The White Mountains of Crete 2022

The view from the ascent of Strifomadi

Like so many people it’s been over two years since we travelled abroad so it made sense to book a trip to The south west of Crete. This incredible area has a beautiful mix of coastal paths and epic mountain treks so it suited our weeks schedule perfectly.

It wasn’t without trepidation, Fred suffering a really bad period of sciatica at the end of 2021 meant she struggled to walk any distance without severe pain. We came back strong however, walking some tried and tested routes on the coast, walked up a remote gorge or two and competed a long trek down from the Omalos plateau over some very remote and testing ground and tackled a few snow drifts.

Day 1 – Hora Sfakion – Loutro

This one is a classic. Fly into Chania, taxi to the south coast village of Sfakia and a walk along the E4 coastal path to beautiful Loutro.

They like to shoot bullet holes in their signs around here
Fred looking windswept about to start the E4 path to Loutro
On our way to Loutro. There are no roads here so it’s either walk or take a ferry
Path cut out of the cliff face makes for a dramatic view up and down

We took nice small packs and stayed 3 nights in Loutro. It’s an amazing place to approach in the late afternoon and I have fond memories of my first visit here many years ago and how struck I was at how peaceful and calming the village was.

View from our balcony

Day 2 Aradena Gorge to Anapolis to Loutro

Some nice challenging ladders to tackle on our way up

This is a great walk, up the gorge to Anapolis, lunch and back down the mule track to Loutro. We carried on our saganaki test, cheese and chips every day seems to be the plan.

The path coming out of the gorge
The view back down to Loutro

Day 3 – Ferry to Roumeli and explore the Tripiti Gorge

This is a remote gorge, we didn’t see anyone else all day

Day 4 – Loutro to Roumeli on the E4 path

This is a lovely long walk and then got the boat over to Sougia, a peaceful village on the edge of the White Moutain’s region

This is the river coming out of The Samaria Gorge, lovely and cooling after a hot walk

Day 6 – Omalos to Moni

We encountered loads of snow drifts that took quite a bit of nerve and planning to cross safely

This was a big day… a 700 metre climb over Strifomadi to just below 2000 metres and then a long descent down the Achlada Valley to Koustogerako on a seriously rough ‘path’

Check out our footprints in the snow. I don’t think we expected to encounter so many drifts. It was a bit dicey at times but with a mixture of sliding and kicking steps in we made it over each one safely
The view from the Summit of Strifomadi looking over to Gavdos, ain’t bad.

Day 7 – To Paleohora

Always seems longe on this section, this was the last day to get the bus back to Chania.

The Yorkshire Wolds Way – Day 6

Ganton to Filey

The last day of a trail is always a strange one. Looking forward in some ways to finishing but if you are like me always wanting a few more days/weeks/months away from everything. In truth a week is never enough, you just about get your walking legs and get into a rhythm and then you are catapulted back to normal life.

It’s been a lovely reintroduction to trail life and we are planning to return to this part of the world in September to walk The Cleveland Way.

Filey – Where this journey ends

We had lots of fields to contend with today, not the best walking day but pleasant enough. It’s great to see the sea for the first time on a walk also. When we got to Filey we had a chip butty and watched the crowds. It will be nice to return on a quieter day at the end of The Cleveland Way.

We had a few final dales to traverse on our way to Filey from Ganton
…. And a few steep climbs
Final descent towards the east coast
Beer and medals

The Wolds Way – Day 5

North Grimston to Ganton

Fred walking in the woods near Settrington Beacon

Another day on The Wolds Way and we have settled into a nice routine. Early breakfast and walk until about 4 – 5 pm. We take breaks where we can and even have walked off route quite a bit to find good places to rest.

Fred and her new boots

Fred is wearing Vivobarefoot shoes for the first time and she loves them, no blisters, dry feet and super comfortable. We haven’t had any feet issues although my Inov8’s are doing what Inov8’s do and falling apart a little. The trail today was nice and easy, some slight climbs and one steep one. This is a great trail to start a long distance walk or if you are coming back from a big break.

The steep bit
We’ve had loads of benches to rest… result
Trig on Settrington Beacon

The Wolds Way Lavender farm was closed today! Come on…. On a Friday? and we walked off route but had a good lunch at the pub in West Heslerton and then cake at the bakery in Potter Brompton. Walking makes you hungry.

Blokey has been working hard on his tan lines

We walk to the coast and Filey tomorrow to finish a great little walk.

The Yorkshire Wolds Way- Day 4

Millington to North Grimston

Last night was a seriously humid one and as we are not tenting it on this trip it was a pretty restless night. We skipped the cooked breakfast for peanut butter wraps and fruit and got on the trail nice and early for a long walk ahead to North Grimston which was just off the trail.

It was the first day it had rained so we got to use more of our kit which is a bonus, we made really good progress to Fridaythorpe and The Seaways Cafe. We love these places, proper cafes and oat milk, vegan pasties and sausage roll and huge mugs of tea for £1.80! This was a kind of brunch.

Massive tea, big coffee

The weather improved a little and we had a beaut of a walk over to Thixendale where we had planned to break at the pub but it was closed so onto the deserted village of Wharram Percy for more peanut butter wraps, come on… hiking makes you hungry.

Fred descending to Wharram Percy

I think we covered about 19 miles today which ain’t bad on day four, carrying a light pack helps and also a bed each night is a big bonus but we do miss our tent from time to time and cooking up on the trail.

Fred…. Milk Tray Woman above Thixen Dale
Plenty of ups and downs early in the day

The Yorkshire Wolds Way – Day 3

Goodmanham to Millington via Pocklington

Londesborough Park

Sleeping in beds every night, eating well and a light backpack makes for enjoyable walking. It’s great to be back, it’s hot but the trail has been a breeze, we’ve even taken quite a few side trips and walked off the trail which we rarely do.

Nunburnholme Church
On our way to Kilnwick Percy Hall, a Buddhist Centre

Today was a short day which gave us time to have a great lunch at Kilnwick Percy Hall which is now a beautiful Buddhist centre and has a cool cafe.

We diverted to Pocklington to find some proper peanut butter and good coffee, it was the best town we have visited so far and worth the side trip.

Tonight we are at The Ramblers Rest in Millington which is a lovely quiet village. Pub tea later….happy days!

The Yorkshire Wolds Way – Day 2

South Cave to Goodmanham

Beautiful wooded valleys

Lovely day, no dramas, incredible weather, coffee and tea outside a pub for lunch, return of the wraps (peanut butter selection so far is dire) and a great B & B.

It’s great to be walking again and journeying from one place to the other, it’s simple and nourishing for the soul.

Day One – Yorkshire Wolds Way

Hessle to South Cave

We got the train to Hull from Leicester and checked into The Ibis and then checked out 5 minutes later. We are not that fussy but that place was nasty. New hotel sorted and a chance to look around Hull which on first impressions was pretty dodgy but then it unveiled its good parts. Pizza and root beer followed.

The next day we started from Hessle and walked to South Cave.

The Humber Bridge

We are staying in accommodation each night so we’ve got small packs which keeps the going easy. First impressions, nice walk and lovely varied countryside.

The hotel was odd but they had a good vegan menu which was a result. Fred’s walking in these and I’m walking in Inov 8’s with holes in them, both are doing us proud as are the comfy beds.

The Yorkshire Wolds Way

It’s June 2021 and nearly 8 years since we started this blog. Most walks made it onto fredgoestramping, some didn’t including last years post lockdown one trip on The Southern Upland Way.

That was a bit of a shocker, midges, ticks, A & E, food poisoning and that was just one of us. We did have some amazing camps like this one.

A great camping pitch on The SUW
Bothies, Midges and Ticks
Tick Removal in A & E Dumfries

It was in truth a bit rubbish interspersed with some good times however. This year we start with a shortish 79 miles on The Yorkshire Wolds Way, which we both know nothing about.

The Cape Wrath Trail – Day 14. Kinlochbervie to Cape Wrath Lighthouse

So, our final day arrived. Like all days of long walks the final one is a mixture of emotions, relief that you are getting the job done, sadness that that two weeks of walking in the most remote part of Britain is coming to an end and satisfaction of a well spent ‘holiday’.

We had the luxury of a Spa (shop not posh health club) this morning to buy food items such as pears, apples, tomatoes and an avocado – fresh food trail magic. We then had an easy four mile road walk to the car park at Blairmore where the John Muir trust who care for Sandwood Bay and surrounding area have provided some toilets and nice places to rest – so out came the kettle for some tea. There was plenty of people about looking to camp on the beach over the Bank Holiday weekend and we enjoyed the next four mile section down to Sandwood Bay.

The area is really beautiful and seeing the beach and the sea after such a long journey was fantastic. We had lunch in a sheep fold sheltering from the wind and then made our way down to the beach and dipped our toes into the Atlantic…. cold, so very cold.

The final 8 miles of the walk were over pathless peat moors but the sun was shining yet again and the bogs were mostly dry. We stopped off at our last Bothy at Strathchailleach where I had stayed with Ginger a few years ago when it snowed. I even found our entry in the Bothy book from back then.

Sandy (not my Brother, Ginger)

This was home to James McRory- Smith, better known as Sandy who lived here for 40 years as a hermit with no gas, electricity or telephone. It has a great supply of peat to burn and another lovely place to stay. (if you like your accommodation to be basic)

We had The Cape in our sites though so off we slogged for another two hours of bog hopping, climbing the MOD fence and over the last couple of passes before the descent to the pot holed road where you walk for the final 2km to the lighthouse.

It was hard work but as the guidebook says, the remoteness is intoxicating and it was a day we will remember as we rounded the final corner and there it was! Our destination.

There isn’t much at The Cape apart from The Lighthouse, just some abandoned buildings and the fantastic Ozone Cafe run by John Ure and his daughter which is open all year round.

The Cape Wrath Ultra was finishing the next day and we had a lovely evening in the company of Stuart Smith and some of the other staff working on the event – the bunk room was full (this was a great space by the way, basic but really warm and cosy) but we were allowed to sleep on the floor of the cafe which was really generous of the owners as the wind was pretty strong up there.

We also chatted to Adam who was walking with Martin the donkey from Cape Wrath to Portland Bill in Dorest – I love the eccentricity of the human race, good luck to them both who are raising money for the young peoples homeless Charity, Centrepoint. You can follow there intrepid journey at or Twitter @adamwalks. Martin isn’t too keen on bogs so the first 250 miles will be tough.

We slept well and packed up our beds before the first runners came in at about 10.30 and the team at Ourea events kindly ensured we got on the first minibus to the ferry over the Kyle of Durness. We also saw Dan, The Scottish-American on his approach to the end, we salute him and all the other people we met walking the trail.

Thanks to Fred for some beautiful pictures (the one above was the last and the best) and for being such a brilliant walking companion again. We have learnt over the years the joys of walking and team work and good company along with humour is much needed on long hard treks like this. It might not be everyone’s idea of a holiday but for us it is a slice of heaven, carrying all your gear and food on your back day after day and enjoying the simplicity of moving from one place to another.

The guidebook says, “It’s easy to get sucked back into the hectic pell-mell of everyday life, leaving trail memories distant, detached and unreal. But try to hold on to some of the sedate pace of wilderness, remembering the simple pleasures of getting from one place to another, surviving and traversing a landscape that has existed since time immemorial”

The Cape will be standing, solid and immovable a giant buttress to the wild Atlantic, long after our time has come and gone and we were there, in that place in that moment.

Finally, our bodies and our kit just about held up, gashed arms, (Fred’s arm is healing nicely) dug in ticks, broken cutlery, lost sunglasses, malfunctioning zips and one sorry state of a backpack. It got me to the end after I had the idea of removing the back support and placing it over the gaping hole just before my kit fell out into another bog. I have promised the spare parts to Stuart Smith from Nav4. The sleeper train beckons from Inverness after a vegan pizza tomorrow.

The Cape Wrath Trail – Day 13. Dam below Loch an Leathaid Bhuain to Kinlochbervie

Clouds envelope Foinaven

You know the day is going to be OK when you wake up in your sleeping bag on top of a dam in the middle of nowhere. This was a worrying start, we had to be careful where we dug the toilet hole on this occasion.

We made really good progress today and apart from some terrifically boggy and rough terrain we made it to Kinlochbervie in time for tea…. well tea in our B and B room, the wind picked up a treat so we decided four walls would be better tonight.

After a brew up by Lochstack Lodge we encountered the bog monster again along Loch a Garbh-Bhaid Mor so we threw in the towel and had a long lunch followed by a little snooze in the sun. Things did pick up after that and the path to the pub at Rhiconich was a delight by the river. The pub wasn’t serving anything liquid or solid so we ploughed on down the road and ate chips at The Schoolhouse and drank Ginger Beer and also sat on a picnic bench which was a little slice of heaven.

We visited the legendary London Stores at Badcall which is an Aladdin’s Cave… Vegans are also catered for and we bought some soya milk… happy days.

After a hunt around for some lodgings and some help from the locals we found a room for the night which did us just fine. Tomorrow is the final day and we have arranged to sleep at the lighthouse