One’s own country is the country where one does not need a map, even less a Google map with coordinates, to go around. But Ikaria is not your country so maybe you do. As a matter of fact, I think you do. Our little island is very complicated and if you have a doubt just go and browse through my «landscapes of others» set of illustrated entries. I’d rather see people walking these landscapes, instead of those disastrous goats, therefore, besides my explorers, I hold in great esteem the people who make maps and share them with the world, evenmore, when these people go for originality, have good taste and stay away from clichés.
As you have assumed, since my last entry about the «Ikaria Guidebook», I have changed course, and have taken on to the practical side of things. Let’s say, how about hiking safely in the famous but little known, ancient Forest of Radi? How about going in the depths of the upper part of Chalares canyon to find waterfalls and pools to swim naked? 😉
Don’t worry about crowds, ’cause the articles that I will suggest speak about places only for the few. And I would be surprised if you met even few. Take my word, I have been in both these places several times and in spite their breathtaking wild beauty, I never met a living soul!
Although Ikaria has all the assets to become an AAA mountain and outdoor destination, nobody on the island seems
to care to know what to do about it so things are left to chance. Taking everything into account, it doesn’t matter. With the exception of the short tourist boom of August, we are and, as it seems, we will always be an island for the few – the few hunters of adventure in a wild and exciting unknown! 😎
But even hunters of adventure need help sometimes…
The first Google mapped hiking route I would like to present to you today was created by the local Mountain Climbing &’ Hiking Association (OPS Ikarias) and it is about a circular hike in the Forest of Radi which lies between the village of Petropouli in Messaria and the village of Frantato in Perameria. Their blog can be easily translated through Google translate, so here is what they say in the announcement of the completion of this hiking route:
«Hello Readers! After many hiking trips and searches which ended in defining a circular route in Radi Forest, our Hiking Club proudly presents the digital map: «The Round of Radi Forest»!»
They have indeed made many trips and searches and their Google map the best evidence. This document contains 70 pins with coordinates along an intricate trail of more than 12 kilometers, most of them inside a thick forest, as well as 145 photos! If not for anything but only to appreciate the ammount of their work I think it’s worthwhile to zoom in to make a virtual walk from pin to pin and browse through the pictures. What a feat! But as they said when I asked, that magical forest was worth it!
If you click on the image below you will be transported to the OPS Ikarias website where you can read/translate their entry. At the end there is a list of advice and instructions which you may find useful before you do this hike.
And now, after thick mysterious woods, let’s speak about rocks, sun and river water. Do you remember our friend Zdeněk Šenkyřík, the Czech photographer who I praised in my blog last July? Well, Zdeněk recently revisited his material from Ikaria as well as other islands and reorganized everything into something that I would call «Do it like Zdeněk!»
Introducing his chapter about Ikaria Zdeněk says:
«In 2014 while we were planning our trip to Samos, we made a small change to visit Ikaria as well. We wanted to get to know this paradise for lovers of wild nature – canyons, waterfalls, mountain hikes – awesome!»
Indeed, once on the island last June he and his partner Petra were guided by the members of OPS Ikarias and they discovered several places of the kind they were looking for. A list of these spots which are so well shown in Zdeněk’s photos appears in a Google map inside the general page about Ikaria. But the best map and the best photos are included in the subchapter «Chalares Ikaria – swimming in waterfalls». Click on the image below to be transported to that page. We ❤ Zdeněk and Petra!
Still, before closing this, I have to advise everybody who found these hikes appealing to read again my forenote about the situation in Ikaria about hiking. To find and explore safely and succesfully the amazing forest of Radi or the wild and secluded upper part of Chalares canyon the best thing to do is to contact the members of OPS Ikarias, either at their blog which is open to comments or at their facebook page. Like they did with the Czech friends, not only they will be willing to help but they will also have other interesting suggestions according to your likes and the time of the year.
Eleni Ik ❤
Saturday February 28, 2015
This looks like an enormous achievement, angeloska! It looks like there has been a lot of chopping! (At least you had elves to help you!)
@ ‘simonsterg’ : if you enlarge the image, you see on the footer it reads «Lothlorien College Graduates» !!!
@ ‘angeloska’ : x x x x x x x x
You are giving me new strength!
In return here is a small part of the story. This trail was almost an imaginary one, featuring only in an old Italian map of 1943 and in Elenis imagination and *unusual sources* (her old neigbours’ tales). The distance was about 2,5 km cutting through deep tall makia. We started cittung from both sides, one day from the east and the other from the west, with no more sense of direction but the zig-zag flow of a rivulet running next to the alleged path. The hard evidence whether the path existed, as well as my extreme worry was if the two tunnels would eventually meet someplace. They DID! I felt like opening a champaigne bottle.
Posted 6 months ago. ( permalink )
That bit about the 1943 italian map sounds sort of romantic § – a hint from an odd old source – ideally you should have lost the map – kind of like a Borges tale, you know the sort of thing…
And you have made this perhaps imaginary path into… a REAL ONE – a Second Eupalinos! ¤ Champagne corks ought to be flying!
§ not that Eleni’s imagination isn’t also, of course, romantic – and the *unusual sources* very likely accurate…
¤ if that’s hyperbole it’s just in a celebratory way – not an attempt at irony (which I dislike)
I lost the map! As soon as I found it I lost it! I had only one glimpse of it. Then a veil of secrecy came and covered …
Eupalinos? I had thought of him. He used stereometry and trigonometry. He was given an awful amount of money too. But Eleni’s way is the low-budget one: trust your senses.
(Nana says:) Maybe this is a stupid question, but why did you start cutting one day from the east, one day from the west? Why haven’t you done it one way only? And avoid the risk of the two tunnels not meeting?
(love to talk technicalities with you, *thorn-walker*)
I have many reasons to cut from both sides :
1st) I usually hit the paths from as many sides as I can. Although people know more or less about my business, they still may get suspicious if they see me driving too often and stopping long in a desert place. So I sometimes take a path from one end and sometimes from another. It looks more normal if I am seen going someplace once or twice a fortnight instead of once a week.
2nd) This particular path was looong! When we got into the thick, deep and dark, at a certain point I lost my self-confidence. (That’s about when Eleni wrote in that last message of hers in the hiking group that I should not give up the chainsaw.) So we drove a long way round and started cutting from another place: a glade with a stony ground where the path was easy to see. Conveniently, this place was not far from a road, so we didn’t have to walk long to get back from work.
3rd) Regardless of the above, it really had to be done from both sides. With the Komatsu (*good machine* -lol:) I could have butchered through the maquis on a straight line and created a way through. But I don’t make way-throughs; I make paths. And I’m always tryng to find the original ones. Because my walks are inside nature and history as well. When the two ends connected (so to say, automatically), I was sure that I hadn’t just made an opening through. That was an ancient path used by the elvish old inhabitants of Ikaria.
§ § § §
And because I have explained so thoroughly, here is question for you:
I have a permission from the Forest Service to open the paths. In fact, more than permission, it is an encouragement based on the general principle that there should be paths in the forests. They serve as fire zones, they say, and this is correct. Yet for most people this means that firemen are able to unreel their hoses and put out a fire in the heart of the forest. But there is also another reason why a path like this is a fire-zone.It prevents fires. Why, Nan? You are still a good mechanic, aren’t you?
Congratulations! It looks wonderful and I can imagine how hard it must have been. Warmest regards from Tilos island, Konstantinos
Here I go…
(We are between friends, are not we? Nobody is bothered. Hope so.)
(Γειά σου Κωνσταντίνε!)
______________________________________________________________An archaic forest as this, is an alive organic and very complicated system : : a *good machine* which (to work well) needs a temperature control system. In spring when temperatures rise considerably in Greece, there is still water, the system is watercooled. Afterwards in summer, when there is little water but there are cool winds from the sea, the system shifts to air-cooled (like some car engines fit for both normal and desert conditions).
So, your tunnel *αγγελούκο* helps in the air-cooling, lowers the temperature of the organism and therefore prevents fires. Your tunnel is an air-duct; functions like the pipe of a ventillator. Είναι ένας αεραγωγός. Brings from the sea and spreads through the cool breeze inside the forest and (w/o entering into a lot of technical details) this makes a big difference.
Because I have a feeling that you are kinda sorry for the chopping off all these tree branches, just think that what you did with the mini-Komatsu, was being done in the past by the ancient animals, like the deer (dama-dama), the wild goat (capra aegagrus) and the wild pig (sus scrofa). They made scars in the forest for the good of the forest. Now, unlike the animal’s, your scar is straight; ok, never mind; let’s put the blame on gaddem Euclides!
What’s the orientation of the tunnel? N to S? NE to SW?
Wow!! It’s so sexy when it gets technical!
How ’bout a graph to spice it up even more… (never mind that it’s from across the sea on Kerkis.) Do you see? «overheating in the cushion» – HOT STUFF! – someone should make a (straight line) path through that thing!
(incidentally, I see Tilos has it’s very own Astragalus on flickr – but I can’t locate any photo with the tags astragalus and ikaria. – it must be just that I’m not searching properly…) 😉
zzdoing!!! I am dazed -:)) Aχ Nana when you want…
(Just wait… I will edit this tomorrow morning)l
Even more dazed u should be at my friend Nana when u know that this analysis comes right out of a smoked turnery in Petrou Rali str, Athens.
I lost MY map somewhere in there last year! In fact three maps I had specially copied and enlarged in Manchester; such was my struggle to hack a way through to PIGI, they fell from my pack.
Here’s another reason for the path to be cut from both ends – so that the people living at either end both feel they have a new path that TAKES them somewhere and don’t see it as an invasion from the outside world.
For years hikers who stayed in Evdilos and Kampos on the coast (point A) and saw the mountains of Rahes (point C) on the west, were asking for a direct way to make it up there without having to walk on the coastal road as far as Armenistis (point B) and from there climb to Rahes (point C). At a certain point I realized that what they were asking to follow was a cut-trough on the ypotenuse of the right triangle (A-C). I like ypotenuses. They are good options to a square static world. And indeed these are the ways invaders follow.
(But of course to make a succesfull invasion, I needed an invitation and a promise for an orgy on plenty of fried good Ikarian potatoes from Perameria.)
Nothing to add except that «the orgy with plenty of good Ikarian potatoes from Perameria -panfried a la Belge» took place at last!
Monday September 3, 2007 – 08:34am (PDT)
Tuesday September 4, 2007 – 03:39pm (EEST)
«from an…» : «Βeautiful to the point of causing pain». That’s a perfect definition of a chimera -:)) I’m noting this down.p.s. «nude hiking trail»? whatever, but don’t shout it over the roofs. I don’t like «bears» -:lol:- and neither does Nana.
Wednesday September 5, 2007 – 10:54am (PDT)
❤ ❤ ❤
Το Δάσος του Ράντη
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.
Until then, take a look the pictorial archives…
...as much I like the nomad backpackers, as much I like those people who have adopted and cherish only one particular place on earth. I can be a fancy tourist resort, a park, a block of houses in a town, just a street, a beach, a starved African country, a desert, a forest, a noman’s land, a wasteland. All these places for those people are *islands* : bigger than an average sized appartment, smaller than the earth, the ideal size for someone to have the illusion of ownership, or rather let’s say *control*, or at least a sense of *familiarity*..
Exactly the same as chimps, humans are territorial. Some are Abels (residents), some are Kains (nomads). I’m turning and tending to become an Abel these years. I’m learning to admire the residents. I found many people like that in Flickr. There is one that I like very much. Exactly like me who take only pictures of Ikaria, he takes pictures of only a forest, «Foret de Bouconne» in the Northern Pyrenees near the city of Toulouse, France. This forest is this man’s island, his isolation, (has become a part of) his identity..
There’s nothing spectacular or exotic about that particular forest. For sure it’s not Tolkien’s Fangorn. Oaks and beeches and mushrooms and streams and probably deer and wild boar as well like in the forest around Asterix’s cartoon village. It’s a European forest; how boring, how wonderful. I kissed and was kissed for the first time in a forest like this *; how commonplace, how unforgetable. But why?
Because if I kissed for the first time in Tahiti or in Brazil I wouldn’t remember it. It would be part of the setting, a *must do* thing. But I remember that kiss in that boring neat forest, because that boring neat forest is a part of my boring neat identity, my boring neat personality, my boring neat sense of «my own territory*. I kissed and was kissed in a place that I understand and I’m familiar with, the same as some others kiss inside the closet of their parent’s boring neat bedroom and yet the fact stays unforgetable.
There is another boringly neat and wonderful thing about the «Foret de Bouccones» : elle est geree par l’ association… e.tc.! It is administrated, managed by someone! Why the exclamation marks? Because such a thing as «management of a territory» (how illusive it may be) is completely unknown in Greece. As I walk now across other forests, on the «trail of the elves» in Ikaria, my boring neat personality revolts.
The *grouvalina* in me shouts back: «let it be, let it burn, let it be wasted, let it be unknown and be nothing. Nothing is ours. We’ll light a fire of the debris in the middle of nothing and dance naked around it.»
«Oh yes, great», the boring neat me says -all cool, » We shouldn’t forget to reserve special places in the forest for this.» How neat, how bureaucratic, how boring and disgustingly European (and *western* in general), oh, there’s no other way but management, I’m afraid.
->With holes of *unmanagement* (for my *grouvalina* to dance) -ok, I’ll permit many holes. And anyway, these holes are created by themselves…<-
* there is no photo of me kissing in that link, you peeps ! It’s just a photo of a crosspath.
** I found the second wonderful photo of the forest in:
It was by ‘zian’ ( http://www.agora-photo.com ) The original title is «Allee en automne – La brume s’engouffre dans cette allee de platanes. L’automne donne a ce lieu une pleiade de couleurs chaudes et envoutantes… «
Elle, I am going to come and see the forests of Ikaria, such as they are, in 2007, God willing if the crick don’t rise. Mainland Greece too and maybe Santorini.
Wednesday April 19, 2006 – 02:14pm (PDT)
«Good machine» this forest. It has the same shape as Naxos island. You are amazing Elenitsa. You can relate anything to anything. You are right. Good machines connect. I saw in your Flickrs that you have been exchanging flowers between that forest and Ikaria. Cute. «No island is an island» to paraphrase the well known «no man is an island». Do you agree?
Greg, for «crick» my dictionary writes something like «pain in the back of the neck». Ikaria has warm springs to cure this. I don’t like the surroundings and the facilities but they say they are good. Visit the woods and visit Santorini too. Contrasts from all points of view!! Hiker, eh? I saw your Flickr. Your country is BIG -:)) As a very cool friend of mine said once after he visited the States, «The US, oh, it’s exactly like Greece, only much bigger!» -lol
Thursday April 20, 2006 – 02:33pm (EEST)
- Simon G
(…enticed out of the forest and into Compose a comment…)
Eleni, I am honoured, charmed that you have visited The Forest with your rusty internet connection and seen so clearly into its managed heart.
If you were not escaping too many books I would say how your thoughts put me in mind of a book I love – perhaps you have read it – called The Other Side of Eden by Hugh Brody, a man who has spent a lot of time with various hunter-gatherer communities on the margins of our planet. Once the human species was all hunter-gatherer, but then someone had the bright idea of… goats … and oats. The population swelled, sons and daughters had to move out, cities were built, a nomadic lifestyle began and the rest is history.
A quote from one of the less poetic and narrative parts of the book:
«The profound dichotomy that has shaped the agricultural era may lie in an opposition between nomads and settlers, between people for whom home is place of timeless constancy, a centre in which humanity itself arose, and those who are on the move and, if at rest, rest only while preparing for further movement. the paradox, of course, is that this is the divide between the settled hunters and the nomadic farmers.»
Both Cain and Abel were farmers, both replaced the hunter gatherer.
From a review of the book:
«ANTHROPOLOGIST Hugh Brody describes the visit to London of Anaviapik, an Inuit who had never previously left the Arctic. Anaviapik is disgorged from a British Airways plane on a hot summer’s day swathed in a fox-fur-trimmed parka and «wearing sealskin boots with brown trousers tucked into their patterned tops». To Brody’s relief, Anaviapik survives this visit with equanimity. One thing he never masters, however, is the built environment. Every day Brody teases him, challenging him to find the short way home from the Tube. Every day he fails: «How amazing that the Qallunaat [white people] live in cliffs. I would never be able to find my way here without you.»
Back in the vast, white, apparently indecipherable landscapes of the Arctic Anaviapik has no such problem. On one occasion, Brody travels hundreds of miles with him by dog sledge. En route, Anaviapik diverts to a place he has not visited since 1938. «How did you remember the way?» asks Brody. «Inuit cannot get lost in our own land. If we have done a journey once, we can always do it again.» This is one of the many instances which brings home to Brody the profound difference between hunter-gatherers’ attitude to the land and our own. Theirs is an intimate knowledge of the land’s contours, its seasons and creatures. A transformed landscape, dominated by man’s activities, is alien and unattractive to them.»
Anaviapik however remains cheerful, keen to talk to as many people as he can wherever he can. He builds up a picture of a society where everyone’s family lives somewhere else. He hates having to sleep in a room on his own.
Where am I going with this? Don’t know.
Thursday April 20, 2006 – 05:27pm (CEST)
Nana, «crick» is American country slang for «creek,» a small stream. The full saying is «If God’s willing and the crick don’t rise,» as in high water or a flood, which presumably back in the day would impede or prevent travel. Yes I am a hiker, all my life, and I want to hike on Ikaria after seeing all of Eleni’s intriguing photos, and for the history. It is after all where Icarus washed ashore.
Thursday April 20, 2006 – 09:19am (PDT)
->One of my first favourite books was Giles Deleuze’s «Mille Plateaus». Then I read Brody too. Oh man, Simon G, I see that the ‘islands of trees’ have strong plethoric protectors. Thanks for that; oxyzen is my dope. Has anybody seen a forest after acid rain? I have.
-> Ah, Greg, that’s good news. Remember to ask our friend ‘Psalakanthos’ (Matt) about his experiences in Ikaria this year. He’s planning to visit other islands too. He’d better do that before mid-July when the pretty girls land.
Thursday April 20, 2006 – 12:45pm (PDT)
ΚΑΛΗ ΑΝΑΣΤΑΣΗ, ΕΛΕΝΗ !!! Happy Easter.
You are no cook, but I bet you can dye eggs red. Let’s have a photo. Or are there too many friends around and you too busy? Jimmy P is right to ask for photos of people. But you never ‘shoot people’. You talk and offer drinks («Zorba beer» -what’s that? Couldn’t believe my eyes. Another of Nana’s «inventions»?).
Friday April 21, 2006 – 02:40pm (EEST)
Bouconne is the «lung» of the city of Toulouse and the Toulousiens are very wise to preserve and to manage it. Who is Ikaria the «lung» of?
Is it a «party island» like Mykonos, Ios and Paros? «Party islands» are «lungs» too, in a way. But I doubt Ikaria is one.
I read a UN report saying that by now 1/2 of the world’s population live in cities. So which city people is (potentially) Ikaria the lung of? None’s? The Athenian suburbia’s? The philosophers’?
Find this and you will have the key to its preservation.
Tough, eh? Tough stuff turns you on. So prove it.
from Prof Athina assisted by the senior USDA staff
Friday April 21, 2006 – 10:26pm (EEST)
Let’s sit here sheltered under the rich spring foliage of the ‘Foret de Bouconne’ where very few people will hear us:
Yes, Prof Fiend Fulvia, the USDA is right: Ikaria is ‘the lung’ of the Athenian suburbia. The amount and the account of this influence was not included in the outstanding ‘Rebels and Radicals -Ikaria 1600-2000′ How could this be done from America? Even in Greece there is only one good book about the suberbia and that was a novel: Soti’s Triantafyllou, «Savato Vrady stin Akri tis Polis’. The writer has visited Ikaria more than once, I think. She nearly drowned once in the waves of Messakti beach.
I tend to believe that this relation between the suburbs and Ikaria would explain much of the famous *Ikarian enigma*. Not that I’m particularly interested in solving it. I want to know how the trick works, so that I reproduce it -;)) *weirdo* & *funny* & as genuine popular expression -LOL
Saturday April 22, 2006 – 04:14am (PDT)
Born and raised in the «suburbia» at a certain point in my life I got tired of seeing Ikaria as a «lung». It was too far from Athens (9 hours by boat). Something had to be done about it. So I moved and settled permanently inside it. I’d hate Ikaria becomes a suberb of a suberb of a city. This will mean that I will have to look for another «lung» for me and my family. A reasonable alternative for a suberb is …what? A PARK, of course! (with holes? yes, ok, with holes and lotsa fun -no problem)
__\\Buconne//__ is ‘cool’ I like it a lot.
Monday April 24, 2006 – 08:39pm (EEST)
..I walk ( I hike, as they say ), I wander on foot. That’s what I do all day. My hips ache. My lungs sometimes ache too because I’m a smoker; and because I’m half-mad & half Greek, I light my cigarette and I smoke it on the way up -ha,ha,ha 🙂
From the heights of my moral Himalayas I look down at everybody. Everybody? I hardly see anybody to look down at. I sometimes see from afar a plougher of a garden or of a vineyard...I don’t go near. I don’t know what to say to such people anymore (though once I used to -). To me they are the Presidents of (another Republic.
My moral altitude bothers me. Wuthering heights… It’s too lonely up here. I’ve gone up too many levels. The ‘Ikarian enigma» is solved. Everything is harmony – but I hate it.So I look around for spirits (‘gjins’) to keep me company. Thanks Gof, the place is full (as yet). It’s their mating season (gjins are not like humans -all the time-:lol:- gjins mate in April only; in May they stop, because it’s the donkeys’ turn).
They let me take pictures of them...
I walk (I hike, as they say), I wander on foot. That’s what I do most days, sometimes on my own, sometimes with friends...
When I am back home, and I’ll have that stupid smile of bliss all over my face, my old neighbour will say «Eleni, you are a Porphyrogenita»!
Does the neighbor mean you are a princess?
Monday April 3, 2006 – 01:27pm (PDT)
correct -:- 🙂
in plain (minus the complicated historical background) language, the word means «serene» –
Monday April 3, 2006 – 02:00pm (PDT)
You are too modest
Monday April 3, 2006 – 10:40pm (BST)
serenissima / γαληνότατη, χαίρε !
Όσα ξέρει ο γείτονας/σσα σου για σένα, δεν τα ξέρει κανείς, ούτε ο ήλιος, ούτε κι εσύ. Ευτυχώς για σένα λοιπόν που έχεις γειτόνισσα την τέλεια ‘αντι-κατίνα’, μια ‘γαληνότατη’ της παλιάς σχολής. Είσαι τρομερά τυχερή. Επομένως μην γκρινιάζεις που κόβεται το ρεύμα τόσο συχνά στη γειτονιά σου. Δεν μπορείς να τα έχεις όλα, ε; 😉
Tuesday April 4, 2006 – 01:06pm (EEST)
Born in the imperial purple room, yes?
Tuesday April 4, 2006 – 06:33am (PDT)
thanks; yes, born in the purple room!
It’s a strange local tradition to call noble calmness by that name. They say it comes from the times of Byzantium…
Tuesday April 4, 2006 – 12:24pm (PDT)