Kreta 2000
 
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"Team Kreta"

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Okt/nov 2000 Kreta rundt
Olympic.jpg We traveled with BA via London to Athens. Arrive at 04:00 am half an hour before schedule! So there were three tired persons that cycled over to Olympic's terminal.
Ready for departureWe arrived in Crete 07:30 am Greek time, and had a full day of cycling from day one.
Ready for departure
Ankomst.jpg  After switching to cycling equipment, we were ready for the first stage: Iraklion - Ag. Nicholas. We couldnít complain: sun and 23 degrees is good at the end of October. We cycled the old road along the coast to Hersonissos and arrived after about 30 km. I was here the first time in 1975, and it then was a nice little fishing village. Iíve been back several times to Crete since then, and has seen the "decay". We used to stay at a nice camp, Caravan Camping, 2 km outside the village, and it is still there, but now the city is built around it. Tommen has also used to stay here since the 70s, so we had a brief stop to look at the camp. It was closed so we continued on to Stalis and Malia.
 
On the way to the Ag. Nicholas
loster.jpg The uphillís began after Malia. We were hailed by a Greek on the way up the hill who wanted to rent us rooms. We cycled only 65 km the first day. Ag. Nicholas is a pleasant town, but for those who are looking for beaches, this is not the place. We cycled on to Sitia the next day and across the mountains to the south coast, to a small place called Myrtos. I have previously been in Myrtos, and knew which hills that awaited us next day
Up, up, up
siesta.jpg We started early in the morning, we had about 120 km in front of us, and we were unsure about the road standard. From Myrtos to Amir itís about 17 km, and there is a continuous climb. We struggled our way up, and saw that the schedule for today's route was a bit optimistic. So late in the season it gets dark at 18:30. On the picture we are on top (8-900 m above sea level), and taking a well-deserved break. We continued on down the mountain to Ano Viano. Here we were told that the standard of the road forward was miserable. We continued with misgivings, and when the road went over to coarse gravel, I saw us overnighting under an olive tree with no sleeping bag. Fortunately, the description of the road was greatly exaggerated. After about 10 km, we came onto the new road, and the mountains we had feared, were nothing compared to what we had already been through. We took left at the Martha and from here it was a pleasure ride. We cycled 70-80 km with about 1% downhill (at least so it felt) and with a good tailwind. It went in 30-35 km / h and the schedule began to look better.
Map Reading in Mirai
Kartlesing.jpg We, however, had little time for breaks, but had one in Mirai, and could actually have stopped here. It seemed like a nice place. But we continued to Ag. Galini, and arrived at.6:25 p.m.. Ag Galini has certainly been an idyllic place some years back, but now it was completely tourist infected. We were up early the next day (evening tired types), and cycled on to Plakias. We started with 10 km up, to a small mountain village called Melambes.
Idi Oros
hÝyt oppe.jpg We had a great view of Idi Oro, Crete's highest mountain. (2456 m) From here the road leveled out, and we came on the main road for 8 km. We had mostly easy riding, and in Koxare we took left and 7-8 km before we came to Plakias we cycled through a fantastic cleft.
Plakias
frokost i Plakias.jpg As usual, we had no problem to find accommodation. Although the village has begun to be a bit tourist infected, it is still worth a visit. The sunset in Plakias is fantastic and there is a long nice beach.
Towards the topp again
utsikt.jpg The day started as usual with a long climb. We decided to take the shortest route on the map. The problem was that the bends arenít marked on the map! After riding about 8 km and ascended about 400 feet, we could still look down where we started. We only had cycled almost straight up!
Tommen towards new heights
ommen i motbakke.jpg Tommen was perhaps not in his life-form (a proper cold), and was left behind sometimes. From Plakias to the intersection down to Chora Sfakia, there was a lot of up and down, but a beautiful landscape to cycle through.
Crete's cheapest beer?
Billig Ýl.jpg We had a well-deserved break in the mountain village of Ano Rodakion. Myrtos (Greek beer) cost 350 drachmas! In contrast, a beer cost 8-900 on the north side of the island. Fluid loss in 23 to 25 degrees and the hilly terrain is formidable. To ride here in the summer must be pure madness.
On the way
Touring.jpg We had a positive attitude all the way. The mood was perhaps put to the test from the junction to Chora Sfakia and up the mountain.
"UPHILL!!"
Utsikt libiskehav.jpg The long climb was possibly the worst climb ever. We named it  "The uphillís mother." It went up and up .... and up again. But the scenery was fantastic. We cycled through a pass with steep hills, wild goats, and lush vegetation. We also had some encouraging shouting from passing car travelers helped. In the picture we are about halfway up and have nice view over the Libyan Sea.
Regulation of fluid balance
lunch!.jpg At the top we found a tavern (so inconvenient!) and we had to have a stop. We cycled on through a relatively flat and fertile area. Ammundarion are situated down in something that might resemble a volcanic crater (Crete is not volcanic), surrounded by magnificent mountains and a fertile plain cultivated area in the bottom. I still have in memory a strong impression of the area in low evening sun. We had to continue because it soon became dark, and with some awesome downhill almost all the way down to the North Coast (speeds up to 88 km / h), we reached Kalives 18:30. Good calculation!
Kissamos
The Beach.jpg We continued on the next day to Chania, Kalamaki, Ag. Marina, Platanias and over to Kissamos. After cycling around in town, we found that this was nothing for us. (Unclear for what reason). Probably did some of us get "bad waves". We stopped for lunch / dinner. After a long session ordering, we ended up with hot dogs for everyone. I tried to order Moussaka, but was told clearly that this was not a tavern for tourists!? We just decided there and then that we would ride back to Kalamaki. We had had enough of "Kiss my ass". (Definitely unjustified) We rode the 30 km back to Kalamaki, where we had two nice days. The town can be recommended, even though itís large in Cretan context. We had not enough time to cycle across to the south again, but we wanted to see Paleochora before we left Crete. So we took a taxi over to the south side, 2 hours each way for the low amount of 17,000 drachmas (about 400 NKR), and it was included one hour hold. Taxi is certainly an alternative to the bus in Greece, if you are more than 1 person. The bus would have cost about 10,000 drachmas.
Gyro Pita
Gyro Pita.jpg We found a Gyro Pita bar in Chania with friendly staff that we visited almost every time we were in town. It also included the last meal before the trip went to Chania airport, and back to Norway on November 4th.
Info Olympic
travel with Olympic in Greece, the exit and the return airport donít have to be the same place. One can freely choose and the ticket can be changed until the day of departure. Actually pretty good, when you are on a cycling holiday. You didnít have to pay airport taxes, when transfer is made within the same day. Tickets can be ordered, from Stockholm's Olympic Office: telephone 468 214 343. (2000) Our experience is that they are very service minded.

Diastance: 600 km