Learnt an essential Greek sentence for hitching – Parakalo, o dhromos ya… [Excuse me, can you show me the road to…]
Woke up after a night on the floor of a ferry having enjoyed a full 2.5hrs’ sleep. Got on a bus and started thinking about finding Andy Fatman somewhere on this huge island. Bus journeys are beginning to piss me off, maybe I’m being over fastidious, but picture the situation; you’ve not had a full night’s sleep for three days, you’re sitting on another coach, this time travelling from the Cretan port of Kastelli to Hania, which is a long excursion, you’re trying the old snatch a quick kip between the bumps in the road routine, but sitting four rows ahead of you is a very loud and irritating man speaking first in Greek and then with a vexatious American accent, trying to convince everyone that Greece is the same size as the USA.
‘The map makers are liars, they simply want to ridicule the Greeks. I can prove it,’ he said, ‘it took me the same time to drive from New York to San Francisco as it did from Thessaloniki to Neapoli.’ And so on he repeated his claim countless times.

I leaned back in the uncomfortable seat, I always had a perverse urge to slash coach seats, now I knew why, I hated everything about the vehicles. Still the crazy Greek-American persisted. Should I disclose that the States possesses an area of 3.5 million square miles to Greece’s comparatively pitiful 60,000, and then stick a size 12 trainer in his unshaven face? Or do I try to ignore him and go to sleep? I elected the latter choice, I had had enough excitement over the last few days & started thinking about finding Andy Fatman somewhere on Crete.
After a bread, crisps and melon breakfast, Wayne and myself wrote out postcards to let everyone in Wales know why and where we were; mainly stating; “Sorry, can’t write much as I’m in a hur…” & posted them home.
We went against the advice of my guide book and attempted to hitch out of town ha! Our destination was Malia, right across the north coast. We started walking out from the leafy and pleasant town centre, to the scummy run down filth of the outskirts. Our rucksacks became heavier and heavier. My back was soaked in sweat after a 5km, 85ºF walk. Wayne and myself have always enjoyed a very light hearted understanding in the seven years that we’ve known each other.
‘You bastard Wayne, this is all your fault.’
‘It was you who decided to hitch you dickhead.’
‘No it wasn’t, anyway I thought you’d have sussed the Greeks out by now.’
‘Look, the Greeks and Cretans are different people, and your guide book said it’s easier to go by bus you long legged wanker.’
So we caught a bus to the capitol Iraklio, (or Iraklion, Heraklio etc.).
My first impression of urban Crete was that it should have been named Excrete after the toilets. I’ll never get accustomed to the Mediterranean style Elephant feet toilets, where the squatting participant has to aim everything down a small hole. Judging by the smell and the number of scored misses it wouldn’t surprise me if elephants actually used these toilets! Give me a quiet corner in a field any day.
We then bussed it to Malia & realised we’d gone too far & had to walk back to Stalida in search of Andy. Rhyl in the summer is a haven for Scousers and Brummies to run riot while the locals mainly keep a low profile. The same can be said for Malia; hardly a Greek to be found amongst the countless English and Germans.
With aim of cadging a floor to sleep on courtesy of Andy Fatman, we embarked on a two hour search for the Stallos Hotel, stopping off to go for a dip in the warm sea & a bask on the beach (hard life!). The hotel was eventually found, but on an attempt to enter the building, the owner, obviously more than used to lager louts, put a palm to my bare chest and said;
‘No English.’ A-ha! I’ve got you here I thought and returned;
‘I’m not English, I’m Welsh and I’ve come to see my friends.’
‘It’s our policy that no English are allowed in.’
‘But I’m WELSH!’
He would not be deterred; ‘No English.’
Do I lose my temper for the first time in nine years? No, although that’s twice in one day that the Greeks have almost made violence a favourable option. I’m going to get along just fine.  We never did find Andy Fatman.
Cooked aubergine, courgettes & onion on the beach for tea & slept, again, on the beach tonight. The views on the beach were quite nice, it’s good to see that the women of a reunited Germany are eager to display their liberation!
Been feeling a little pissed off today, probably due to the lack of sleep over the past week. In a bit of a dilemma over what to do next.
Savato [Saturday], Ikosi Enya [29].