PATH CLEARING AT ANANIA

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For the last two days, two over 60 gals have been snipping away and have managed to clear a long portion of calderemi. It is part of the old route to Ag Riginos, Pirgos. The first portion can be found just after the T junction at Diakopi, a few steps towards Anania. The rocky path meanders up to the small church of Ag Nikolaos (with a new house next to it). The track we cleared starts in the top left hand corner and climbs to the top of the Anania hill, beside the property of the late Apostolis Patsis. The Spanish broom (Spartium juncreum), Cistus, Asparagus acutifolius, to name but a few, had totally taken over and had closed the route. We cleared some parts right back to the dry stone wall, just so you can see how beautiful it is. Go take a look and enjoy!

REPORT BY A REGULAR HIKER TO THE ISLAND

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Hello Heather ,

I was just (re)discovering you web-sites , congratulations !

Please find my report on the Loutraki -Paleio Klima-Glossa trails as of 28 April .Overall , my feeling is positive .We we first surprised by the new stone surface they built on some sections of the upward trail to Aghi Anarghiri .True, you need solid shoes with a thick sole to accommodate these new stones , but they will smoothen out with age .What an expense ( I had been told this reddish limestone from the Skopeliot quarry was getting rare to build houses ) ! The good side is that they made it like an old stepped kalderimi , unusable for vehicles . In some places , like from Aghi Anarghiri to Ano Paleio Klima , they renovated the kalderimi using more rounded , brown stones . Back to Kato Paleio Klima, we were relieved to find out that he old mule-path to Machalas , which I feared had been all bulldozed in May 2004 , was still intact ( a bit overgrown but passable ) for about four fifths of its length . Only just before Machalas it’s sadly replaced by a jeep track , but this got narrowed by the vegetation.We then walked down the tiny footpath from the lowest Machalas houses to a track in that lush gorgeous valley , leading to the Loutraki road , with again a shortcut at the bus-shelter after the bend , down to the paralia !

A wonderful 5 hour hike we did was as follows : Aghios Charalambos ( breathtaking views on a hilltop with shepherds’ pens ) , narrow footpath in the brushwoods , 4-way crossroad ( right arm might lead to Staphylos , who knows ?) , we took the upper arm straight to Palouki top antennas ( the goat-paths became quite faint , it was more guessing and cross-country , actually ), Palouki ridge dirt road ( on the way , at the start of the walk to Aghia Anna or to Taxiarchis , we also saw these amazing stone pavings … At the little round clearing there, we saw your orange footprint way-marking on a tree , pointing to the direction of the sea , more or less toward Alonissos : do you have a walk there ? ).At that saddle with a water tank and a sort of goat-pen made of steel grilles , we took the tiny footpath marked by your footprint going down a gulley in the oak-woods ( by the way at that “saddle” we also saw these new impressive stone kalderimia into 2 directions : we’ll try them next time ).Down on the asphalt road above Metamorphossi Sotirou , we then took at the bend the dirt road and then footpath to Aghia Marina ( time to refill ! ) and the small road down to the valley .

All the best for your walks !

Joël

PALOUKI

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 Had a super hike to the sumit of Palouki this morning. Wanted to see what work the council had done. Well, with a bob-cat, they have made a path all the way from the water tank/goat station on the dirt road to Ag Anna/Taxiarcon to the sumit. In some places you will need clamp-ons. The bob-cat has dislodged bolders that could have been used as foot-holds and straightened out meadering portions  so it’s a very strenuous slog to the top in places but at least, easy to find. I hope they are going to do something with the surface as with the first rain, the whole track will be washed out.  We returned via the second trig and then took a very goaty track down to the lower mast road., at the end of which, I had parked the car. The whole hike, including sandwich stop, took just about four hours.

Back on the Rock

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It’s the hiking season again but I can’t get back to Skopelos from UK until Wednesday 14th. The first hike will be to Panormos Bay on Thursday morning!!! at 9.30 outside the bakery/cafe opposite the car park/junction, next to Motor Tours. Just turn up if you fancy joining us. E20 per person, around 4 hours duration, time for a dip/refreshments at Panormos beach before returning by bus.
On Saturday 17th, 12 noon, Baramares Cafe (sit near the kiosk) I’ll be having a drink and chat with a few folk about hikes for the coming week. If interested, just turn up- it will be lovely to meet you.
Heather

End of the Spring season

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The spring hiking season went on much longer than usual due to the cooler weather, the last one taking place on 29 June. I met some wonderful people from all over the world. If you were one of them, thank you very much for walking with me; it was a pleasure to have met you.
 
 

KERAMOTO, GLOSSA

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 If you get the opportunity, please do this short walk down to the beach via Keramoto. It’s cobbled all the way down to the little harbour. I’d been told the route was closed and so decided to take a look for myself. It wasn’t.  You have to cross over the stream twice. The first one is rather smelly. It takes less than an hour to get to the sea. Just one place is a little overgrown but it is just stunning. The steam was in full flow yesterday and the walk down extemely pleasant, although it’s quite a slog back up.

WALKS AND FLOWERS

Carried out my first walk with a couple from Germany on Saturday. He had some expensive photographic kit with him so I asked him to get some shots of the bee-eaters that were flying around overhead. I took them on the Petrovrissi hike and was shocked to see how overgrown the track has become beyond the pile of sand at the end of the dirt road. There was also the remains of a dead goat there!
On Sunday I took a very long investigative hike on Palouki hill. I found the old way through to Palouki (via the goat station and The Cross). All very overgrown and I’m glad I took it out of this edition of the book. If it.were cleared, one could walk practically all the way there by track. I was also trying to find a way through to Mili from the end of the Lower Mast Road. After 3 attempts, gave up… this time. What I did find (after a tip off) however was a couple of Violet Bird’s Nest Orchids, in the strangest place, just beside the road.
Yesterday was the first Coast to Coast hike. I had 5 people and it was a great day out, ending at Asterias, Panormos with mixed mezzie plates. On the way we saw amongst other things, a variety of orchids, include the white bee orchid, Heart-Flowered Serapias and Tongue plus a leopard snake.  One point to note, page 57 image 110. Don’t follow the good path off to the right and up (after you enter the olive grove). Keep left, almost paralel with the gully (down on your left). The next time I do this hike, I’ll put up another sign.

purple bird’s nest orchid