Today the weather was beautiful and sunny – it is very hot in the sun, although it is still cool in the shade and at night. Many people have been swimming and sunbathing today, and the various scheduled ferries and taxi boats have been doing a good business.
Wiltrud and I walked to Ilingas via the old footpath. There are still spider orchids, white anemones, two kinds of poppies, and dragon arums in bloom as you turn into the gorge. The part of the path above the gorge is more dangerous after the winter as there has been a collapse of the cliff side at one point, leaving loose stones piled high in places. The descent is more treacherous in spots, and we had to make our way slowly and very carefully, although near the bottom the stone scree is about the same difficulty as before. Even using walking poles, I was uneasy about the path and won’t go down it again, although coming up might be a bit less tricky. The gorge bottom, as mentioned a few weeks ago, has been gouged out by winter rains.
Ilingas beach was a delight – no wind, and few other people. Cretan ebony (Ebonus cretica) is in bloom on some of the cliff walls, and bright yellow Verbascum arcturus is hanging high up on the cave. We also found delicate little Tordylium apulum, which have small white irregular petals and interesting seed heads, and bladder vetch (Tripodium tetraphyllum) along the road.
Today the newly-renovated Samaria-Livikon restaurant has opened, and their rooms have had customers for the past few days. So most businesses along the front are now operational.
Last night’s sunset was beautiful (thank you Bettina vB for the photo).
We talked to some hikers yesterday who had stayed in Sougia and tried to walk up the Agia Irini gorge, but they said that it wasn’t possible due to flood damage. They had a similar story about another gorge walk in the Elafonisi area. So be prepared for changes to planned gorge walks this spring.