Say ‘Hello’ to our newest arrivals; Steph from Liverpool and Clare from Worthing; both from UK. We are clearing the way down into the Glysteri valley from near Profitis Ilias, which is Walk 6, section 22. This trail has been totally blocked by fallen trees and large shrubs. I’d say we’re about half way down. Meanwhile, regular volunteer Pamela, has been exposing a beautiful piece of avrahyah (supporting wall) at the entrance to this section of trail. It never ceases to amaze me how much time and expertise went in to building them. The least we can do is uncover them so you can appreciate them too!
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Marian, Tasos and their 4 very well-behaved children. Marian has a useful travel blog and she has written not only about Skopelos but also about my trail clearing work. You can find her blog here : http://daysofbliss.gr/2017/05/6-things-that-make-skopelos-unique.html
Wishing to try out my plasterless ankle with the minimum of walking involved, I decided to give the trail from Ag Marina spring towards mon. Sotiros a widening. This trail is regularly used by Spiro the goatherd and from the amount of large, dead branches around, I’m glad he does as he has saved us a lot of heavy clearing work.
So Kristyn and I spent the day clipping back the dreaded Kermes Oak as much as the narrow trail allows, from the spring to the gate. I also hid a geocach in the vicinity. Happy Hunting!
This small, well-made section of calderimi was totally blocked. It is now reopen. Cleared by new volunteer Kristyn Arnold from Santa Fe, USA and Steve Taylor from the UK, who sadly leaves us today (Tuesday 25 April). Steve was part of The Big, Cool Team and made a huge contribution towards getting the Panormos trail reopened. Thanks Steve.
As much as Steve and I miss the other members of the team, clearing goes on. So I decided on Walk 6, section 20. A small section of calderimi leading to Profitis Ilias church near Glysteri. We managed about half of it.
We’ve inspected part of the Retsina Trail and can confirm that the portion leading up to Ag Reginos Pirgos, is open. We inspected the portion below the church but only as far as the T junction as that is where I fell and sustained an injury that has resulted in my ankle being in plaster. We have also looked at Walk 6 and unfortunately the way is blocked (picture 22). The team made a start but ran out of time. As soon as the plaster is off, we will be returning to this spot but because it needs a chainsaw and Harry has now left, it’s down to me.
The trail starts in the Kastro Carpark. Cross over the road, up the stairs to a marked calderimi (Abuzali). Turn left and then right onto the continuation of the Abuzali calderimi. This brings you up to Raches. Turn left and walk along until Stavrodromo just after Ag Paraskavi. Turn right along the asphalt until a marked trail on the left. Take this trail. Cross over the Potami road. Continue on, passing Epermacho church. Continue on and up. Pass Ag Ianni Skleri. Duck under trees and continue into the forest. This trail emerges on a dirt road. Turn right and continue on to the Panagia church Moutero. Take the calderimi down then up the other side. Pass through Moutero via its spring. Take dirt road until posh house where you turn left. Trail then leads down to sea level. There’s one fallen tree here we couldn’t get rid of. I’ve asked the mayor for help. We’ll see.
One of my little helpers flew the next this morning to pastures new (Iceland in fact). Have a save trip Harry.
We’d all like to thank the following taverna owners for their hospitality and support during the clearing of this trail. This acknowledgement of our work is very much appreciated and the food was absolutely fantastic.
The brothers from Ta Kymata taverna on the Old Port. Their sweat and sauer kalimari was particularly amazing.
Anna and Agapi from Anna’s Restaurant Yiftorema, Taisty Greek influenced Innovative dishes.
Thanasis Florous of Pavlos taverna, Agnondas. Cover the table with lots of yummy starters.
What we thought would be a particularly tough day, turned out to be not so bad but the chain saw was in use through-out. Two huge trees had come down at Ag Ianni Skleri, blocking the trail. There was no way we could move them, so we just removed all it’s branches and hikers have to duck under the trunks to pass. We had a bit of time to spare so went down to Panormos to do a quick trim. Wrong. More trees had fallen over this final piece of the trail. So we did some work and today we will get the chain saw going again and thus will have completed clearing the entire trail from Skopelos to Panormos.
Today we worked on the calderimi between Moutero church and spring. There were many blockages from fallen trees. Not now though and the way is clear.
As well as the usual Gagea Graeca and Tassel Hyacinths, there were lots of Wavy-leaved Monkey orchids.
We started today on the portion of trail from Ag Ianni Skleri down towards Moutero. It’s going to take a few days and the chain saw will get a lot of use. Luckily, Harry,one of the volunteers, particularly likes using the chainsaw, so he’ll be happy. This is what we’re up against.