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"You can't get there from here."

At the time, Pavlos Apropoulos thought his American friend was joking. Now he wasn't so sure.

"Try it and see," Frank had said. "It's less than 250 kilometers from Athens, and I'll bet you can't even get close to it!"

That had been easy enough for Frank to say, sitting in the comfort of Pavlos's Athens apartment. He wasn't going to be the one who went alone, into the wilderness, to test it.

Pavlos's arms felt as if they were about to come off. The branch he was holding on to might tear free at any second, leaving him without any firm support. Yet his feet couldn't seem to find a purchase.

There was dust everywhere. The canyon was filled with a clay pungence that mixed with the overripe odors of bramble bush and perspiration. He could taste blood from one of the cuts he'd taken on his face, during the panicky scramble down the flaky, slippery talus.

This was the easiest route. He was sure of it.

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