Two tourists missing in Samaria Gorge

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Carolina
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Two tourists missing in Samaria Gorge

Postby Carolina » Wed Jul 25, 2007 1:24 pm

Two Polish tourists are apparently missing in the Samaria Gorge since Saturday. Their tour operator and guide only notified the authorities on Monday. They said the two tourists had tired before Samaria village and they had believed that they had gone back up to top of the gorge rather than continue. Despite searches throughout the gorge yesterday there is no sign of the 37 year old Polish man, who suffers from epilepsy, and his 40 year old sister. The authorities will now try to locate them by their mobile phone signal; their mobile is registered with a company abroad and permission is being sought.

Authorities say they will be holding the tour operator responsible for the delay in reporting them missing, and that anyone with health problems should not walk the gorge.

On the same day (Saturday) a 46 year old Lithuanian tourist died at the end of the walk in Agia Roumeli. The man is believed to have fallen ill at a cafe for no apparent reason while drinking a beverage shortly after the trek. Local residents from Agia Roumeli have been calling for more doctors and firemen to be on active duty in the gorge. Recently two interns have been appointed to serve the gorge but this is not enough say the local residents. At the time the Lithuanian tourist fell ill on Saturday the doctors were off duty and had gone home.

Serious issues here for the gorge and the authorities to deal with. Just imagine if there was a fire in the gorge.

Meanwhile lets hope that the two missing tourists somehow slipped through the gorge head count and are making their own way back to Heraklion, enjoying a holiday en route.

Carolina
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Postby Carolina » Sat Jul 28, 2007 3:59 pm

Terrible news today. The two missing Polish tourists have died. At 7pm last night the man was found alive in Tripiti, 5 hours walk away from the entrance to Samaria. The climber who found the man gave him some water then walked back to the top of mountain to get a mobile phone signal to call for help, but by the time the resue team arrived he had died. His sister's body was found a short distance away.

This begs the questions 1)How did they manage to take the wrong footpath and end up in Tripiti ? It's quite difficult to get lost in Samaria gorge as the footpath is so well worn, and 2) Is the 'head count' in and out of Samaria a myth? I've always wondered about that one.

Jean
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Postby Jean » Sun Jul 29, 2007 8:06 pm

It is not really possible to go from Samaria to Tripiti. At least not by accident.

Two obvious routes come to mind: the 'easy' one would entail turning right as you reach the bottom of the gorge (a little under 3km from the start) and ascending to Linoseli and the Gingilos saddle. This is an ascent of 1200m in very rough terrain. Once you get to the Gingilos saddle you are at the entrance of the Tripiti gorge.

Another far more difficult route would involve getting to Prinias (starting in the lower part of the gorge, after Samaria), then crossing over below Psiristra and entering Tripiti near Katsaromoura. The ascent is somewhere in the region of 1500m in extremely difficult terrain. In fact there is no way you'd get there because you would get lost before.

So I guess that the information about them getting lost in Samaria was wrong in the first place and these people had possibly decided to go to Agia Roumeli via another route, the mountain route which goes via the saddle of Gingilos and carries on below the ridge of Volakies (not on the ridge as shown in the Anavasi maps) then below Psiristra and via Kefalas and either Psili Papoura or Papoura and down to Agia Roumeli. A very hard mountain route but some people are stupid enough to attempt it ...and get lost, generally in the Tripiti gorge which looks like an easy exit route to the sea. It is not.

This is not the first time it happens and not the last.

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Postby Kathleen » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:19 am

I, and probably others, bow to your superior experience in this matter Jean.

Are we to surmise by your posting that this unfortunate couple may have chosen to 'do their own thing' and not follow the normal tourist route with the resulting sad consequences?

andheath
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Postby andheath » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:46 am

Jean. Wow, I am going nowhere without you. Spirit of Wainwright, respect.
This Cretan Adventure thing is way beyond a joke.

Jean
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Postby Jean » Mon Jul 30, 2007 7:20 am

Are we to surmise by your posting that this unfortunate couple may have chosen to 'do their own thing'


Definitely so. It's not something I have been told but it's the only logical explanation if they were indeed found in Tripiti

As to why they went there...maybe they were completely stupid (I have met those kind in the mountains here) or, like most, they underestimated the difficulty of the terrain - it all looks so much easier on maps - and decided to try another route.

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Postby Carolina » Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:39 am

What was confusing was the first report in the Haniotika Nea that the couple 'had tired, or one was feeling unwell according to the tour guide' and he had last seen them before Samaria village. This doesn't suggest that they would be keen hikers going off to explore another route. But now it sounds as though it was bad reporting, or the tour guides own 'explanation'.

According to a later report on the recovery ' it was particularly dangerous as they had to be transported through a difficult mountainous area, and via Gingilos."

This certainly seems to fit with your explanation Jean; that it would be very difficult for them to reach there accidently.

Kathleen
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Postby Kathleen » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:22 pm

Andheath, have a look at Jean's own site: www.west-crete.com and see some of the beautiful photos he has posted there....another way to get a daily 'fix' of Crete prior to your move!

Kathleen

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Postby Jean » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:48 pm

Thanks for the plug Kathleen. For the daily fix they might as well go straight to http://www.west-crete.com/crete-daily-photo.shtm

andheath
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Postby andheath » Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:04 am

Thanks guys. I have already been there, love the photo's but you don't take them daily do you, just post daily. Nice. For me though it is all a bit West Crete me being an East Crete sort of guy. Now before we start all that again I am not saying East is better it's just where the pin landed on the map.

It was the specific mountain trail stuff that got me going, you can not get that from anywhere other than the heart. You have to have been there, done that, loved it, seen it, smelled it, etc. That I can relate too and that was what prompted the "Respect".
This Cretan Adventure thing is way beyond a joke.

Jean
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Postby Jean » Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:08 am

you don't take them daily do you, just post daily.


I take photos most days so the stuff I post is generally current but not necessarily taken on the day that it is posted.

East Crete / West Crete ... won't get into that either but the West is where I live so this is where I tend to do my photography.


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