Greek Orthodox, Easter Monday in Crete was a perfect hiking day. With Kritsa friends Hilary and Phil and my husband, Alan we set of in two cars for the Roza Gorge. This gorge is 50km southeast of Heraklion, in a wooded area of North Dikti Range, next to the road leading to the Plateau of Lassithi. This walk is 3.5 km with a climb of 300 m.
After leaving our car at the top of the gorge, above Kera village we piled into Phil’s car to drive down to this start point, easily accessible from the village of Gonies – as we found out after driving down the scary way!
These stone slabs made an excellent place to stop for a drink. Over the years many people must have enjoyed a rest in this spot and I’ve an inkling a character in my third novel might just pass by this spot. What third novel? Well, I don’t know yet…
Anyway, no time for idle thoughts, onwards and upwards.
After a winter of low rainfall it wasn’t a surprise to find this waterfall dry. It certainly made this part of our climb easy. Good job as the toughest part came next. Although it was very steep, the route was clear, with a few patches of loose scree to scramble over.
We were intrigued by the odd snails, next to a pointing finger in a photo above. I’m fortunate to have a friend who is a keen amateur naturalist and he says thay are called Door Snails as they seal themselves up with a little door inside their shells when conditions get too dry. Steve writes an excellent blog about Cretan Nature CLICK HERE and I’ll whisk you over to his 2016 post mentioning Door Snails.
Back in the Rosa Gorge – Near the top we needed to walk along a narrow ledge where metal posts and a wire fence provided some reassurance as we watched Griffon vultures, a buzzard, and crows.
What a delight to find this lovely look out point near the end. It certainly made a fabulous picnic spot. It is reasonably accessible from the road near the village of Kera so we can revisit to share the view with people who are unable to climb the gorge.
I’d always thought the name Roza Gorge was due to the pinkish colour of the rock faces. However, one of my favourite Crete based websites, Cretan Beaches explains how the gorge once served as a place for disposing of sterile animals. In light of this, local people referred to the place as “Stira Za” meaning sterile animals, and this was later paraphrased to “Sti Roza”. Anyway, however it got its name the Roza Gorge is a fabulous place, and I thank you for joining me. X