The plan for the day was to make a trip to Rethymnon for a wander around the old town. We planned for the afternoon only. That meant a lazy start to the day which I decided to fill with a bit of geocaching.
We went for breakfast a bit earlier (at 8:30) and because of that we weren’t joined by Ami. As I’d got a car and the ladies weren’t desperately keen on spending all day out, I decided I’d head up into the mountains behind Agia Pelagia to do a set of lab caches in the village of Rodia. It looked quite close by, but thankfully I quickly realised that the roads in Crete meant that “close by” was actually a long way, and mainly uphill. So I took the car.
Rodia was a (seemingly) traditional village of buildings of mixed ages. The streets were narrow and generally there wasn’t a lot of space anywhere. This caused me a problem. I still wasn’t really very experienced at driving the Fiat Panda at this point. Combining that with narrow streets and parked vehicles made for impending doom. The doom in question manifested itself in the form of a Toyota pickup truck. It was parked (badly) on one side of the road and there was a solid concrete wall on the other. The concrete wall was protected by a bunch of plant pots stuck in the road.
Anyway, you get where this is going. In my efforts to avoid the plant pots I managed to trash the passenger-side wing mirror on the back of that Toyota pickup truck. This drew an amount of arm-waving from the builder it belonged to. I had nowhere to stop really, so I drove on until I found somewhere to park. I then walked back down the road to sort it out.
Sorting it out was very quick. He seemed pleased I’d come back but basically waved me away as if nothing had happened. One look at the back end of the pickup indicated that nothing had indeed happened to the pickup. Nothing you’d notice anyway. The back end already looked like it had been banged, scraped and rammed into several brick walls. So something happened to me, but not to him. Bum! I guess that’s going to cost a few quid then.
Back at the Plot
Back at the main target of the morning – the geocaching. The ad labs were pretty easy to do despite it being punishingly hot up there. There was a bonus physical cache for them which I found easily, even though it involved walking well off the road and into some closed courtyards around what looked like a ruined church. Oh well! At least I got that bit finished.
So back at the car, I managed to push the wing-mirror housing loosely back onto the door frame. It was just about secure enough to drive back to the hotel (slowly). I’d decided by this time that the car wasn’t safe, and I ought to go and own up. The car rental man was very accommodating, but he later told me that was because I didn’t attempt to argue or duck out of responsibility. Anyway, he had another Fiat Panda sitting on the hotel car park. He gave me that one under the original lease. The plan was that they’d just take to cost of the wing mirror out of my original deposit. The option would be to cancel the original contract and make me sign a new one. That would have been a bit tedious.
So I got the keys to my second somewhat-aged Fiat Panda in as many days. I must try not to break this one.
Driving to Rethymnon
By this time it was lunchtime, so the four of us had a quick lunch in the hotel before getting all covered in suncream and heading out to Rethymnon.
Rethymnon was about 50 minutes away to our west, driving mainly along the North Coast Highway. The new car seemed to have a rather noisy air conditioning unit which made driving it a bit more musical than the previous one. I guess that was my punishment for breaking the first one.
Back at the plot, Kas navigated us into town and we parked in a massive car park next to the port. That was some way away from the old Venetian town centre, but not far enough to be much of a problem.
We walked around the back of the harbour to the Old Harbour area, which is where, many years ago, I made a proposal of marriage to the Good Lady Wife. Obviously she said yes, because otherwise she wouldn’t be the Good Lady Wife. Anyway, we spent some time discussing which particular restaurant we were sitting in on that evening. We couldn’t really remember, and I guess things change over a period of 23 years anyway. I seem to remember also that on the night of that proposal both of us were somewhat the worse for drink. Never make big decisions whilst sober. That’s my policy. I think we eventually plumped for one of them without being either sure or bothered by the subject. It was one of the restaurants here. That’s the only part of any relevance.
I’d partly wanted to come to Rethymnon because there’s an interesting selection of geocache types there. As we walked from the Old Harbour to the Venetian Fortress it became obvious that I wasn’t going to have time to do “touristy” stuff and go caching as well. The girls don’t like caching at the best of times, and especially not when it’s boiling hot, so we split up for a while. They went into the Fortress and then wandered around town doing a bit of shopping and then crashing in a bar in the Old Harbour for some cooling drinks.
Meanwhile, I dashed from the west of the Venetian Fortress, through the old town streets, down to the main square and then out to the east, picking up various geocaches on my way. I finished to the east of where we parked, and left myself at least a 1km walk back to where Kas told me they were waiting. Never mind. By this time the sun was losing some of its strength and I’d kept my fluid intake up, so I was good to walk back at decent speed.
I met the girls at about 6 pm in a bar at the very west end of the old harbour and treated myself to a milkshake, which was spectacularly tasty. The girls had had milkshakes and also some desserts, so they were suitably sugared up and cooled down.
We had a leisurely stroll back along the seafront whilst being regularly accosted by restaurant owners trying to get us to go for dinner. They all ended up being disappointed by us. We had a free meal waiting for us back at the hotel. Obviously it took us most of an hour to get there and then most of another hour to get cleaned up. That meant we went for dinner a bit later than previous nights.
After dinner, we all sat on the terrace bar for a while playing with technology and watching the fading light. It made for a good end to a good day.