Sunday, September 1, 2013

Crete: Matala to Koutsouras

Photos by Jack Waldron

Matala (above), the infamous hippy haven of Crete, and here the welcoming tree at the entrance to the village.  Below, a shot of the bicycle lane into the village . . .
After leaving Matala (where I only stayed for one night, due to the over crowded beach, and the distance from the campground to the beach) I cycle about 80 km to Tsoutsouros (picture below), which took me over the high mountains to the southern coast of Crete.  In Tsoutsouros I stayed at the bicycle friendly hotel San Georgio (special thanks to George and Nick)!  That was a challenging ride and walk, pushing the bike up the steepest sections!!
There are two very dangerous hazards to bicycle tires along the roads, one is very thin steel wires the come out of car tires, and the other are natural burs (pictured below).  I managed a small leek in my back tire until I reached Ierapatra . . . 
The road to and from Ierapatra was stunning . . . 
In Ierapetra, I stopped into a local bicycle shop, where I met Venizelos, who fixed my flat for free!!  I also changed my back tire to one of the Schwalbe tires I have been carrying.  The Continental Contacts (pictured below) just couldn't hold-up to the baggage weight and high tube pressure . . . , thanks Venizelos!!
Beautiful Fotia (pictured above and below), on the road to Koutsouras . . . 
In Koutsouras, I found free camping and a crystal clear sea . . . , and here I am, finding it very difficult to leave, as I make my way to Sitia, where I'll take a ferry to Rhodes.
Below, the view of the sunset in Koutsouras from my campsite, which I must add, is shaded from dawn till dusk . . . a first!!

*All photos and content property of Jack Waldron (photos may not be used without written permission)

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