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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great walks, but needs revising and clearer directions., 23 May 2011
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S31 (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Western Crete: 45 Walks in Kissamos and Selinos: Walking in the Kissamos (Cicerone Guide) (Paperback)
This book was very useful on my recent holiday in Crete; it highlighted good areas to visit and gave general directions for some very pleasant walks. However, the detailed descriptions of the walks left something to be desired. In some cases this can perhaps be blamed on the author and in other cases on the changing landscape. I can only assume that despite giving the impression it hasn't changed for centuries, the Cretan countryside actually changes quite frequently. Examples include the appearance of fences, sheep pens and such like blocking the path, the construction of new roads, the removal/destruction of signs and the conversion of dirt tracks to tarmac. Some paths described as 'well-defined' or 'clearly visible' are no longer so. In one extreme case (walk 14), an entire area has been remodelled to accommodate a windfarm rendering the book out of date.

Where the fault lies with the author, it is generally because of inconsistency in the level of description or the absence of any sense of scale. For example, there might be several kilometres described by a single line, then several paragraphs complete with compass bearings for the next 500m, despite no apparent difference in navigational complexity. If these distances were quoted along with the directions, it would be far easier to verify that you are correctly following the directions. This is important as the lack of any decent mapping (the best map I could obtain was a 1:100000 as recommended by this book - the 1:79000 appears to be out of print) means that you are soley dependent on the directions to avoid walking yourself into a dead-end (of which there are many in the steep and densely vegetated landscape).

There are also some bizarre bearings given which do not inspire confidence, at one point you are told to continue following a track 'a degree SSE of S' - why not say 'a degree E of S'? Or is this a typo and should be 'a degree S of SSE'? Why even bother about the degree at all given that we're following a track?

It is also worth being aware that the author appears to have relied significantly on public transport or multi-day travel, as many of the routes are linear (although often short enough to walk out-and-back).

Despite my criticisms, this is still a very useful book to have with you in Crete as I do not know of any other book which covers this area in this detail, just be prepared to find that the routes are not easy to follow and will often require significant trial and error (and occasional ignoring of the book altogther). Take a compass and a map if you can get one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Western Crete Walking in the Kissamos by Alan Hall, 2 Jun 2011
This review is from: Western Crete: 45 Walks in Kissamos and Selinos: Walking in the Kissamos (Cicerone Guide) (Paperback)
There was a lot of useful information in this book....even if you don't attempt all the walks, it describes areas that are pleasant to visit. We do a lot of walking in the UK and have been to Crete many times.Certain walks are reasonably easy to follow and then tracks either disappear or become impassable. It is therefore imperative that a writer gives a clear indication IE as a path reaches a fork instead of saying "Walk in a NE,N,NW arc" it would be easier to say take the left hand fork!........Walking in Crete is best done in May when the weather is slightly cooler, so its no use saying on a linear walk " and get the ferry/a boat back"because there is no ferry or boat at that time of the season!.... Having said these things I am still glad we purchased the book as it gave us so much information about smaller villages,wooded areas and little bays that we have either skipped or not discovered on previous trips.So don't be put off buying it!
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