The White Mountains Of Crete.
Location - Crete - Lefka Ori
The following images and short film were captured by Matt Porteous, as he trekked for 9 days over the White Mountains of Crete, The Lefka Ori, alongside his stepfather.
Tony Blyth has been visiting the island of Crete for over 40 years, following in his father’s footsteps, who was there in May 1941 when the German invasion took place. He was very lucky to escape with his life; instead of surrendering, he went into the mountains and fought with a band of Cretan partisans.
At the age of 72, with two new ankles, Tony made the decision to take one last journey over the Mountains that have shaped his life over the last 30 years, as a tribute to the thousands of soldiers who walked this same path during the war.
The team traversed the bare, craggy peaks of the Lefka Ori, which lie at an altitude of 1,800 m (5,906 ft). Formed of pale, coarse limestone, the rocks here resemble the surface of the moon, and is one of the only high-altitude deserts in the world. It is incredible to think that around 20,000 Allies and 'Antartissa' (resistance fighters) came together in this desolate, craggy region to resist German troops.
Although Nazi soldiers were able to push the Allies back through the mountains towards the South Coast, where they were met by naval forces, eventually the last of the Germans had no other choice than to surrender. A lack of ammunition and general survival supplies allowed Crete to regain its independence in March 1945 and the Allies were - and are - forever grateful to the inhabitants of Crete for joining forces and defending against the Nazis.
This short film documents the honour of traversing the same path as those who sacrificed their lives and fought tirelessly for their freedom.