Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Samaria Gorge

This past weekend we hiked the Samaria Gorge. It was a cool morning when we boarded the bus in Alikianos. After a bus ride to the beginning of the gorge, we hiked well into the afternoon. The gorge was beautiful and not nearly as grueling as I had expected. Like Professor Vamvakas said, it was more about endurance and team building. The team building was very evident during the heat of the day when we needed to check up on eachother to make sure everyone was properly hydrated and feeling well. When it was over, (the last 3 km seemed to take forever), there was a bar to greet us at the exit complete with fresh orange juice, beer, and soft serve ice cream to boot. After enjoying a few minutes of relaxation, Mary, Elijah, and I took the short air-conditioned ride to the beach while the rest of the group walked (God bless them). After a quick lunch, I peeled off my socks, sneakers, and sticky hiking clothes to jump in the clear water. After Mary's attention-seeking display in the water attempting swim to Benghazi, the conversation began about the proximity of Libya to the village we stayed in that night. With the migrant crisis being of such interest and importance internationally, I became even more incredulous of just how logistically embedded we truly are in many of the crises currently plaguing this region of the Eastern Mediterranean. Overall, the weekend was a blast and very relaxing while the post-hike soreness serves as a reminder of what we accomplished this weekend! 

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