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Friday, March 7, 2008

Close encounter of the goat kind

One of the great things about travelling in Crete is the chance to get up close and personal with the locals, especially the four-legged kind. That's one of the reasons I prefer travelling by car over any other form of transport, for the opportunities it affords you to get off the beaten track. And the flexibility and freedom you have to stay as little or as long as you want in a place, to be able to stop and take photos, or simply take the scenery in. We recently did a drive on Crete's isolated west coast and had slowed down to capture the breathtaking views of the coastline below. We've gotten used to facing off with herds of goats and sheep on the roads, and used to the routine - as soon as they see the car they stop dead in their tracks, they wait a little to see what we'll do, and then, when they see we're no threat (because we've turned the engine off), they hurry past, often leaping and bounding in the air, to get on their way. But on this occasion we were surprised by the friendliness of this lone goat who appeared out of nowhere and came right up to my window.The goat went as far as to nuzzle my hand. He was curious and affectionate, more like a dog or cat, so we stayed a bit to enjoy his company. It's moments like these that make travelling by car cool for me.

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