The day we took over the mountains!


νῦν ἀπολύεις τὸν δοῦλήν σου, ἐν εἰρήνῃ·
ὅτι εἶδον οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου.
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Why am I chanting the Canticle of Symeon? Why am I feeling so relieved? 😀

Because I who dropped from the sky in the beginning of winter of 2006 and discovered, among many other things, the amazing wealth of the mountainous hinterland of Ikaria and since then never stopped talking about it, insisting against the walls of indifference and ignorance, fighting against the dogma that the mountains are good only for rubbish dumps, free-grazing goats and perhaps several dozens of gigantic turbines on top of them all, I finally lived to witness the revolution. Two years ago when Angelos announced the closing of the trail network because of lack of support, I wished so hard that something happened and things took a different course. And there it was! The people of Ikaria are taking things in their hands! The news appeared in the Ikarian e-magazine ikariamag last week in an article under the title «How Ikaria… takes the mountains!». I found that was worth translating and blogging about it. Though I know it may seem to you a rather dry account of events strewn with place names that make no sense, yet to my ears it was music.

Most of the photos in this entry came to me through my spies in facebook from the groups: a) Ορειβάτες Πεζοπόροι Ικαρίας, b) Καθαρίζω την Ικαρία, and c) Αυτόνομη Συσπείρωση Πολιτών Ικαρίας. The links open to pictures in Flickr.

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How Ikaria… takes the mountains!

Eventually, as time goes by, the mountains of Ikaria cease to be considered inaccessible and they reveal their greatness more often. Thanks to the initial longtime effort of a few stubborn dreamers, more and more local people are discovering their beauty, while more experienced hikers do bolder things or create new routes. Finally, last weekend the action came to a peak. The map below shows the trails followed, cleaned or traced by four different groups of people who were active in our mountains during these two days.

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ikaria everybody hiking weekend map

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In red color we have marked the progress of the first group of local hikers who started from Agios Dimitrios in Pounta on Saturday afternoon. After they crossed Zizokampos and Erifi, they came to Agios Isidoros from where they took the trail to Karkinagri. Once at the shore, they spent the night in the cove of Kalou near Trapalou. On Sunday morning they took the old broken-down dirt road along the coast and finally reached Manganitis.

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teachers hikers Ikaria

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In pink color you can see the long route from Cape Papas to Cape Drakanon taken by a group of people from Rahes who since long are dedicating their Saturdays to hiking. Most of them aren’t young anymore, yet their physical condition is so good that they decided to perform the crossing of the entire Ikarian ridge within two days. They spent the night in Ai-Stathis and on Sunday afternoon they reached Drakanon where they put out their weariness in the shallow and warm waters of the cove of Ai Giorgis. Another pleasant surprise there.

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ridge walk Ikarians 2  ridge walk Ikarians 1

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In the same area, earlier that morning, residents of Faros village and several volunteers had taken up to clean and repair the trail that had been abandoned for years, leading to the church of Ai Giorgis and the beach further below. The operation included picking up and carrying the garbage from the coast. Meanwhile signboards are being prepared for the wider area of Faros which stays without signage for years. These signs will be painted by the students of the elementary school.

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In blue color is shown the most difficult part of an ambitious project taken up by the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria. On Sunday they visited the area of Ryakas searching inside this impressive tubular canyon for a way out on a trail to Selini and Agios Theologos in Geli close to the mountain tops. They had already made their preparation, they achieved what they wanted and in a short while they will be ready to announce the crossing of Ikaria widthwise from south to north. When this is completed, hikers will be able to admire one after the other the two most beautuful canyons of the island, Chalares and Ryakas, on a single hike from Nas to Manganitis.

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OPS Ikarias explore Ryakas canyon

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In green is shown the old traditional lane from Xylosirtis to Kampa which was closed and covered with vegetation for ages. At the initiative of the municipal party «Aftonomi Syspeirossi Politon Ikarias» and the participation of several villagers the difficult job to clean this lane started on Sunday. With other similar projects running at the same time in different parts of the island, baring unforseen, the beautiful lane from Xylosirtis to Kampa will be ready within a month.

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The article ends there, but the action keeps on. It seems that there is always a new thing of this kind going on in Ikaria every weekend. If you are interested, get in touch with the right people and get involved. The best is that these actions are not sponsored by coorporates or funded by either the local or the central government. These actions happen and they will go on happening because the people want to take over their mountains! They want to work together to do something, no matter how small this may be, for the good of the island and for their own good as well. As the slogan in one of the pictures says,

«None of us can do everything, yet each of us can do a small thing. All of us put together can do many things

⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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p.s. for the record, these are some of my first hiking adventures and discoveries in Ikaria back in 2006
How I love my blog!

According to the local tales, people built houses like these in places like these to escape from pirates, slavetraders and Ottoman tax collectors. It’s probably more complicated than this, but ...  The lost village adventure

...I discovered a trail yesterday. It’s actually much more than a trail or an intervillage lane. It’s an old all-stone-paved a few km long mule track, what we’d call a highway today. It used to connect the villages...

  A path and a poll

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...

  I walk, I hike, I wander.

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τα γυμνα των αλλων


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 Francis Picabia, nu devant un paysage

Homage to Francis Picabia😌

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Rediscover The Countryside


~ REDISCOVER THE COUNTRYSIDE ~

~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

LIVE IN IT!

rediscover the countryside 1 rediscover the countryside 2

Comments

(5 total)

Here it is. We have decided with Nana not to say «nature» again. We have agreed that «nature» is an urban legend! We will only allow ourselves the use of the adjective «natural» in such cases as to make a difference with «artificial».
We are also thinking of deconstructing the term «environment» as well. We will see. More about it later on.

Saturday September 15, 2007 – 01:21am (PDT)

In this we will walk together, holding hands, pressing tightly on our sides. I’ll take your warmth. You will take my strength. We will make it through to wherever…Saturday September 15, 2007 – 09:33pm (EEST)

But Nana hasn’t done her 20 years in «Cesar’s legions» yet.
(Love the slogan btw)
Sunday September 16, 2007 – 08:52pm (EEST)
The more I see the slogan, the more I love it myself. So much I like it, that I think that I should end my blog RIGHT HERE!
A piece of land, some tools, a bagfull of seeds and an ox!
Οσο το βλεπω κι εγω το συνθημα, ολο και πιο πολυ μου αρεσει. Τοσο πολυ που νομιζω οτι το blog μου θα πρεπε να τελειωσει ΕΔΩ!
Ενα κοματι γης, μερικα εργαλεια, τσουβαλι σπορους κι ενα βοδι!Monday September 17, 2007 – 12:47pm (PDT)
You should, but you won’t.
Θα ‘πρεπε, αλλά δεν θα το κάνεις.
(non? -:)

Tuesday September 18, 2007 – 10:34pm (EEST)


illustrated «Ikarian Enigma» -το αίνιγμα της Ικαρίας


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Ikarian enigma: The pupils say we should love the water habitats

The Ikarian enigma is subtle. It’s layers.
For example look at the picture above:
1st layer: the river (on the right side -can’t be seen), the plane trees and the straw canes.
2nd layer: a pile of earth, (called ‘mbaza’ in Greek) moved there by an earth mover that cleaned the bed of the river so the river did not flood.
3rd layer: someone thought that this pile of earth was the proper place to get rid of his obsolete Nissan. He hoped that when the earth mover returned, it would take the car too. (Where to?)
4th layer: (years have passed) seeing that the earth mover wasn’t coming, a climbing plant like ivy worked together with a wildberry bush and they covered the pile of earth and the Nissan with their foliage.
5th layer: straw canes seeing that the place was safe, grew there too.
6th layer: someone who has animals, seeing that the place is cool and there is shadow and green leaves in the summer, as well as that there is a road and he can visit it easily by car, he brought and tied his animals (goats? cows? sheep? ostriches?) there. Therefore we have two pots (made of old plastic motor oil containers) in the foreground. There he’d put corn (?) and water.
7th layer: the 4th grade of the primary school visited this place on an educational trip to observe water habitats, report about conditions and also «campaign» about them. They left a sign: «Love the Water Habitats»!
8th layer: the mud in the foreground -obviously the river (the 1st layer) goes on flooding and claims its rights on top of 7 layers.
9th layer: that’s ME who went there and decided to take this picture.
10th layer: YOU …who are reading this blog entry! …you too …are a part of the riddle!!!

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Eleni
the riddler

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Solving the Ikarian enigma at the pool of riddles

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😘 😘 😘
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Comments

(4 total)

This enigma is not peculiar to Ikaria Elle, this struggle is being played out across the world, here all over North America and elsewhere. We fight about it daily. Somebody must speak for the «Water Habitats.» I’m happy you’re shining a light and by the way you look adorable at the pool of riddles

Tuesday February 28, 2006 – 06:06am (PST)

I agree. It is a universal enigma or bet. Ikaria is a good example because it’s a straightforward place.
(Hey, it seems that you lost a «layer» in the process of producing this. Where’s «the stupid side of you»? This looks like the other side.)

Tuesday February 28, 2006 – 10:31pm (EET)

You are a Taurus= a time bomb!.. tik tik tik …boom …ALL LIGHT!!!
(I’d write something more clever, but I’m at work … and you know…) You go on with the enigma, don’t you?

Wednesday March 1, 2006 – 11:42am (EET)

I forgot to say that I liked very much that the kids wrote «Love the…» instead of «Protect/Respect the…»
Love is the big riddle that solves all other riddles.

My shadow on rubble in Armenistis, Ikaria, Greece

(τι έγραψα πάλι; ποιά είμαι τέλος πάντων; ας πάω καλύτερα τώρα να γράψω κανένα τιμολόγιο…)

Wednesday March 1, 2006 – 11:49am (EET)