I remember it as if it were yesterday……/ 7

It’s the late 1980s, and my then partner and I are on the island of Crete. I had been reading my guidebooks, and thought the Samaria gorge looked well worth a visit. At, I think, 14km it was doable as I figured it wouldn’t be too hot down at the bottom.

i can still see us setting off down the rocky path, and I know I have quite a number of colour transparencies that need scanning in…one day, but not for this post.

Probably my most vivid memories are of when we got to the base of the gorge and set off on the long walk to the end at the sea. It was a most amazing scene, the terrain unfolding before us. In places the gorge quite wide, and further in the rock walls of the gorge closer and towering above us. We saw sheep, goats and plenty of birds and other creatures

Some way along the gorge there was a man leading two donkeys along the rocky track ahead of us, and whilst I could have taken an image from behind, I wanted to have the scene from in front. He was on the other side of the gorge, so I raced along the track on the side we were on. There was a small stream running through the gorge, so I leapt across, jumping onto about 4 or 5 stepping stones, camera around my neck. Miraculously I kept my balance,  my feet and camera stayed dry, and I kept on running a bit further.

I  caught this image…..

Samaria Gorge

…then, determined to get the donkeys crossing the stream, rushed on further, turned round and saw this:

Crossing the gorge

Just look at that clear water!

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22 comments

  1. ❤ Ohhhh, what a great memory you brought me with these lovely photos! I was there in 1995 or so. The bus brought us up to the entrance, we paid (in Slovenia we never paid to hike, it was weird for us), we walked many many many hot hours (it was August), I had only my Converse to wear and couldn't determine if it was better without socks or with them, we weren't thirsty because of the stream but we were hungry and the Greek honey-nut bars saved my life. 😀 Then we reached the sea and that town, pretty ugly with concrete blocks as wave protection, and I was dehydrated and had an expensive fruit cup with only oranges and apples, haha, but it saved my life too. Then a ferry dropped us off to the town where we started (I forget names) and we got off the ferry in a little port where our friend was waiting for us in our "living room", a large black sheet where we put our sleeping bags in the night. Yep, we slept right there on the pier. Thank you for this post! I'm glad you didn't fall in and have these lovely photos as a reminder. I don't have any photos from Crete at all, my camera got stolen (or lost, we never knew).

    • Sue

      Glad these brought back some memories! I would have been distraught if my camera had been stolen….images mean a lot to me, and I’m still enjoying them 30plus years later.. I have posted images from Crete previously, you can search on my site

  2. Wonderful images and the story. Jumping onto a few stepping stones – any time 😉 Now now though.

  3. I think it was definitely worth that effort to get the shot from the front. As well as the donkeys, the man had a ‘good face’ too. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Well worth the fight, Sue. What lovely pictures and memories!

    We hiked here I think 2005, and I don’t remember much of that day. In the morning all four of us were waiting for the bus at the roadside, and the whole pack of stray dogs had followed us there. One of them, a rather big one, waited in the middle of the road. Then came this car…racing at I don’t know what pace, aimed at the dog and hit it straight on – just in front of our eyes. All four of us screamed and screamed and screamed. The dog landed some 15 meters on the other side of the road. Then the bus came in. We had to go for the hike, and I was sure the dog was stone dead. When the bus left with us on, I looked behind us once more – and the poor dog lifted his head off the ground! Now we all were crying out loud and I begged my husband to have us go back. But what could we do? It was out of season, and hotels and everything was on the edge of shutting down for winter. Veterinary? I did not even think they had one.
    The much longed for hike in the ravine – was wasted. A poor dog’s life was wasted. All we wanted was to go back home to Sweden.

  5. I love this glimpse of younger Sue who still has exactly the same spirit and devotion to photography, although not the same stepping stone leaping capacities. I especially love this series because you write as well as photograph.

  6. Wonderful captures 🙂

  7. Really great photos, Sue. I love the way you narrated your story. I could see you racing along in my mind’s eye. Lovely memories. 😃

  8. That sound like a great hike 🙂

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