The eagerly awaited updated Terrain Map is now available and I am so proud and pleased to have been able to contribute to it. The hikes and trails are now more clearly marked and there is info on the map about the View Ranger app.Printed on Polyart Technical material,a polymer with excellent mechanical strength i.e it does not rip and tear and is very lightweight.
So here we are in April and what have we been up to? Due to travel restrictions, we haven’t been able to host volunteers this year until now, with the arrival of Joe who is from the Lebanon, lives in the US and studying environmental studies in Germany! He is strong and makes light of lifting and cutting. So far we have tidied up the Sendoukia Adventure trail and around the Mikalakis Water Mill, the short path behind Episkopi and the old main route out of town – Aloupi to Kangelia/Raches. This trail has really been abused over the years; dug up by OTE and not put back so cement was dumped here and there, dug up by the water company and a pipe unprofessionally installed leaving a huge gully and holes everywhere plus the inevitable bulldozer damage resulting in mounds of soil to be sermounted. Very heavy work with lots of brambles and full sun. It does have lovely views of the Stafilos valley though.
Our first volunteer since March arrived last week; Emanuel from Rumania. He can work with iron and so I asked if he could make me some gates. So he did, and drove them here! We will have the use of a forge on Wednesday when he’ll start making the frame from liberated iron rods we found at the scrapyard. The gates are for Kimissia where a farmer has erected an illegal fence across the trail. I don’t want to fight with people so its easier to just put in an easy use door for hikers (and the farmer) to use,
SENTOUKIA ADVENTURE TRAIL – 3km – 490m to Pera Karia
This trail first appeared in the Skopelos Trails 1st edition 2001 and 2nd edition 2004 but excluded from the 3rd edition 2011. I found it initially having noticed yellow painted AEs on the rocks. I simply followed them.
In 2019 a rekkie was carried out where no evidence of a trail was found. In spite of this, with great difficulty, we managed to clamber our way from the summit down to Karia.
On 15 March 2020, solo, I started to clear, following a small gully from the Karia end having had confirmation of the trail head from Giannis Varetaios.
Together with volunteers Zoe and Leo, we worked for seven days between 19 May and 1 June, clearing away shrubs and fallen trees. We worked towards a dropped pin previously gps’ed on the summit. This was our only guide.
When zig zagging was not possible, we installed ropes to enable hikers to ascent and descend the boulders easier.
Completed 1 June 2020. Signs and ropes installed.
Our plan is to clear the next portion from Pera Karia, passing near Analipsos and continuing down to the EU asphalt road. At some point in the future it is hoped that funding will allow us to reopen the valley trail between Djelili and Kriavrissi. Our trail would then connect with it.
An interesting observation was that in a 24 hour period, ants had made holes and particially eaten the orange eco marker tape. There was no evidence that they were carrying bits away. So if you see an ant with hiccups and orange poop, you’ll know why!
With the help of wonderful volunteers Evelyn & Andreas from Belgium, we worked for a week to clear this ancient site to make it attractive and visible to visitors. A sign is being made and will be placed near the road, in front of the Panagia Polimistria church, Pefkias, so that you can find it more easily. We are also in the process of clearing the trail from Kambos which emerges directly opposite the church.
What a fantastic start to the year. Joe and Lewis from Liverpool and Amber from Australia have been helping me clear the trails. They’ve been excellent company too. After dinner, we’ve been out dancing until the early hours several times and on the full moon we drove up to Palouki, made a fire and had our dinner there. We’ve also been working hard on the Palouki trail, making it passable for mountain bikers as well as hikers.