Today Wiltrud and I took the early boat to Loutro to do this long walk. Now that the clocks have changed, we wanted to get back to Sfakia before dark, which meant catching the 5pm boat in Loutro.
The coastline between Sfakia and Loutro was well defined in the strong morning sun. The beaches at Ilingas and Sweetwater looked empty. Loutro appeared dazzling white ahead, with Livaniana hanging above it.
As we walked through Loutro, almost all the businesses were packing up and cleaning, having shut after the weekend. The Daskalogiannis café was still serving refreshments, the central Porto Loutro is still open, and the Ilios restaurant is fully open, and other hotels are still renting out rooms, but the rest of the shops and restaurants are now closed.
The views down to Loutro and Finoikas from the hill over Loutro were gorgeous. The clouds disappeared as we started our hike, which was unfortunate, as the steep walk up the kalderimi to Livaniana can be very tiring in the hot sun, which was made worse by the humidity.
We were glad to finally reach Livaniana and find that Aik’s tavern was open – the signs on her gate say “self-service” and “open all winter”, so if she’s not in sight and her lovely Alsatian dog is on the lead, you can let yourself in (but NOT if the dog is loose, as it will run off and probably get shot by a shepherd).
Aik has many plans for improvements over the winter to the Livaniana taverna (a better bar area, an outdoor oven where she can bake bread and cook small dishes), and to the path up from the coast (with local help she will erect 4-5 sun shelters on the kalderimi). We look forward to visiting her next spring and seeing these changes. And if anyone has a few spare hours now, she needs 2-3 strong people to help her repair the roof of the yurt, which ripped in the high winds.