We’ll be starting again on Monday 7 September until around 20 October. Already we have six volunteers: Aleksa from Serbia, Isabel from the Netherlands, Abi from UK, Ursula from Estonia and Michelle and Tessa from Australia; an international team. If you’d like dip in, even for one day, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
The spring trail clearing programme has now closed as the last of the volunteers sadly leaves today. A very big THANK YOU to everybody who became involved, namely Victoria Cooper, Leah Gotchel, Teresa Dumitrascu, Pamela Batters, Jessica Ferguson, Dimitris Moschos, The Skopelos Hotels Union members – Sunrise, Regas House, Dionysos, Denise and Skopelos Village, Kostas Provias of Asterias Panormos, Mary Prokopiou and Nikos Orfanos. We were able to clear a record number of trails and springs and look forward to the autumn when an exciting major project gets under way which will put Skopelos firmly on hiking destination map!
We’ve been very busy during the last weeks. The track/calderimi from near Prof. Ilias leading down into the Glysteri valley has been cleared and widened, the track from the dump down into the Glysteri valley has been worked on as has the Psimisia gully, Pirgos. We are currently working on the calderimi near Epermacho, Potami leading to Skopelos stavrodromo.
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.