To Provarma
The first week of April was spent settling into our new house in Provarma. We had several shopping trips to purchase various household items. We fitted in a few walks around the local area. There are numerous paths and tracks to explore. Stilos is set in a fertile valley by a river. The area is mainly agricultural with fields of oranges.  The scent is almost overpowering when you walk along by the orange groves. Many other vegetables are also grown. The countryside is a picture with numerous wildflowers appearing everywhere. Plants grow quickly and flowers appear daily.
 
The weather had deteriorated towards the end of March and the beginning of April.  We had some rain and the weather was cooler. The first few evenings we enjoyed a roaring log fire.


 

The house is spacious and modern. Our bedroom balcony looks out east over the valley. We can see Neo Horio, Armeni and Kalives in the distance. We are able to have breakfast on the balcony in the early morning sun.
 
8th April the weather became sunny and warm again. After breakfast on the balcony we joined Alan and Margaret or another wonderful day out. We had a picnic in the mountains south east of Rethymnon. We travelled through mountain villages and glorious scenery. We had an exciting drive along the highest road in Crete leading to the observatory - very barren and windy with fantastic views.
 
We returned via Rethymnon in the early evening where we wandered around the old town and finished the day with a lovely meal in a taverna: bread, wine, rabbit, briam, feta baked in the oven, seafood salad and roast potatoes.

The weather continued dry, warm and sunny for several days. We enjoyed drives into the mountains and walks exploring the local area.

 
16th April Roy had arranged for the first meeting of a bird/wildlife club at Lake Kournas. Six of us enjoyed lunch and we were then joined by four more people for the meeting. Unfortunately, the three Greek people we had hoped would be attending were not present. An agreement was made to meet again at Agia Reservoir on 7th May for some bird watching and then lunch at a lakeside taverna.

17th April the wind became really strong. Our view from the balcony was obliterated by sand and dust in the atmosphere blown over from Africa. The next day the atmosphere had cleared and we were able to enjoy a walk along Stilos river.

 
19th April we took a picnic and explored part of the Akrotiri peninsula where Chania airport is situated. We visited Agia Triada and Gouverneto monasteries. From the second monastery a fairly steep path leads down to a gorge passing the cave of St. John - well worth a visit.


 

20th April we set off for a walk to the gorge at Maheri - the next village. Before we turned off into the orange groves a car came along the road.  The driver braked, stopped in the middle of the road, got out of his car, opened the boot and gave us some large oranges before driving on.  It could only happen in Crete!
 

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