Glaciers, marbles and turbines


*, by Guillermo on Flickr.

Dear readers
As I started this article, my intention was to present to the world the aestetic and environmental value of the limestone surfaces, crests and cliffs in a very special part of «Atheras», the ridge which makes the backbone of my island, Ikaria. This part is called «Pounta», a hellenized Italian word used by old seamen to describe a sticking out edge or protrusion of rocks like a promontory into the sea.
But after writing a few words, I changed my mind. I had to change my approach on the subject. You see, the landscape of Pounta is not at all «beautiful» in the common understanding of the word. Nor is the environmental value of this endless succession of barren, fragmented and cragged surfaces an easy thing to explain to a broad public. You see (again), along the irregular leaning pyramids of Pounta there is no water and none but very few weather beaten trees, the vegetation being restricted to thorny spurges of all kinds and sizes growing in the gaps between the limestone slabs.
It’s a nothingness, an emptiness, an inhospitable rocky wilderness.
But on the other hand, it’s one of the most impressive (read, majestic) landscapes I’ve seen in my life.
I’ve read that otherworldly landscapes like this were shaped by the movement of ancient glaciers. I can understand that for mt Olympus, but glaciers in Ikaria?!  Glaciers in the Aegean Sea?! Well, if you want my opinion, I prefer this explanation than no explanation at all. After all, we had dwarf mammoths and rhinos 50.000 years ago. Why couldn’t we have had glaciers as well?
Anyway, my point here isn’t hard science. My point is the effect these landscapes can have to the soul of the traveller -in this case, the hiker.
I’ve already written about it when I blogged on a similarly dramatic landscape in another side of the island. It was one of the most destitude and wildest places I know, but – oh my God! – so spectacular! There I experienced strong feelings of anchoritism, like a voice calling me to escape from the worldly turmoil and settle for the rest of my life among  dark hanging rocks on one side and  the blue immensity on the other.
Now, as I crossed Pounta for the first time (that was in 2006) I experienced a similar, though somehow different feeling. It wasn’t about God; it was about me, as a human being. I felt brave and I felt strong and I felt persistent and decisive. Especially when few years aIn my blog: Gallery: Ακομα κι αλλα τοπια των αλλων, Ikaria fogfter I tried the crossing again and the weather – as it usually happens up there – switched to gale and blew upon us thick blankets of vapor and dence sheets of fog.
In one word, I felt indomitable. 🐲


Ikaria 247 by Eleni Ikanou on FlickrIkaria 241 by Eleni Ikanou on WordPressIkaria 248 by Eleni Ikanou on WordPressIkaria 242 by Eleni Ikanou on WordPressIkaria blog 250 by Eleni Ikanou on WordPress


I love all the wild untamable landscapes of my island. By challenging my fears and reservations, they have strengthened my character through the years and helped me evolve to a more self-confident and more independent person.
However, in spite of their timeless, unshakeable appearance, limestone crests and cliffs like Pounta are very complicated and extremelIn my blog: In my blog: We say Νο to 110 turbines in Ιkaria (4)y fragile landscapes. Human activities of a gigantic industrial scale, such as the rumored installation of 110 mega-size wind turbines, would totally anihilate their actual high quality. An industrial eolian plant on mt Atheras would devastate Pounta. The prodigious ammount of excavations needed to install these monsters will sooner than later turn its proud crests to mere piles of gravel – piles of gravel rolling and dropping on our heads!

But enough with words. Just below you can see a choice of photos from a recent hiking day trip across the limestone crests of Pounta taken by my friends the OPS Ikarians.
I chose them from 1) Flickr, 2) Google, anΚeep calm and sign our petition against 110 turbines in Ιkaria: ΥΠΟΓΡΑΦΟΥΜΕ ΚΑΤΑ ΤΩΝ 110 ΑΝΕΜΟΓΕΝΝΗΤΡΙΩΝ ΣΤΗΝ ΙΚΑΡΙΑd 3) the photos contained in the Google map of the hike. If you like this visual evidence and therefore, you think like me that this very special landscape should stay untouched by capitalist piracy, please consider signing the petition! 📜

Ikaria 120, 'looking at the waterfall' | Eleni Ikanou on Flickr ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


ATHERAS, by angelos ka on Flickr




In Nana Agrimi's blog: Up on the trees + Down on our knees

Afterword: This was eventually one more article about the landscapes of Ikaria with a stress on the mountainous nature of the island. I wonder when I will post another one. I do hope that I’ll do that soon, though. All I know right now is that the land is closing in for winter and everybody is picking olives …


Eleni Ik

Wednesday, October 23, 2019



WTF is this word? 😵 ❓ ❓

According to YourDictionary: Oasification

«The process of restoring water, soil, and plant life to an environment that has been degraded by soil erosion.»

According to the Wikipedia: Oasification

«In hydrology, oasification is the antonym to desertification by soil erosion. This technique has limited application and is normally considered for much smaller areas than those threatened by desertification.»

«To help the oasification process, engineers aim to develop a thriving dense woody plant cover to redress the hydrological, edaphic and botanical degradation affecting a slope.»

According to writer F. R. Chateaubriand: Oasification

«Forest precedes Man and desert follows him. Thus has ocurred with many civilizations that we know, settled in arid and semiarid territories. However, desertification is not an irreversible and hopeless process. In this new millenium we must be able to find the solutions to the problems that we generate. Against desertification: Oasification!»

OASIFICATION 🌳 🌳 🌳 by angelos ka on FlickrOASIFICATION 🌳 🌳 🌳 by angelos ka on Flickr

According to the declaration of the three Ikarian Associations mentionned
at the end of my previous article «The little house in the desert»

«Besides that, again with our voluntary work, we intend to fence an area of at least 8.000 square meters around the shelter in order to protect it from the goats. This way, we will allow at least a small part of the overgrazed, eroded and almost desertified mountain plateau to grow green again like it was in the past.»

«Among the benefits resulting from this [project will be] the awakening of the local community concerning the desertification of the mountain volume of Ikaria through creating a visitable framed green space where endemic species will grow. This way, it will be proven in practice that this phenomenon and its disastrous effects (flashfloods, landslides, impoverishment of the soil) is not a natural, inevitable process but something that started for specific reasons [only] few decades ago and therefore, there is a way to stop it.»

«But most of all, what we want to do is to show with a project of our own -no matter its smallness- the great love we feel for our mountain, its freedom and its wild beauty.»

Project: 'To Spitaki tis Mamis', mountain refuge and protected green area in Ammoudia plateau, on mt. Atheras, Ikaria island, Greece
Well, tThe fenced area around 'Spitaki tis Mamis'hey’ve done it!!!! Against all odds (bureaucracy, indifference, fatalism, pessimism and hostile goat barons) on Sunday, September 24, more than 40 young local people gathered on the mountain and after several hours of hard work, they secured an area of 8.000 square meters around the old mountain shelter on Ammoudia plateau with a long line of welded wire mesh panels.
They ‘ve done it! Look at them at work! You can tell from the pictures which are all first quality, the feelings of joy and fulfillment shared by the participants. I am so glad I’ve helped in my own small way to this project. If things go well -and I have every reason to thnk they will- in less than 3 years, instead of that depressive, although sometimes also impressive, goat desert, we will have an oasis!

Notice: The gallery above is made up of 56 pictures I discovered in three posts at the OPS Ikarias Google+ page. They redirected me to three of their facebook posts: the first one, containing 12 pictures taken by my friend Angelos, the second and the third one containing a total of 44 pictures, taken by our friends from Italy, Paola and Ivo, founders of the association «Η ‘δική μας’ Ικαρία».

All pictures © OPSIkarias & DikimasIkaria 2017

For the title of this article I am gratedul to
angeloska | Flickr
who looked up the meaning of the term «oasification» for me and
suggested that it would be more appropriate to describe the project
of fencing instead of the akward «fencing against desertification»
which wouldn’t make much sense to a reader who is not familiar
with our strange island and its strange problems.


For information and donations, you may write to

Δεν αγοράζω, ούτε τρώω κτλ. Πληρώνω συνδρομή.

In Eleni's blog: Δεν αγοραζω ουτε τρωω αυτο που σκοτωνει το νησι μουH προηγούμενη καταχώρηση αν και αφορούσε μια στάση απολύτως προσωπική, γνώρισε ανέλπιστη διάδοση τόσο από άλλα μπλογκς, όσο και μήντια. Αφού εγώ (to agrimi) πρώτη πυροδότησα το θέμα με μια γερή φυτιλιά, σε μένα τελευταία πέφτει να εκλογικεύσω, να γενικεύσω και να συνοψίσω.

Δεν είναι Δεν αγοράζω, δεν τρώω αυτό που σκοτώνει το νησί μου έτσι σκέτο. Είναι Δεν αγοράζω, δεν τρώω αυτό που σκοτώνει το νησί μου. Όμως βοηθάω το σύλλογο που οργανώνει το πανηγύρι πληρώνοντας το αντίτιμο του κρέατος που δεν πήρα, ως «εισφορά» .

Έχουμε ήδη μια πρώτη τέτοια παραδειγματική προσέγγιση.

Έτσι θα είναι για μένα λοιπόν στο εξής θα βλέπω το πανηγύρια σαν “συνδρομητικά” events.ωχ αμάν!

Γειάάαααα σας τώρα. Έχει σηκώσει μελτέμι.

Δουλειά όλη μέρα, φεύγω, πάω για…

Μεσαχτή, Ικαρία

Δεν αγοραζω ουτε τρωω αυτο που σκοτωνει το νησι μου

.~* Το κειμενο που ακολουθει ειναι επισης δικο του
.~* και βρισκεται κατω απο την φωτογραφια.
.~* Εγω το μεταφρασα γιατι του αξιζει.


αυτο »

μαζικη ανεξελεγκτη κτηνοτροφια

εφερε αυτο »

κυριως λογω αυτου »

που πουλιεται και τρωγεται στα πανηγυρια »

Α οχι δεν εφταιγε η Ε.Ε. και η Ελληνικη κυβερνηση. Αληθεια οτι η πρωτη δεν επρεπε να επιδοτει τις κατσικες κι η δευτερη επρεπε να ειχε καποιο ελεγχο της καταστασης.

Ομως πρωτα και κυρια το φταιξιμο ηταν δικο μας.

Ημασταν ρομαντικοι και δεν βλεπαμε εκεινο που ηταν μπροστα στα ματια μας. Οτι μια αρχαια παραδοση ειχε παρει μια καταστροφικη τροπη. Μια γιορτη ενος χωριου (“πανηγύρι”) οπου το μενου ηταν αποκλειστικα κατσικι και που ηταν προγραμματισμενη να ικανοποιησει 50-100 ατομα εως τη δεκατια του 1970, αναμενεται να θρεψει 4.000 τουριστες και ντοπιους στις μερες μας. Και ενω παλια γινονταν μονο 20-30 τετοιες γιορτες, τωρα εχουμε περισσοτερες απο 100 το χρονο, σχεδον ολες το καλοκαιρι.

Ημαστε Ελληνες. Ή θα ζησουμε με μετρο ή θα πεθανουμε. Επομενως οχι αλλο κατσικι για μενα παρακαλω.

Κατά χρονολογική σειρά σχετικές δημοσιεύσεις σε blogs:

Μερικοί την προτιμούν γυμνή
Ο τρελός λόγος μιας τρελής κατάστασης
Η καταιγίδα δεν ήταν η μόνη αιτία της καταστροφής
Καταστροφές στην Ικαρία: “βιομηχανικό ατύχημα;”
Σαλεμένο Πατατάτο Σώζει Δάση


Αν ξερετε Αγγλικα διαβαστε τα σχολια κατω απο την φωτογραφια στο Φλικρ
Να κανετε συνειδητοποιημενες διακοπες. .~* Γεια χαρα!

Καταστροφές στην Ικαρία: «βιομηχανικό ατύχημα»;


Floods and mountain slides in Ikaria. Was it «an industrial accident»? Do you know what «industry» is located on the mountains of the island? Do you know what «other industry» is located lower in the villages and the mountain industry feeds it with raw material in the summers? I doubt if you do. Due to overexploiment, unexistent maintainance and measures of safety, the «industrial site» collapsed during and as a result of a torrential rainfall that lasted for 28 hours.


before after

(pictures fromsse See more pictures through facebook)

Take the link to the related discussion for now

Later in this photo group a friend posted two videos (Folioscopes) by Michel Derosiaux

Ikaria Nas after the Deluge N° 1 & N°2

Folioscope Ikaria Nas after the Deluge N°2 by Paul LewisFolioscope Ikaria Nas after the Deluge N°1 by Paul Lewis
Look at how angry Nature (call her Goddess Artemis perhaps? call her geomorphology?) was because some people have deforested the mountains for money. Woe and Shame on them!

view photostream

Legends about Ikaria : The Forest of Radi

~That’s a beautifully wiggly forest!~
❤ ❤ ❤

Το Δάσος του Ράντη


About an old magic forest and the footpaths


Hello, readers! The above is in my Flickr and dates from over a year ago. When I discovered this forest I was 25 years old. It was awesome and so dense that we got completely lost. So lost and exhausted that we started crying! It was an unforgetable experience because it is thought to be practicaly impossible to get lost in a medium sized island. Whatever, it took us hours to get out of there. Let not this beautiful photo be a memorial. Because right now…
I don’t know who advises people (the Greeks in particular) who are coming to hike in Ikaria, not to follow the marked paths but instead, go looking for the Forest of Radi. Maybe it’s on some website (where they advertise stuff they have no idea about, just to show off). Maybe they get it from shopkeepers and hotel owners (who may drop “Radi Forest” in a trivial way to oblige a tourist). Maybe it’s on one of those new guide books that are based on hearsay and contain impractical “tips”.
‘Cause the truth is that until recently there was no Radi Forest!
Or to put it better –there is a forest and an area called “Radi”. But there was no more or less safe way for a newcomer to go there. Not only the place was far from main roads, villages and towns; not only the trails are vague and unmarked but also –very unfortunately- there are many goat trails that lead nowhere. Especially in August and September the forest is dusty and dry and there may  also be some caterpillar “itching powder” left from last June.
So, in spite of how attracted you feel at the sound of a magnificent term, resist it. Don’t go unprepared or you won’t find it, so hidden and mysterious it is! Try to locate and follow the trail marked by the Hiking and Mountain Climbing Association of Ikaria, which starts from the village of Petropouli and ends in the village of Frantato. For me this forest means a lot.
I want you to discover it in the proper way. I don’t want to hear anymore people telling me “We couldn’t find the way and, anyway, it was nothing. Just trees, as good as any…”
Here is their map. If you click on the image you will be transported to the home of the map in Google maps. Try it! It’s worth it! It’s a great piece of work!


Look for the “Dasos tou Ranti” in any other time of the year except August. For example, winter is the best season. (Forests are “storehouses” of winter, like the sea and the beaches “storehouses” of summer.) You may either start from Frantato or Petropouli and the trails is marked with orange dots, colored metal plates and cairns. This is the best and safest way to see this legendary ancient forest.
Good luck!
Until then, take a look the pictorial archives…



Worse than Wild Fire

The Athenians are depressed and angry and bitter about the loss of so many trees on Mt. Parnitha. Take comfort ’cause there is something much worse than wild fires. And that’s the loss of the earth itself!!! Take a look at
Κυρίες και κύριοι, με λύπη μου και ντροπή σας παρουσιάζω
το Θάνατο ενός Δάσους, ενός Ποταμού, ενός Όρους.


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rockyrunnerbird Pro User says:

What happened?
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

too many goats !
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

I’m just wondering why my friend «peppeta» added it in his *favs*. Is it because it reminded him of his fellow countryman Antonioni’s film «Zabriski Point»?
(those who don’t know, type «Zabriski+point» in Google images)
Because something that’s utterly bad can turn into good.

Posted 13 months ago.

view profile

Peppetta says:

Somebody like it naked
Even if I love Antonioni, I added it in my favs becouse I love dry, naked, mediterranean landscapes. This place remind me of my thirsty land. Puglia too can be so dry. Desert is coming and this beautiful shot is screaming it loud. And, last but not least, there’s too much eros in my favs, I need some tanatos to balance it.
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

(me too likes it naked but not too dry ’cause it hurts -aooch!)
I doubt you have so many mad starved and thirsty goats in Puglia or Bari and the rest of the coastal towns would be flooded or gone thirsty to extinction. Goats should not be subsided by the E.U. On the contrary they should be totaly banned. It was a good idea some 7000 y. ago but not anymore. The same is for hunting etc.
I’m not going to have children in some kind of «our-own-Ethiopia» and loose them in a land and rock avalanche afterwards.
Posted 13 months ago.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

What’s that about having children?
That sounds like a good idea – I’m sure they would grow up to be ‘The Man / Woman who Planted Trees’.
Posted 13 months ago.

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angeloska says:

‘El’ : I’m sure the E.U. bureaucrats have no idea. They should be sent tons of photos like this. Brave of you to have posted it. The worst disasters happen gradually and silently and in places hardly anybody visits or takes notice.

‘simon’ : are you speaking of the famous ‘cartoon’ film with the man who planted oak nuts? Or about that modern German artist who did the same for real and as art? Or the cartoon is inspired from that artist? Do you know?
Posted 13 months ago.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

I have a very slim volume called ‘L’homme qui plantait des arbres’ by Jean Giono, first published in 1953, about a man who planted acorns…
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

-> Jean Giorno’s is the script of the cartoon, actually a 10′ b&w classic masterpiece.
-> «the German artist» was Joseph Beuys. Not just «a German artist». Buys was BIG in Conceptual Arts universally. See
The particular artwork is «7,000 Oaks for Documenta 7»

NOTE: Beuys was a Stuka plane pilot during the war. Doesn’t this photo remind of craters from bombs?
Posted 13 months ago.

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angeloska says:

ααα, εσύ κορίτσι μου δεν πιάνεσαι με τίποτα…
Τι μια φορά «οικολόγος», την άλλη με τα Στούκας.
Κάτσε λίγο ήσυχη να ηρεμήσουμε κι ότι είναι να γίνει, ας γίνει…
Posted 13 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

Posted 13 months ago.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

hi el!
my class of 6 year olds are learning about the forest now, yes, Bouconne itself…
– can I print this («all rights reserved») picture out to show them?

I got hold of that cartoon of The Man Who Planted Trees and we watched it.
I am contemplating some kind of drama…
Posted 3 months ago.

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angeloska says:

I saw «The Man Who Planted…» on TV ages ago. My son who was 6 then, was very excited. If I remember well, it’s based on a true story from before the war. There is a similar story about a woman who planted oaks in Ikaria. They called her ‘Lunny’ Maria Sarantaina.
Posted 3 months ago.

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simonsterg Pro User says:

I think «The Man Who Planted…» is fiction, but you do hear of people that have in fact done it for real. I’m glad Ikaria has one! Are there trees there still? Or is the story vague? Or have the goats got there??
Posted 3 months ago.

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isl_gr Pro User says:

The story of Lolo-Maria Sarantaina is clear and true. I think that many of her oaklings died because there was war and famine and she had no strength to climb the mountains to water them. She was believed to be mad in her time but now they have raised a small stele in her memory.

*** btw, did you know that there is a league of jet pilots who plant trees because they feel bad about the greenhouse gases caused by jet flights?
Posted 3 months ago.



(5 total) Post a Comment

Εκτός από την Αιθιοπία που πολύ σωστά αναφέρεις (που το θυμήθηκες;), λίγοι γνωρίζουν ότι αυτός ήταν ένας από τους λόγους που καταστράφηκε η οικονομία της γειτονικής Αλβανίας. Οιτσελιγκάδες εκεί ήταν από τους βασικούς υποστηρικτές του Εμβέρ Χότζα. Εξαιτίας της αποψίλωσης των δασών και της ελεύθερης βόσκησης, η ύπαιθρος ερημοποιήθηκε τόσο ώστε ακόμα και τα περίφημα Κινεζικής κατασκευής υδροηλεκτρικά φράγματα γέμισαν άμμο και σταμάτησε η παραγωγή ηλεκτρικού ρεύματος. Αυτή τη στιγμή η Αλβανία όπως και η Ελλάδα είναι από τους μεγαλύτερους εισαγωγείς ζωοτροφών.
κτλ. κτλ. κτλ.

Wednesday July 25, 2007 – 06:23pm (EEST) Remove Comment

Greece is burning, England is floading, the south and the north, the extremes are getting extremer.

Friday July 27, 2007 – 03:03pm (PET) Remove Comment

@ ‘Leo’ : maybe you are right; but for me who travel a lot because of my work and family, I am used to these extremities. In case you are right, let’s see this as an extra motivation for us to eliminate the wrongs in the environment and in our socities.

Sunday July 29, 2007 – 12:46am (PDT) Remove Comment

Και φαντάσου πως όταν έγραψες το blog ήταν μοναχά η αρχή….Δεν θα συμφωνήσω με τον ΑΚΚ πως η ελεύθερη βόσκηση είναι αιτία των καταστροφών. Οταν υπάρχουν αρκετοί βοσκότοποι υπάρχει φυσική τροφή για τα ζώα. Οταν οι βοσκότοποι μετατρέπονται σε βιλλίτσες και τσιμεντοποιούνται νομίζω πως είναι πολύ χειρότερη η καταστροφή……

Tuesday July 31, 2007 – 11:05pm (PDT) Remove Comment

Ειναι και τα 2. Και καμια 20αρια παραγοντες ακομα. Δεν υπαρχει καμια ελπιδα . Τουλάχιστον οχι απο μας του λογογραφους. Μονο το agrimi ξερει και δινει το στιγμα (σημα;) του μελοντος. Αν δεν τη τουφεκισουν για περδικα, εννοειται.

Wednesday August 1, 2007 – 01:28pm (PDT)