Fun with Farragis

Posted by on July 26, 2013
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Camp on a cliff.

On Day 3 of my Crete E4 adventure, I began to realize that trail markings are apparently not a thing standardized across the world’s trails. I’d ended up on the wrong side of the valley from Vori, just below the highway that wound up in the village of Sikia.

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E4 Map.

What my map didn’t show, it turned out, was detail: a pretty important thing to exclude! I was essentially using a road atlas at a scale of 1:50k, the only cross-Crete map I could find in Athens, but when I found myself off-trail and confronted by a hundred winding paths through olive fields it was never quite enough to be sure where I was. Eventually, several hours after breaking camp that morning, I finally found an E4 sign and knew I was back on track.

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View from a Sleeping Bag.

Not even making what I’d expected to be half of the days’ distance, I camped outside the settlement of Dhafni in another abandoned olive grove. Not bad as far as campsites though, but after such a frustrating day I was quite glad to have a warm meal and a nice view to lull me into a more pleasant state of mind.

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Cookin’ Good.

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Map of the Crete E4.

The next day, number 4, was fortunately a lot more positive and considerably smoother. Despite intense sun and a lot of time on roads, I managed to stay on-trail and even have a couple of friendly interactions with some of the folks who lived in the village of Orino.

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Good look, right?

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Hilltop view.

From here the path, another rough road into the shepherds’ valleys in the mountains above, wound up and up and up and up for over half a kilometer on dusty gravel into the Thriptis mountains.

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Mountain valley village.

Finally arriving near the village of Thriptis, looking towards the Med in the North and Libyan Sea to the South, made the whole experience a little more palatable.

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From my front porch I can see the sea!

Stopping in town to ask a family for water, I was treated to a big shot of the local raki in addition to the more nourishing beverage I’d requested. With a belly full of fire, the last 30 minutes to where I camped for the evening (overlooking the Cha Gorge and sunset beyond) were some of the quickest miles of the whole hike.

Gorge-ous Campsite

Cha Gorge campsite and tire fire.

 

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