Although a few faces had changed in the hostel, the mood and the atmosphere didn’t changed that much. A few of the regular guests, some spend several months here, were happy just like me to spend a few more days together. The girls had a beauty day and I wrote the last article for my blog. Only for a hair treatment with all the finest local olive oil (5 € / liter), I integrated myself in the beauty circle. Who would have thought that I kind of like it to let my hair completely rub with olive oil. I felt a bit like John Travolta in the musical film "Grease". But after a day of rest, unfortunately, I had to fight the cold again. So I learned to control it with nasal spray and vitamins.
Fortunately, our friend Ioannis threw another of his legendary afternoon parties. He comes from the north of Greece, and brought in his car about 250 liters of Bulgarian beer, which he shared with Tapas and Raki with the whole hostel on the terrace of the bungalow no. 4. The party starts around 3 pm with 3-4 people and step by step the terrace fills up with more and more people. Everyone brings something to eat or drink and at 6pm everyone is drunk and ready for the hammock or a follow up party. With Ioannis and other guests we also did some super funny quizzes. Of course, I was playing the host.
Right away, this canyon ist my favorite spot on Crete. Together with Uli, Rachel, Rebecca, Pip (ZA) and Lila (Texas), I wem ade our way to a nearby ravine. The bus, that connects Plakias with the busy north coast, goes through here and I was impressed every time I was driving through. I was curios how it may be, to discover it on foot. What you don’t see from the road, the canyon has dozens of sources, that formed a beautiful scenery with waterfalls natural pools. From numerous small holes in the rocks flows, drips, and shoots the water in the river. Due to chilly 16 °C, it’s the best thing to do during those hot summer days. An interesting fact of these sources is that they never run dry. The water is pressed from great depths to the top and fed by rainy regions north of Greece and the other Balcanic States
After descending to the sources we enjoyed the cool water and the magnificent natural sculptures of fallen rocks and stones. I was so happy that I took my camera along. We had so much fun with it. But, somehow, apparently, it was lost. I stood under one of the falls ... came out ... and it was gone. What a catastrophe. The waterfall filled one
of the pools and did not allow to see anything under water. We six searched approx.
15 minutes the basin... unfortunately without success. There’s no way to find the camera under these circumstances. The water was chest high. Pip, who had just brought a diving mask, encouraged me to look one last time directly under the waterfall. And since I'm the luckiest idiot on the planet, I actually found it. What luck. I can not believe, that I have already lost my wallet and my camera and both items found their way back.
What's really cool, is that Uli took us there. He showed us a secret path that brought us downstream. There we
were cut off from the 2-3 other visitors in the gorge. Passing a small cave that’s housing one of the major sources, that almost formed a huge rain shower of several square meters, we had to climb down to get to the heartbreaking beautiful waterfall. Back down at the river, we had to swim a bit upstream. The river already had a depth of approx. 3-4m. Red algaes covered the rocks under the transparent water and there it was; the water falls about > 10m, the immense mass of water fires, sourrounded by steep walls, in the about 7m deep basin. Just a few powerful sunrays reached this place. The water covered, dripping rocks, the roaring water and lighting effects make this place wonderful unique. If you come to Crete, you have to visit this place!
Live Music Night at Joe’s Bar
Not far from the hostel, there’s an unofficial hostelbar named Nufaro
aka "Joe's Bar". The other night, it was the location of a special event. One of the hostel guests, Missi (USA), had the idea to organize a live
music night. Of course there were some musicians at the hostel, and of we all were ready to join and do our part. So I was playing for about 45 minutes solo, and we rocked the bar with some jaming and, of course, dancing. It’s been very improvised, but outstanding. The salary in wine, the adrenaline of the gig and the enthusiastic audience turned the night to one of the best of this trip. We made music until late and of course we sang the Youth Hostel Plakias song, that we wrote, that surprisingly became the official Youth Hostel Plakias anthem. After the bar we went to a moonlight bath in the sea and celebrated in the hostel until sunrise. What a party!
After about three hours of sleep, we followed the spontaneous invitation to go to a music festival south of the islands capital Heraklion. What an insanely impressive weekend. At first Rachel, Rebecca, Tom (UK), Noah (AT), we wanted to rent a car. Unfortunately, there was no car available in the small village of Plakias. But actually we were pretty lucky, because a friend of the hostel, Joachim (GER) who lives in Plakias, offered us a ride on his pick-up truck. So I spent about three hours on the back of the truck, with Rachel and Rebecca, between all the luggage and we enjoyed the ride through the small villages, mountains and valleys of Crete. Only my butt, could find no more comfortable position on the steel floor after about two hours. Well, sometimes a man's gotta do, what a man's gotta do.
The Houdetsi Festival is one of a kind. It’s a gathering of traditional music from all around the world. It’s organized of Ross Daly and his team. The Irishman studied almost all the traditional musical instruments of the world and has moved here to
Crete, in the small village Houdetsi. The great thing about the festival is, that almost every guest himself, is a musician. During summer, there are dozens of workshops and master classes offered in Houdetsi. So there was not only music on the stages, but for 24 hours music was played throughout the city. In restaurants, on benches, in the park...you name it. Great traditional music from different nations and highly complicated and atmospheric world music changed with with Latin American drums or a Japanese harp solo. Unfortunately there’s no way to describe this unique atmosphere, you have to experience this on your own.
Of course, the festival is free of charge, free entrance at any stage. Even camping in a nearby ravine is free. The village with about 500 inhabitants, is groing to a center of world music with about 10.000 guests. You may think, that’s small. But it is incredibly intense. The culinaric offerings are worth mentioning as well. You can get fresh, cheap, nutritions, delicious and varius Cretan style Street Food in each of the small alleys and streets of the village. A village in exceptional circumstances…and so was I. I hardly slept and this endless flow of multi-sensitive influences and impressions, led me to special kind of dreamworld. I found myself in traditional Greek community dances, music and singing in fantasy language etc. A beautiful experience.
No worries, I could escaped the diverse range of hallucinogenic substances of any kind. I know I'm pretty good
in nicotine and alcohol, which is enough for me. I enjoyed the few hours of in my sleeping bag under an olive tree. The Perseides lighted up the sky with countless shooting stars and the drum beats from the village grooved myself to sleep. Nice. After three days went back home to Plakias. We dropped Rachel, Rebecca and Noah at the harbour of Heraklion and Tom, Joachim and I were looking forward tot he shower and the bed at the hostel.
Prevelli River Walk
Another unique experience was the river walk in/around Prevelli. The river is fed by the springs and waterfalls, which we had visited a week earlier and ends in the palm forest and beach, I aready wrote about. Yesterday, however, I grabbed a couple of people and we took the bus to the river. This river walk is supposed to be far more beautiful, challenging and dangerous, according to some people I’ve met. Nevertheless, we decided to do it without a guide. But as you can see, I survived it. Of course, my swimshorts did not. Why do I alwas fuck them up? Two in a month? Well…at least I can do some shopping the next days.
In fact, the hike was way more difficult. But also very impressive and idyllic. Some parts we had to climb down waterfalls up to 3-4 meters hight. Or even better, one of us climbed down, and the rest jumped to spot, recommended by the climber. At one point it was even necessary to dive through the rocks. Fortunately, we’ve been noticed before to pack everything important waterproof. Sometimes, the water was too deep to carry the backpack over his head. What pleased me most, was that I finally got to see turtles. Unfortunately, I have it no pictures, since the three Ninja Turtles let themselves fall of their rock, once I got stomped around the corner. Raptors, crabs, dragonflies were the other animals, that we discovered. At the destination, the crowded palm beach of Prevelli, we took the boat back to Plakias.
Yesterday, a friend was asking me, what I miss the most, after more than a month travelling. Surprisingly, must admit, it’s working. Not the stress, not the deadlines. But the colleagues, customers, my amazing suppliers,artists and partners, exciting challenges and great projects. I have to wean myself from the past few years. But it pleased me very much that the time in Künzelsau has influenced me like this and that I have so good memorys about it. As a small break from holiday I have joined Ioannis looking after the hostel garden, for one day. Weeding weeds, watering and dig. It is to be beautiful once again something productive. I think it‘s time to slowly (really slowly) try to find a project or job where I can be helpful. Let's see what comes up.
Unfortunately, I’m not going to volunteer on Gavdos, the southernmost point of Europe. My friend Peter, I met him on my first days in Heraklion,, has left this place hastily, as he had some difficulties and discrepancies with the boss. Explaining details would be to mucht. So I will probably not visit this island, and head up north. We will see. Today, I will definitely visit my favorite place again; the waterfalls.
So much for now.
See you, Schilli
- I was part of a gang for six days. We bought sticker tattoos. My nickname: saber-toothed tiger.
- The average Cretan consumes about 75g of olive oil a day. They are the world leaders wirth approx. 27.38 liters per year.
- The Greek sewage system is not designed for toilet paper. This means: Used toilet paper goes in the bin. Matter of habit.
- Money is important, but should be no big deal. Currently I have loaned 80-100€ to friends. At some point I could even be dependent on it. Trust is a virtue.
- Who would have thought that I brake my sunglasses before I lose them?
- At the second most, I miss the green. The forests, meadows, shrubs ... It is very sad beautiful here, but in comparison…
- On One Rock Beach I discovered a tunnel. Perfect for underwater photo shoots.