Day 258 - The VERY End of the Road
Trip Start Jan 10, 2011
221Trip End Jan 08, 2012
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The town was still emerging from Sunday night but we finally found a café that was open (and serving…). Eager to get on our way we soon piled into our mini 'euro van' and headed west along the northern coast. Howard drove the first day while Eli navigated and the ladies chatted in the back seat.
We stopped for lunch after a few hours at a roadside place that had a nice view of a large bay and peninsula across the way. Mia snapped a few pictures of the view and of our lunch. Later we noticed a sign forbidding any pictures and then quickly noticed the navy ships across the strait. Luckily, we left before our photographer could get arrested.
From here we took the main road south and inland where we managed the route despite the inconsistent inclusion & exclusion of towns not to mention various incongruent spellings between the signs and the map in both the Greek and the English. After a goodly number of tight turns wrapping around precipitous cliffs we arrived at our hotel.
Initially it was underwhelming - hotel & restaurant on either side of the main road, and we quickly checked in then continued down to where the road literally ended at the beach. The ‘chaise lounge’ boys were actually middle aged men who flouted Eli’s attempts at negotiation: paying full day rate at 3:30pm?! ? ‘I reject your offer’. We called his bluff went for a walk then took his ‘offer’ of an afternoon rate.
The sea was very salty and refreshing and warm (once we got in) and we enjoyed the sun, sand and sea until the sun was nearly set. At our hotel we took in the setting sun with a cocktail from our balcony before going for dinner at our guesthouse. As night fell it combined with a strong blowing breeze to produce an atmosphere of comfortable seclusion amid the blustery environment on the coast of Crete.
Our server, named Nick (seriously), was the owner’s son and he charmed us with hospitality only available in slower seasons. The first treat was the Greek craft beer. We’ve all heard of crazy flavours of beer – some more novel than appetizing - but the ‘Smokey’ Ale had a distinctive and delicious flavour – maybe not for more than 1 or 2 but a tremendous boutique beer.
Everyone raved about the appetizers particularly the squash balls (croquettes), which Mia assured she could and would make at home (Yes!). The entrees had a tough act to follow and although they were good they couldn’t match the first course – except for Eli’s, which was the house specialty Nick recommended. Eli claimed it was "the best pork dish he has ever had" (which is saying a lot) and since we are fond of sharing everyone got a taste: the consensus opinion was that it was indeed superb.
In chatting with Nick we realized that we were actually on the Libyan Sea and this led to the realization that where Mia had unwittingly taken photos was across from the NATO base: home to some of the fleet supporting the Libyan National Transitional Government.
Nick brought over a surprise dessert: sliced fruit and a liqueur which was essentially Greek Raki. We imbibed, said good night and paused to appreciate sight of the starlight shining bright, in the darkness of this quiet Cretan night.