Paddy’s Italian fans in the footsteps of Fermor and Moss

In the snow on top of Mount Ida

In the snow on top of Mount Ida

Some of Paddy’s fans from Italy recently struck out on an adventure in Crete to follow in the steps of Paddy and ‘Billy’ Moss and the rest of the abduction gang. They were on the route at the same time as Tim Todd and Chris White who, as regular readers will know, engage in some seriously detailed work on the route and the events of April 1944. However, the two groups did not manage to meet up in Crete, but did keep in touch with each other via the comments section of the blog!

Spiro Coutsoucos was leading the Italian group and passed me this short text explaining their motivation and a little about the journey which you can enjoy from the photographs that they sent me. The image of the crossing of Mount Ida is reminiscent of Moss’ own black and white image.

Most of us discovered Fermor (and the Peloponnese as well) thanks to “Mani”, which was the one and only book of Paddy’s translated into Italian until a few years ago. We are all good travelers and hikers and we love travel literature. Some members of the group were in Kardamili and hiked in Mani in spring 2009. We became more familiar on reading Paddy’s biography. After searching in vain for the abduction story among his other books we discovered Stanley Moss’s “Ill Met By Moonlight”. The next step was the exciting discovery of Tim Todd’s website.  And one day with Maria Cristina, who is our spring trek organizer we said… why not? Last winter we organized a meeting in Milan on the abduction story to propose the itinerary. A number of Italian fans of Fermor joined the meeting, some traveling considerable distances.

The next step was getting in touch with Cretan mountain guides to check the itinerary and locations.

We started hiking from Drossia, through Enagron, Axos, up to Anogia, Mount Ida, and down to Fourfouras, Petrochori, Ano Meros, Vrises, Ierakari. We then left Paddy’s way because we could not miss Moni Preveli. We rejoined Paddy’s footsteps again on Peristeres beach. Throughout the trek we enjoyed very pleasant weather, some very nice meetings with people related to Kreipe abduction, a huge amount of raki.  The whole team was very enthusiastic about our quest.

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3 thoughts on “Paddy’s Italian fans in the footsteps of Fermor and Moss

  1. Pingback: Perkins and Pendlebury in Crete, and a hunt for Xan Fielding’s grave | Patrick Leigh Fermor

  2. spirocouts

    Oh thank you for publishing Tom, it’s a honour.
    @Tim, we’ll surely meet again somewhere in front of a good glass of tsikoudià. 🙂

  3. Tim

    I was so disappointed that we didn’t properly catch up with you all. As so often happens on the island, we were waylaid. I had spotted the famous Papa Andreas in Anogia, whom I had met on our first expedition- and before we knew it’s the night was gone. I was really impressed with this group, one lady was even carrying Paddy’s biography by Artemis, no small weight! I do hope our paths might cross again and that we might have some time to chat about your adventures and what you found. I am delighted that my website was of help, keep an eye on it as I hope to be tidying it up and adding more details learned on our last trip. Well done to all of you- and I loved the t shirts. By the by, Chris was with his brother Pete doing all the cave seeking, I was with my wife Brigid in the car looking for monasteries and the like, though Chris and Pete kindly took time out to help me get to a couple of caves and locations


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