With co-operation from the Elios local council, we plan to have a few volunteers from Workaway to help us clear the old calderemi (stone path) from Pirgos down to Platanakia. This path is in excellent condition, affording beautiful views and it would be fantastic to get it open and in use. Councilor Mary Diamantis will accommodate our volunteers, arrange meals and the loan of the tools we will need for this project. It will take place in April. If you are interested in helping out, if only for a few hours, please contact me.
It is also hoped to re-open the valley path from Tjelili up to Karia. Who wants to walk on the new superhighway when we can walk in the steps of the Skopelitis of old in the safety of a cool valley.
Inspired by a couple on holiday who volunteer for the UK Bat Trust, I hope to run evening bat walks. So little is known on the island about these fascinating creatures. I hope to identify which species we actually have. Three possible types have already been identified. If you have had an experience/encounter with bats on Skopelos, please tell me your story.
I’ve been asked by the local authorities to GPS the location of all the ancient calderimia for prosperity. I was going to do this anyway as I now have the technology! This information will be posted on this site as it becomes available to help self-guided hikers.
Finally, I am told that boards with trail information will be appearing shortly around the island. I found this out by accident. My input was not asked. Nor was I asked for advice before the terrible, new stone paths were constructed. Do I sound bitter?!
A good start to the Autumn season with this lovely group of people.
My volunteer, Wiebke from Germany is on the extreme left of the large group. She was wonderful and I couldn’t have reopened the Moutero church section of calderemi without her help. We worked off and on most days, for 2 weeks. I can’t remember ever having been able to use this bit of path. There was a complaint about where we put the clippings from a very grouchy man, which left a bad feeling after our initial elation of a job well done.
Five portions of various routes were finally cleared.
Path clearing has now ceased until September. A lot has been accomplished this Spring: Simisea, Ag Marina track towards Sotiros, Tzukuka, Moutero and a bit of a clip near Ag Ianni Skleri. There is a schedule listing all the paths and routes, condition and dates when last cleared. The town hall has a copy of this schedule but there are probably coffee stains on the reverse side of the pages. Sadly the charity funded strimmer is missing (to put it politely), which means paths will not be cleared of long grass in the future. I hope the person who borrowed it is proud of themselves.
A very big THANK YOU to Helen, Pamela Batters and Georgia Thompson.
Clearing of this route is now in progress. There are many thorns beside the stone track however and progress is slow. Once we get to the Tzukala spring, we aim to reopen a portion of calderimi that has been closed for at least 30 years. The portion then joins up to the calderimi that goes up the hill and emerges by the rubbish tip.
Together with Georgia, my Canadian workaway volunteer, we have cleared the track from Simesea, Raches, down to Kambos plus from Ag Marina church towards Mon. Sotiros. Check them out!
Due to the construction of this structure, the direct way through from Panormos to Moutero church is now blocked. However, you can still turn left immediately after the modern bungalow,(just before the locked reservior gates) walk through the fruit orchard, bear right and go up the hill into the forest, continue straight ahead then turn right onto the dirt road and then through Moutero hamlet. It is also possible to make a circular hike from Panormos, which takes about 2 hours. After emerging out of the forest, continue on and then turn left by the new house (which looks completely out of place in this beautiful hamlet) and go up the hill. Take the first left turn, which heads down-hill. Go through a set of gates, past the goat station, another set of gates and continue on, back down to Panormos.
Yesterday I did my best to clear the calderimi from the top of Anania hill down to the asphalt road, Pirgos. It was jungle and I got extremely scratched. However, it is now at least passable.
This morning I visited the town hall to ask for help. I can see that if this route doesn’t get some heavy, serious clearing, it will go the same way as the route from Ag Reginos church, Pirgos down the Elios. Baby Pefkia trees get seeded and start growing between the stones and then they can’t be removed easily as the roots take hold. The route then closes totally. I spoke to a new guy, Iannis Anastasiou, and he agreed to help. I can’t believe this is actually going to happen. When I spoke to the Mayor earlier this month, he said that nothing would be happening regarding path clearing. I told him that I’d thought about getting volunteers via the Workaway website. I don’t mind who helps – I’m not fussy! Watch this space.