We sleep in until half past eight and then wipe the sleep out of our eyes with a cup of coffee and a fresh chocolate roll. Our energy has been replenished. So it is high time to burn those calories again. And that doesn’t take too long, because the trail immediately goes uphill after we leave the campsite. Right next to a busy motorway we enter a nature reserve. It doesn’t take more than five minutes to feel like we’re wandering in an uninhabited world.
Our muscles still feel tensed from the heavy physical demands of yesterday. Under a scorching sun, my soaked socks are hanging to dry on my backpack. Some lizards are also enjoying the sun, which hasn’t exposed much of herself these last few days. With outstretched legs they are sunbathing carefreely on the boulders.
For the first time we see other people on our trail. They are day trippers who are all on their way to some sort of natural spa alongside the river that we have been following for quite a while now. The narrow path feels like it’s centuries old. A handful of small olive trees with character withstands stubbornly the dry mountainside.
We take a break on a flat, promontory rock. We admire the pointed and rough peaks that are so typical for this island. Later on we will have to climb up from the valley along such a rock wall. It’s almost unbelievable that there are walkable paths on such steep flanks.
Where a bridge leads us across the river, the day-trippers leave us behind. They nest together on some rocks on the river banks, trying to catch some of that autumn sun while they are laying on their spread towels. Some people venture into the cold water of the river. And although a refreshing bath would do us pretty well at the moment, we’d rather leave the crowds behind us. We choose the deserted path on the other side of the river bank. The water of the river submerges the forest in fresh green colors.
But when we climb up from the valley, the ground suddenly becomes a lot rougher. On stony paths we hike up to an almost completely flat plateau in the forest. A lonely cow looks up in surprise, as we climb our way up through some large rocks to the gite, where we buy a bottle of wine, some cheese and bread.
Wim hesitates to put up camp at the gite, but I have cast my eyes upon the wild nature. After some searching, I find a suitable bivouac site on the banks of a river, just above a waterfall. Between some pine trees we set up our tent on a rocky surface.
Along the river we cook a simple meal on our gas stove. Afterwards we turn the fire back on again, but this time to wash our socks. Because we have walked with damp socks in our walking boots, they started to smell pretty awful. Especially Wim’s socks, of course … We make a soap and water solution in our cooking pan and let our socks simmer for a few minutes until they smell like fresh roses. Although I have to admit that it seems as if those roses must have been stored pretty close to a ripe Camembert …