wash. Decided we'd lost the morning so drove along northern beaches. At Bali Beach, found delightful bakery/ cafe for lunch, and peeked into the tiny chapel on way back to camper. 

Tiny chapel at Bali Beach

Turned off "ringroad" to look at Kourna Lake, Crete's only freshwater lake, surrounded by the White Mountains. Being quite shallow until well out in the middle, it did not tempt us to go for a swim. Had a look at the Kournas pottery and woodwork, amused to find the people of the island call themselves Cretans.

Traditional Cretan, eh?

Arrived Chania, bypassing its narrow streets whilst looking for a shop that might sell foam. Re-gassing the vehicle's air conditioner has made little difference to its functioning, so we need something solid to plug bolt hole to keep what cool air there is, in the cabin. No luck at shops, but we did discover that Cretans have their siesta between 3pm and 5pm. Checked out three campgrounds before we decided on one on the beach that could take our height, whilst providing shade and breeze to do our chores. 

Spent an hour searching without success for the Garmin, missing since it was put “safely somewhere” for the vehicle service. GirlRob came up with idea to take down duffle bags of winter clothes and bedding from top boxes and use them to stuff the bolt hole, at least for time being. Pooled contents into one bag and put blanket/quilt cover into other - with a pillow each side they did the trick! (and didn't add another item to carry). Too tired to cook by this time, went in (still in dirty clothes) to on-site restaurant, had squid and cannelloni, then were served free watermelon and raki (deadly, tasted like Italian grappa) whilst waiting for the bill. Waddled home for a long-awaited shower, fell into deep sleep to sound of deafening crickets in the plentiful trees.

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