Samaria gorge friends

Chat and items of interest about Crete and Greece.
Larakmharris
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:28 pm

Samaria gorge friends

Postby Larakmharris » Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:36 pm

Hello! I've recently come to Crete for a visit to see if i would like to move here as a teacher. I am visiting the Samaria gorge on Saturday or Sunday this week. I wondered if anyone else is venturing there at the weekend? It would be lovely having some company and meeting some people before staying here for good :)

filippos
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Location: Kalyves
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Re: Samaria gorge friends

Postby filippos » Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:50 pm

It could depend on what and where you wish to teach here. It would be a good idea to make enquiries whilst here as there could be insurmountable barriers unless you are of Greek origin.

To teach in a Greek State school I'm 99% certain that you will need to be a Greek citizen as teachers are technically civil servants for which you need to be a Greek. You will certainly need to proficient in the Greek language.

If you want to Teach English as a Foreign Language you may be able to teach in frontisteria, a kind of private "crammer" school. You will probably need to speak Greek for that as the TEFL method of speaking English only is not generally recognised.

Apart from that there may be some opportunities for private tuition but for a variety of reasons I doubt you would be able to generate a full time income from that. It would certainly take a long time to accumulate a sufficient client list.

Mixos
Posts: 467
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:26 am
Location: North East Crete or S.W.England

Re: Samaria gorge friends

Postby Mixos » Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:45 pm

Good advice from filippos about your teaching ambitions. Re. Walking the gorge, Lara, have you done it before? if not, be aware that it is a very long way and in the heat being forecast for this weekend (32+?) you will need sturdy walking boots/shoes, a sunhat, suncream, something to eat and a lot of water! As for anyone from this forum joining you .. Have to rule myself out as I am right down the far east end of the island and getting a bit old for that sort of thing now, but you won't be lonely if it's still as popular as it was last time I walked it about 20 years ago!

Clio
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Re: Samaria gorge friends

Postby Clio » Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:02 pm

you will need.....a lot of water


Not that much. As Lara can find out from Jean's description of the walk on the excellent west-crete.com site

There are well-maintained springs on the way so that you do not have to carry much water
.

peebee
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Location: Kalyves

Re: Samaria gorge friends

Postby peebee » Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:50 pm

Mixos wrote:something to eat and a lot of water!

Well I did it a couple of years ago in September, took a soft cooler bag containing 2 bananas, 2 x 0.5 litres of water (only opened one) and 2 chocolate bars.
The worst part IMO was the descent at the beginning, got cramp in calf so had a banana. The rest I found relatively easy, even though I am overweight and totally unfit.

Mixos
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Location: North East Crete or S.W.England

Re: Samaria gorge friends

Postby Mixos » Thu Jul 14, 2016 4:54 pm

Not sure I would rely too heavily on the springs in the gorge, Clio. If it's been half as dry and rainless in your neck of the woods as it has been out here in the east, there won't be much coming out of the ground this summer. Speaking as someone who became severely dehydrated in the "wrong" gorge many years ago (ok it was my fault, took a wrong turn) it is always sensible to take a minimum of two litres of water per person on any long distance walk -- especially in this heat.

Kookla
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Re: Samaria gorge friends

Postby Kookla » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:34 pm

Welcome Lara and do enjoy the gorge. I used to walk it about once a month, but, many, many years ago. It has much improved now I believe. My key points would be:
Take your time, there are some folk who seem to feel the need to race down. I can't watch where I'm putting my feet and enjoy the scenery at a fast pace, so step aside and them them hurtle on.
Re water, a good idea to let a little water out of a water bottle, then freeze it overnight before your trip. If you have a small hand towel, you can wrap bottle around the back of your neck when needed to cool down and of course drink its contents ( and now top it up) as you descend. Maybe a little zip lock bag of nuts to munch on en route.
If you have a pair of lightweight flip flops or similar, a joy to take your feet out of your boots at the end and paddle in the sea.
I wouldn't wear rings as your fingers swell up. Also my top tip would be to clip your toe nails before your trip. Obviously, as downhill, your weight is shifted forward and this over the time it takes to walk, will push on your toes. Regarding walking pals, you will see guides with their coach loads. Usually a friendly bunch to strike up conversation with.

Kilkis
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Samaria gorge friends

Postby Kilkis » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:51 pm

peebee wrote:...The worst part IMO was the descent at the beginning, got cramp in calf so had a banana. The rest I found relatively easy, even though I am overweight and totally unfit.


I've done it twice, both times over 20 years ago. The first time I did it I didn't have any problem during the walk but I was in agony two days later down the front of the upper and lower leg. The day after I felt OK. The second day I couldn't walk down steps at all. Definitely due to the steps at the beginning. You could recognise everybody in the hotel who had done the walk. They would walk out of the doors to the top of the steps, try to put the right leg down the first step, stop, try to put the left leg down the first step, stop, turn sideways and try again, stop, try the other side, stop try to go backwards etc until they finally bit the bullet and hobbled down grimacing. Over many years I have noticed that when you engage in some serious exercise that you haven't done before or for a while it is never the next day that the pain hits, always the day after. Strangely the second time I did it a couple of years later I had no ill effects at all.

Personally I found the long run into Agia Roumeli from the Iron Gates the worst part of the walk. By the time you get there it is getting into the hottest part of the day, you are already hot and tired and there is no shade at all.

My late wife found the worst thing about the walk was the "toilettes à la turque" facilities. She never learned how to cope with them. A French exchange student who stayed with us used to mock her mercilessly for her lack of competence. There again the student used to take a lot of stick from us for the contents of her medicine box.

Kookla wrote:...Also my top tip would be to clip your toe nails before your trip. Obviously, as downhill, your weight is shifted forward and this over the time it takes to walk, will push on your toes...


...and lace up your boots tightly to minimise forward movement of the foot inside the boot.

Enjoy the walk, Lara.

Warwick

Kookla
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:24 pm

Re: Samaria gorge friends

Postby Kookla » Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:56 pm

Oh the memories Warwick, I didn't mention the toilets, as I believe they too have been updated...but yes to put it mildly, a very delicate procedure!
If you have a friend Lara, who has a bath, as opposed to a shower: a glorious soak in Radox afterwards is the way to go :lol:

Kilkis
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Samaria gorge friends

Postby Kilkis » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:08 pm

Kookla wrote:Oh the memories Warwick, I didn't mention the toilets, as I believe they too have been updated...but yes to put it mildly, a very delicate procedure!...


On our first trip down the gorge my late wife wore shorts. Nightmare. On the second trip she wore an ankle length skirt and no knickers. Success.

Warwick

Kookla
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:24 pm

Re: Samaria gorge friends

Postby Kookla » Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:19 am

I wish there was a 'like' or 'love' option for your post Warwick! How ingenious of your wife, she sounds like she would have been my type of gal!

Mixos
Posts: 467
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:26 am
Location: North East Crete or S.W.England

Re: Samaria gorge friends

Postby Mixos » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:29 pm

As this thread has wandered into shared memories of the toilet "facilities" in the Samaria Gorge, perhaps I can share mine? We were still near the start, on the steep, rocky and very exposed hairpin path, where the only cover consists of a few medium size boulders, when it became rather obvious -- no forensic detail required -- that one poor soul had not and would not make it as far the toilets at the bottom of the gorge. As she crouched behind one of these rocks with a procession of walkers traipsing past only yards from her, and coachloads more to come, I can still recall the expression of mortified embarrassment on the poor woman's face. I often wondered how long she had to wait before she could emerge with some dignity intact. :(

Larakmharris
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:28 pm

Re: Samaria gorge friends

Postby Larakmharris » Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:39 pm

Thank you all for your replies! Very helpful advice :D sadly I have not found anyone to go with but I'm getting the early bus at 6.15 from chania and I imagine there will be lots of people going on the walk too.

With regards to teaching I do have the TEFL qualification and learnt Greek at uni and about to start my PGCE:) but I hadn't thought about getting Greek citizenship! Thank you for that advice, I shall look more into it.

Shall let you know if I come back with any similar stories! Wish me luck :)

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Samaria gorge friends

Postby Kilkis » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:08 pm

Technically you need to have a certificate in Greek at proficiency level in order to teach in a Greek frontisterio. Some schools will ignore this requirement but then you will probably be employed off the books with no insurance. Many schools have closed down because the parents weren't paying for the classes. If the school insisted on payment in advance they would take the children away. If they allowed the parents to pay in arrears the parents would rack up as many classes as possible and then simply not pay. I know of several schools that have closed.

Do you have ethnic Greek origins, i.e. do you have a parent or a grandparent who was born in Greece and obtained Greek nationality by birth? If not you must have legally lived in Greece for a period of ten years within the last twelve years in order to apply for citizenship so it is a lengthy process. Make sure you get whatever type of residence permit you qualify for as soon as you enter Greece and, if it needs renewing make sure you renew it on time. It is that document that will prove you have lived here for ten years.

The majority of young educated Greeks are trying to get out of Greece because they have no possibility of making a career for themselves here. You might like to think about that.

Warwick

DJ
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:22 am
Location: East Barnet, North London, UK

Re: Samaria gorge friends

Postby DJ » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:48 am

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful walk down the Samaria Gorge about 18 years ago - however, we needed to buy up half a pharmacy to recover over the next few days !


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