My first journey to the Omalos Plains was unforgettable. Travelling on the rear end of a friend’s Quad, we made our way through Ierapetra , turning off to Kato Symi, where we stopped for a break at the Aphrodite Taverna surrounded by mountains and forest.
Continuing towards Pano Symi (looking for Orchids) we paused at a small ice-melt waterfall which was running slowly across our path and disappearing down the rocks into the undergrowth. Unfortunately the rare orchids we wanted here were not yet in bloom, so we turned back towards the Plains.
To say the journey upwards to Omalos was bumpy would be an understatement, more like a fairground ride! But travelling through the pine forest, smelling that beautiful fresh aroma of new pine leaves, and glimpsing fabulous views of the mountains and sea beyond, more than made up for a few bumps.
It was early March, but the sun was shining, the sky blue, with blue tits, great tits and a multitude of finches flitting all around us as we descended onto the Plain. At first sight, although not very large, the Plain stretched out to the surrounding mountains, a lake of ice-melt in the centre covered with seagulls, a tiny church and memorial off to one end, a building to shelter sheep and goats, and copious crows screaming from above. Nothing else, no people, no habitation, just us and a few animals grazing – Imagine, soaring mountains, solitude, peace, quiet, stillness of air, just as though time had stood still for eternity………..