Thursday 4th June Koutouloufari 35.30772 25.39283.
We are parked up today in the village of Koutouloufari in northern Crete feeling a little marooned. We left Stavros on Tuesday morning and headed back to Rethymno with the intention of buying our return ferry tickets to Gythio. Parking at Rethymno is crazy so I abandoned the van outside the coast guards office and enquired as to where the nearest ferry agency was. They didn't know but had a number which they dialled for me and I spoke to the agent who informed me that they wouldn't have the schedules for the route until Thursday. So we came here to Koutouloufari to meet up with old friends. We've been here seven or eight times before but not in the van and although it's a bit touristy it still has a lot of charm. We met our friends and we've had a couple of days not doing much at all apart from eating and drinking. Yesterday we walked down to Hersonissos to the harbour and called into the ferry agency there so see what our options were. They phoned Anek lines for us and confirmed that there was no information on the sailing we wanted until today. So this morning I phoned Anek lines to be told there would be no information until tomorrow after 2pm. We have two options now, if the ferry is sailing on Saturday we will return to Gythio, if not then we will take the Friday night sailing from Heraklion to Piraeus, Athens, which is not really where we want to go. But hey-ho this is Greece so we don't panic or fret. On reflection it probably wasn't the best idea to come to Crete. Whereas we saw few tourists on the mainland the season is almost in full swing here and it's very, very busy. After weeks of having the roads and beaches to ourselves all of a sudden it's the complete opposite. I think we'll come back here in the Motorhome but earlier in the year, say April or May before it gets too busy.
Friday 5th June.
Talking to folk around here it would seem that Anek lines are a bit of a standing joke. When we tell them about the difficulty booking a ferry back to the mainland they all say "Ah, Anek lines" and smile and shake their heads. I phoned the ferry company just after 2pm today and they said there would not be a ferry from Rethymno to Gythio this Saturday but there might be a ferry from Kissamos to Gythio.
"When will it sail?" I asked.
"We don't know" they replied.
"When will you know?" I enquired.
"Maybe you phone back at 6pm and maybe we know then. Or maybe not."
So I booked on this evening's sailing from Heraklion to Piraeus. Leaves at 9pm and gets in at 6am. From there we'll go back to the Blue Dolphin campsite at Corinth for a day's domestic activities before heading back south again to Sparta. We're both looking forward to getting back to the mainland and resuming our tour, albeit a day's driving further north than we had planned.
At Heraklion now waiting to board.