We had a great day today trying to get this area back into shape so you can at least use it. The ‘table’ can’t be moved though as it’s too heavy. Che did a great job clearing the side of the spring and found some lovely semi-circular steps. Elene made a little path to guide walkers down/up the way as there’s a big hole to the side. I removed 4 metal bars and attached wire fencing that was wrapped around the kiosk beam together with a metal bin. We’re trying to find the manhole cover on the top of the spring so it can be cleaned and made suitable for human consumption but it’s somewhat buried. We hope to finish day after tomorrow but it always takes longer than we think!
For several days now we have been working hard to clear this area. We’ve cleared the path down into the valley and along the dry river bed. We’ve also completely reopened and cleaned the small portion of calderimi that leads up to the asphalt toward Kalogeros. The river bed is now full of bolders and isn’t easy to walk but at least clear of fallen trees and low hanging vegetation. The picnic area around the spring has been trashed by the floods also. We’ve cleaned the spring though around the outside.
So it’s now possible to do a nice circular walk from Profit Ilias area, down to the Glysteri road, up the other side via Tzukala to the trash area, turn left along the asphalt, down the newly opened calderimi to Tzelali, along the river bed, then up again by the deers to the asphalt.
A few years back, we cleared the trail over Anania hill towards Ag Reginos Pirgos (part of the Retsina Trail). All accept one huge tree that we were unable to shift. Today, together with volunteers Steve and David plus Emmanuel Palaiologos – who helps every Saturday – were were at last able to saw it and remove it. It took Emmanuel’s 50 year old chain saw and his skill, to remove it without the enormous root system sliding down. We counted 50 years so it’s as old as the chainsaw. There were also lots of Woodcock Ophrys scolopax cornuta orchids on the trail plus we were visited by the lovely Eva Karras, who arrived armed with sandwiches and a huge cake. We are so very blessed to have such fantastic support.
A very big THANK YOU to Tam Nightingale for inviting us to his home and for cooking a fantastic meal and to Eva Karras for providing us with a huge pasta meal. Generous gestures of this nature mean a lot to Skopelos Trails and we do not take them for granted. To have this support from non walkers is humbling and saves me from preparing and cooking for the volunteers after a hard day on the trail, so much appreciated on a person level.
If you’d like to donate a meal, please contact me.
We’ve been working very hard with maintenance work but over the last three days have actually reopened a portion of calderimi that has been closed for at least 35 years. I’ve walked by it many times but only recently got to thinking that this portion of the trail just didn’t make sense. So, I started sniffing around and in fact one of my volunteers discovered a wide, cobbled (calderimi) in the bushes. This year I was able to get it reopened. It’s behind the Tzukala spring, Glysteri. The reason it was detoured is because a portion of the supporting wall had collapsed. For hikers this is no problem but I guess if you had a mule it would be more problematical.
Please welcome David from Spain and Jenna from the USA. We’ve been working for several days now, joined on Saturday by local Emmanuel Paleologos, on the trail between the heliport and Prof. Ilias, Kokola. Please be careful at a small holding near the water tank at the Prof. Ilias end as there are some free and rather aggressive dogs.
Over the years, I’ve discovered some 17 different varieties of orchids and so it’s great when I find something new. This Orphrys tenthredinifera is a real beauty.
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.