Sunday started off calm and sunny, with crystal-clear skies. However, there were white-capped waves far out to sea which gradually approached Sfakia, pushed by a strong southwesterly wind. It was very hot in the sun if you were out of the breeze. In the morning the Dimos put on some free entertainment for the village children near the plateia.
A few of us drove up to Anopoli to look for orchids – I had been up there two weeks earlier (see report from March 27), but what is in flower can change a lot over that period of time. Clouds appeared over the mountains before we started up, so unfortunately we didn’t get a view of the Lefka Ori as we turned the corner onto the Anopoli plateau.
The grass and sweet-scented clover have really grown high over the past few weeks, so we needed to look carefully for the smaller flowers along the path, although they were easier to spot on stony areas. This time there were no butterfly orchids at all, but lots of Eastern serapias, small purple quandripunctata, and Robert’s giant orchids; we spotted only a few spider orchids and small yellow and fusca ophrys, and a couple of wavy-leaved monkey orchids. But now the lovely hill orchids (Orchis collina) are plentiful, and a couple of pyramid orchids are just starting to open up. Other types of flower are out, of course, including electric-pink gladiolas, a tassel hyacinth (Muscari comosum), and quince trees, with their lovely large white blooms (none of the quinces were in flower in Kallikratis yet). The barbary nut iris flowers finally opened around 2pm. (more flower photos in the next posting)
After our walk, we stopped at the Anopoli taverna for a meal (it was very busy there, as it is most Sundays). The Platanos restaurant now has a fancy new antichristo device for cooking meat over wood outside, but it hasn’t been inaugurated yet. The household-goods truck passed by, selling its colourful wares.
Walking back to the car through the village, we could see that the fields across from the school are still flooded. We passed 3 mules and 3 donkeys (including a very pregnant one) and were aurally assaulted along the way by a flock of noisy turkeys strutting around, domesticated geese cackling, and a peacock’s piercing call.
Chora Sfakion had been very busy over the lunch-time period, as several bus-loads of Cretans descended on the village. There were a lot of people around in the evening too – the tourist season is hotting up (even if the weather isn’t!).
Today (Monday) the weather is like yesterday – sunny, but with a strong cool wind, and a clear morning sky followed by some clouds.