The first night at Zakros was the most comfortable I’ve had yet. I was able to snuggle up against a sandstone cliff and put my back to the south wind that blew all night. With a few towels and pieces of clothing to pad the bed, it almost felt like I was sleeping in my bed at home… with the windows open… and with pork roasting right outside the window all night. The morning of a layover day is always relaxing. No need to pack your boat, no thinking about your timetable or when to get on the water. Just boiling water for coffee and making breakfast. Then making a second pot of coffee.
After the languorous morning, we set off to hike the Gorge of the Dead up to the town of Zakros, just over 2 miles away. We started late enough that there were many tourists, that we politely stepped aside for, bustling down the narrow path. Once near the town, various fruit trees dangled their wares over the fences that contained them and we gladly gulped down grapes and pomegranate seeds and walked into the town square with sticky, stained hands. To top off the fruit, our team of four gathered for gyros and beers at a small hotel restaurant, before picking up groceries and trekking the 4km back down the gorge to our boats.
The evening was slow, the wine flowed freely, and another pot of rice, sausage and extremely hot Honduran hot sauce disappeared into our stomachs before another deep sleep under the cloudless starry sky.
Back in the Saddle
We slid back out onto the water with rested paddling muscles expecting a casual stretch to finish out the East coast. The weather had other plans.
From the get-go the team was paddling into a light headwind and it increased throughout the day until 9 ft swells rolled underneath the hulls of our kayaks. CP remembers it as “the best swell paddling of the trip this far. Riding the elevator and climbing the green hills.”
We pulled into a rocky beach below the monastery of Moni Kapsa just before sunset and immediately began making dinner. Even with warm temperatures, paddling in the constant wind and spray chills a body quickly, but the chill didn’t last for long and we eagerly bedded down amongst the trees before 8pm.
We have completed the short East coast and now have just half of the South coast to go until we’ve completed the entire circumnavigation. There are plenty of days and the weather looks to be in our favor for the remainder.