Sam and Monique were excellent volunteers and we were able to clear all of section 49 of walk 11, although we did have to make our own exit/entrance at the high end of the trail. A few days off now until the next volunteers arrive.
I’m delighted that we’ve started work after, what seemed, a very long winter. The trails have got off lightly due to mild weather conditions. Again, I have Workaway volunteers to help me. Our first of the season are Monique and Sam from Canada and they are being hosted by the ever generous Regas House hotel (Spirou Group).
I selected a trail that was easy to reach and one that I have in fact never cleared! I’d forgotten how beautiful it is. It’s part of Walk no. 11 where it cuts the corner from just beyond Stavrodromo and Potami. I believe this partial calderimi was created as a way to the Potami spring. Sadly, the calderimi portion that existed in the actual Potami valley as been asphalted over. As usual, what remains is well placed with shade.
Workaway.net hasn’t disappointed and teams for the spring are being assembled. Volunteers from Northern Ireland, the USA, Canada, Spain, Germany and the UK have been booked in and I can’t wait to get started again around 12 March. I’m also excited about the prospect of new pictorial signs for the Retsina Trail and the Monk’s Trail. An app is also in the pipeline that will enable hikers to buy single hikes for use with their smart phone.
Apart from tidying up existing trails, we hope to reopen an old section of trail from Glossa village up to TACAN (it then continues down to Taxiarkis), the trail to the tower at Loutsa and the continuation of the trail to Kalogeros.
If you notice any particularly overgrown trails, please let us know and we’ll do our best to get them cleared.
this post somehow didn’t get published at the time
It’s been a pleasure having Debbi and Jay around. We got so much work done in a happy and enthusiastic atmosphere. Doesn’t get much better than that. We cleared just about all of the old calderimi that runs from the main road at Palio Clima up towards Ag Iannis. This is a beautiful, wide, well-made calderimi which was hardly visible when we started. Not only did we have to cut away the vegetation and vines, but we also had to dig down, loosen and then remove the top layer of sandy soil that was covering it.
Thanks also to Hotel Dionyssos for hosting them. Without the support of the hotels, this continuing project just wouldn’t be possible.
Before setting off, remember to take water with you. Check with the Skopelos Trails guide book if there’s a spring enroute from which you can replenish your water bottle. There’s also a list of all the springs across the island on page 11. If the water is running, it will be safe to drink
It’s been a very busy and successful year. We’ve had 20 volunteers from 8 difference countries: Australia 1, Canada 1, France 1, India 1, Italy 3, New Zealand 2, Sweden 1, UK 4, USA 6. We also had help from 3 UK and 4 German ex pats, 1 South African and two regular tourist visitors.
We have cleared and reopened all of the Skopelos to Panormos trail which was blocked throughout with fallen trees, the small portion of calderimi at Profitis Ilias, portion of trail below Sotiris monastery, part of the trail from Mili hamlet up towards Ag Marina, portion 2 and 3 of The Monk’s Trail, Glysteri, the trail to Petrovrissi, the Petrovrissi spring itself and a spring on the Old Stafilos Road, part of the Retsina Trail at Anania and Pirgos, the calderimi above Palio Clima toward Ag Iannis and the calderimi between Machala and Palio Clima.
Thanks must also be given to hotels Dionysos, Regas House and Pension Sotos plus Glossa Houses for donating accommodation, all the people in Glossa and Skopelos town who provided meals and last but not least, to Nick Orfanos for sharpening the chainsaw blade etc. We also received a donation which enabled us to buy two new pairs of loppers to replace the two pairs of Gardina ones that snapped.
We will be back again 1 March 2018. Have a good winter!
I was recently invited to a wonderful, gastronomic evening, together with volunteers Hamish, Flaminia and Emilie,(Sophia from Del Sol was also there). This was a personal ‘thank you’ from Sofia for the work that Skopelos Trails does. Thank YOU Sofia.
Together with Emilie and myself, these volunteers worked so hard on The Monk’s Trail and I thank them so very much. As if the wasps weren’t enough, we had to contend with invisible, biting insects, smilax vine and household rubbish. The exit/entrance to the trail was totally overgrown and it took us a few hours of chopping and garbage removal to find it. This was particularly unpleasant as there was the constant pong of rubbish in the air. But they never complained and just got stuck in. Once the trail had been found, it was full steam ahead. We are so close to meeting up with cleared trail approached from the Glysteri valley but encountered a mass of fallen trees in a gully that blocked our way. Such a pity they won’t be around personally to see the final chop that will join the trails together. Bon voyage/kalo taxithi guys.
Thanks also to Regas House hotel for donating their accommodation.
We’ve been working hard on the Machala trail. It’s very beautiful and much wider that I though. Yesterday many people came to see us! Tasoula brought us frappe, juice and snacks, Tom came and helped (he chopped brambles back and found a wall), then Harald and Martina passed by and finally Lisa came and helped. We feel very supported. The evening meal system is working well too. Thank you so much.