Travel Fail to Samaria Gorge in Crete

My buddy and I have been staying in Rethymno (Western Crete) for the past few days hanging out at internet cafes and hitting the beach. However, you can’t visit Crete without hiking the Sumaria Gorge; today was going to be that day for us. We went to the travel agent yesterday, paid our 30 Euro for the trip that was to begin bright and early at 5:30 am this morning, and then tried to hit the sack early to get some rest. But, alas, the trip was not to be — at least not today. We woke up at 5:15 this morning, packed our small backpack with two waters, a small towel, and a camera and set out to find the bus stop that was supposedly right down the street from where we are staying. We were a bit early (5:25), but there was literally no one outside at that hour and we didn’t see any sign of a bus anywhere in sight. We wandered around a bit and decided to ask the two men at the port security booth where the bus stop was. They told us to go to the main bus stop that was about kilometer away. We weren’t sure whether to follow their advice, but set out towards the bus stop anyway. We went a few minutes before realizing that, even if the bus station WAS the place the trip departed from (which we didn’t believe), there was no physical way we’d make it by 5:40 when we were told the bus would depart — so we ventured back toward where we thought the bus was to pick us up a block from our room. We got there a few minutes after 5:40 and saw an middle aged couple in hiking attire sitting waiting for a bus. They told us that they were indeed hiking the Sumaria Gorge, but with a different tour company. They also informed us that we had just missed a bus a few minutes earlier that was from the tour company we were supposed to go with. Hence, we missed our bus by a few minutes as a result of not trusting our gut instincts and instead following the advice of some security men who had no clue what they were talking about. You would think (and we did) that the security men at the port, working the graveyard shift, would know if a bus came by every morning around 5:30. But I guess not…

Instead, as a result of our epic travel fail, I’m sitting at Cafe Galero working again. We visited the travel agency again and he promptly booked us for tomorrow’s trip instead and told us to “not wander off again” – I don’t think there’s any risk of that happening again. Tomorrow bright and early, I WILL be hiking the Sumaria Gorge.

Sumaria Gorge
Sumaria Gorge 2[photos via]

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Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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