The morning was warm and sunny again. Having watched the Samaria load up for its trip to Loutro and Gavdos, we walked to the new harbour for a taxi-boat excursion. More boats have been taken out of the water for the winter, and the Neptune is also parked there until the spring.
Stavros took us along the coast to Marmara for a view up the gorge and into the caves and then dropped us off at Finix. A few tourists were swimming there, but unfortunately for us the restaurant was being painted, so we had to continue on without our anticipated refreshments. The owners have cut back their tamarisk trees above the beach, but their bouganvillea is still in full bloom.
We walked slowly back to Loutro along the lower path around the headland. There was a patch of delicate autumn narcissus just after the last hotel, and lots of little marigold plants lined the path. The goats were too busy munching on lentisk leaves to bother with our presence. There is a Roman-era barrel-vaulted tomb on the headland (thanks, Mary, for the information), but we always wish we knew more about the age of the different groups of ruins along this path.
We had hoped to find a café still open in Loutro, but even though there were some chairs and tables set up outside the Daskalogiannis café, the door was shut and the owner was not in evidence. A few people were carrying out final cleaning jobs in other tavernas and hotels, but no one was serving even coffee (but we were told the little kiosk in the middle is open in the late afternoon for cigarettes and biscuits). The Kyma hotel on the far side is being gutted and renovated, so we didn’t want to linger long with the sound of building work echoing across the bay.
Two of our party waited for Stavros to pick them up in Loutro in the taxi-boat, and two of us walked back to Sfakia via Sweetwater beach. It was very hot on the path, and we stopped in the shade of one of the few carob trees to cool off a bit. By the time we reached Sweetwater, we were ready for a swim and threw ourselves into the sea. There were two other people on the beach, but as we swam out, watching vultures soar overhead, the only sound was the sea lapping on the stony shore. Some swifts danced over the water catching insects.
We were relieved that some light clouds came over as we made our ascent from Sweetwater to the road. Just above Sfakia where the sheep pen is, we caught sight of the new lambs we have heard bleating for the past several days.
There was another gorgeous sunset at the Faros café, where they were celebrating Josephina’s 4th birthday. A northerly wind started up, but some tourists still had their dinner out next to the sea.