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

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