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perto de Ayía Roúmeli, Crete (Greece)
I must say, however, that I did not enjoy Eligias as much as Tripiti, since there the terrain is always unpleasantly rough, because of large stones and/or fallen trees.
After the fixed ropes I left the gorge well before reaching the mitato Potamos, since it was already late afternoon I saw a beautiful ridge promising a quick ascent in direction Pachnes, where I had planned to spend te night. In this way I was able to reach the main summit of the Lefka Ori before dark.
The next day I traversed to the Troharis, which I never climbed after 2008. Under the summit I found snow to melt; this summer the Lefka Ori were full of extensive snowfields, witnessing an exceptinally snowy winter season. Close to the Troharis I went to Thodori, the summit offering the most complete view on the Anopolis plateau, from where it stands out as an elegant cone.
The next step was the long traverse, with some minor hills on the way, to the Zaranokefala, where I found a view on Samaria at the same level as that from Psiristra on the other side.
At nearly 1900 metres I reached the path joining Mitato Potamos and Agios Ioannis; in this section it contours at the basis the whole wall of the Zaranokefala, in what is perhaps the most dolomitic scenery of all the Lefka Ori. This is also the place of the perennial and precious Zaranou source, in whose vicinity there is also plenty of caves offering valid shelters.
After passing some striking viewpoints on the underlying Eligias and Samaria gorges, the path begins to descend, first to a shoulder and then (accompanied by the hoses coming from the Dounavi source) to Krousia, a beautiful plain above Agios Ioannis, reached also by a dirt road that I had cycled a few days before.
This time, however, I chose to follow the old path in the little valley right above the village. It is extremely and unpleasantly stony, but at evening the location was also very suggestive. At Agios Ioannis food and accommodation are to be found at the very nice Alonia hostel.
The third day, to close the loop, I followed the path which I already knew from 2011, descending first to the once cultivated plain below the village, and then plunging down to the coast through the wonderful Selouda switchbacks. On the seaside one is greeted by the likewise wonderful church of Agios Pavlos.
From there it is sufficient to follow the beach, half sandy and half stony, back to the bridge on the Samaria brook and to Agia Roumeli.
Photos: WORK IN PROGRESS