Ανεμογεννήτριες αλλά και δάση βελανιδιάς


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 press for Greek

«I like wind turbines and yes, I can accept a few in Ikaria but I also want a lot of forests with oaks»

I had said once, oh poor innocent me, what an illusion! I should have known better! Under current conditions of tribal invasive capitalism, that cannot be done!

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😞 😞 😞
Say No to 110 turbines in Ikaria

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So I’ve changed my mind! The company’s plan is monstrous and disastrous for our island. I have copied and translated the petition against it and I am asking everybody to sign it!


Wind turbines and Ikaria: How a blessing turns into nightmare

Say No to 110 turbines in Ikaria In July, 2011 the Greek Regulatory Authority for Energy granted permission (RAE 877/11 / 15.07.2011) to the company IKAROS ANEMOS SA (affiliate of Mytilineos group) to install 110 mammoth 3 MW wind turbines on 28 square kilometers of Mt. Atheras in Ikaria island. The permit states that the turbines will be installed in the following sites of the ridge of Mt. Atheras of the Municipality of Ikaria: «Vigla – Kapsali – Podilia – Ypsonas – Kasmianos – Provatokefalas – Roukounas – Sarantiadon- Erifi – Koutalopetra – Varka – Pappou Logari – Seladia – Megalofos – Siamaki – Kliratia – Stasousa – Papoutsokriftis – Anavathres – Ranti – Stavri – Pounta – Pr. Ilias – Kako Katavasidi”. Their maximum height will be 150 meters and their wingspan will be 90 meters. The permit is expected to be valid for 25 years with a prevision for renewal for an additional 25-year time (50 years total).

After the issuance of the permit by RAE [15/07/2011] two legal proceedings against it were submitted: 1. by the Municipality Ikaria, following a unanimous decision of the City Council on 30/07/2011 to proceed against the RAE decision. 2. by Mr. Ilias Gianniris who also filed a proceeding to the Minister’s office (AP 5590 / 02.08.2011).

Public appeals against the wind turbines were issued by: 1. The NGO «Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation” 2. The Municipal faction «Laiki Syspeirosi Ikarias» (LAS Ikarias) 3. The Municipal faction «Autonomi Syspeirosi Politon Ikarias» (ASPI) 4. The «Kinisi Politon Evdilou» 5. The regional party «Eco Wind in the North Aegean Sea».

Some say that such investments (wind turbines) can close down a lignite mine. However, the same investor (Mytilineos) has publicly declared his interest in the lignite mine of Vevi (near Florina, northern mainland Greece) for 300 MW!
(Source: news.kathimerini.gr)

Case record

Say No to 110 turbines in Ikaria In the 1980s the National Electric Company (DEH) installed and operated seven 30-meter-high wind turbines in “Firi Aspa” above Ikaria’s capital, Agios Kirikos. Although they were very close to the main road, their aesthetic impression was positive. They looked like familiar technological constructions. They were capable of covering 12% of the energy needs of the island and they were in full function especially in August when energy consumption reached its peak.
To cover its own energy needs Ikaria does not need the new wind turbines.
The maximum capacity of the thermoelectric plant in Agios Kirikos is 12,5 KW, while a wind turbine installed by a private near the village of Perdiki produces an additional 600 KW.
The maximum estimated demand for electricity in Ikaria is 9 MW and that only in peak season (10 days around the Celebration of the Assumption in mid-August).

Effects

Say No to 110 turbines in Ikaria To apply the investment in discussion and have 110 wind turbines planted on the crests Mt. Atheras, the whole length of the ridge will have to be excavated, as seen in examples from other areas of Greece. Huge trucks will be needed to transport the parts of a 3 MW turbine, therefore, large roads will have to be built on the mountain.
Each 3 MW wind turbine weighs up to 380 tons without counting the weight of the foundations. These will have to be extremely strong. Each one will require an excavation of at least 16×16 meters large and at least 3 meters deep, as well as leveling and clearing of at least 2000 m2 of land around each turbine. For one-hundred and ten such foundations, the total of land which will be used for the investment is estimated to 220.000 m2!
One utility building will be needed for each wind turbine.
Finally, each wind turbine requires an average of about 14 km of cables on utility poles or in underground lines to connect the turbine to the substation. This means even more excavations on a length of many kilometers.
A large-sized building will be needed for the substation. This will be located near the shore at the point of connection with the undersea cable which will carry the electricity produced by the turbines to the mainland (Attica).
In the spots where the wind turbines are planned to be installed there are several protected areas NATURA2000 (SAC and SPA). (Source: communitywalk.com and WWF: oikoskopio)
On the other hand, if the investment respects the protected areas, including the forest of Ranti, it is estimated that the space left will be sufficient for only 13 out of the scheduled 110 turbines.

The natural and cultural wealth of Ikaria is seriously threatened

In my blog: 'Thick with the eerie awe of the uncanny' The 110 turbines will be installed in fragile ecosystems and large areas of importance for bird life. The giant turbines set in rows on the ridge of Mt. Atheras will be visible from miles away. Their sight will drastically alter the unique insular landscape which is considered to be one of the greatest cultural assets of the Aegean islands.
The sites where the turbines are planned to be installed present several valuable features for Ikaria:

  • The unique ancient forest ecosystem «Forest of Randi»
  • The environmentally protected areas (NATURA 2000-HOS)
  • Areas of great cultural importance and long-aged historical value (Pounta, Kako Katavasidi, Papoutsokriftis, Erifi, etc.)
  • The famous historical pathways stretching on many kilometers around and across the ridge of Mt. Atheras
  • The famous stonewall barriers, the most important of which runs along the eastern part of the ridge
  • The precious water sources along and between the mountaintops

All these will be flattened for the sake of a private investment on public/municipal land (and perhaps pieces of private land as well), aiming at a profit for 25 or 50 years and making Ikaria looking like a giant porcupine sailing at sea.

Will there be benefits?

In my blog: 'Image from the flashflood of October, 2011 in Ikaria The famous countervailing fee which will be reaped by the Municipality of Ikaria is estimated that it will not exceed 1.7 million euros a year (K. Theophylaktos, information event about the project in Rahes, Ikaria, 08.22.2011).
Let us now compare this benefit with the cost of the disastrous torrential rainfall of October 2010 on the road network of Ikaria. A lot of the damage was caused by flooded secondary dirt roads letting out on the main network. The total cost of the damage was estimated to be of the order of 13 million euros.
Nobody knows how many such heavy rainfalls would occur over the next 25 or 50 years and how much damage they will cause. If the 110-wind-turbine project materializes in Ikaria, the clearing and flattening of the land for the foundations and the building of the roads will create immense surface water runoffs which will be added to the ones which caused the floods of October 2010.

Information

In my blog: 'Sites of the planned 110 wind turbines in Ikaria To fill the information gap about the 110 wind turbine project in Ikaria, several gatherings were held in Rahes, Evdilos and Agios Kirikos by the Aftonomi Syspeirosi Politon Ikarias (ASPI) in August 2011. Unfortunately, the Municipality Ikaria, although they filed a proceeding against the investment, did not call the people to a special information gathering on the subject. Instead, they are in contact with the investor and they are holding discussions with him.
The people of Ikaria, the Ikarian community in general, as well as the visitors and lovers of the island do not have sufficient information on the effects of the planned massive project. Before we find ourselves in front of predetermined choices, we should react now.
Sign by pressing the SIGN THE PETITION

GoPetition, ΙΚΑΡΙΑ: ΥΠΟΓΡΑΦΟΥΜΕ ΚΑΤΑ ΤΩΝ 110 ΑΝΕΜΟΓΕΝΝΗΤΡΙΩΝ (we sign against the 110 wind turbines on Mt. Atheras in Ikaria

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The final signed document will be as follows:

The undersigned, individuals and associations, are opposed to the installation of 110 wind turbines of total 330 MW on Mt. Atheras in Ikaria.
This project, if applied:

  • will turn Atheras into an industrial zone for a length of over 27 kilometers
  • will mean mass works of road building, excavations and land clearing and leveling for the foundations, transport, installation and maintenance of the turbines, as well as for the necessary utility poles, cables and buildings
  • will increase the vulnerability of Ikaria to the process of desertification and the consequent flashfloods, as the works will create open ground surfaces of tens of square kilometers
  • will destroy the Forest of Randi and other important wooded areas
  • The famous stonewall barriers, the most important of which runs along the eastern part of the ridge
  • will destroy a large part of the protected areas (NATURA2000 – Habitat of European Interest) located in western Ikaria as well and the PA located between Pounta and Kako Katavasidi
  • will destroy the habitats and nesting sites of the birds of Ikaria, which according to the Greek Ornithological Society, are of great importance
  • will reduce the vital productive areas of the inhabitants and downgrade the aesthetic value of Ikaria for several decades
  • will dramatically alter the landscape as the turbines will be placed in rows along the highest tops of the ridge and will be visible from everywhere
  • will drastically reduce the rising popularity of the hinterland of Ikaria to vacationers and it will cancel the strong potential of Ikaria for mountain tourism (hiking, mountain climbing, cultural touring) which tones up the economy of the small mountain villages

We believe that this investment is of a colonial nature and stands contrary to the interests of the island because:

  • it ignores the local people’s will
  • it is planned and developed without transparency, sharing of information and communicating with the inhabitants and the authorities of the island
  • it offers vague quid pro quos, as the current financial offer of the investor to the Municipality and the local community may be subject to change at any time or may not exist in the future, particularly under the present economic conditions in Greece
  • it is unrelated to the energy needs of Ikaria and aims only at the profitability of the investor
  • it flagrantly violates the principle of proportionality, as an island which needs an annual amount of only 9-12 MW is asked to contribute to the country’s energy objectives for the year 2020 with the excessive amount of 330 MW produced by this investment
  • it does not take into account the 25-year or 50-year economic loss from the delivery of tens of square kilometers of the mountain to private interests. Specifically, the proposed deal does not take into account the natural disasters eventually brought by the disruption of the hydrological cycle as well as the long-term effects on the economy of the island (depreciation of property and losses in the domains of beekeeping, sustainable animal breeding, food gathering, mountain tourism, etc.)
  • finally, because no one can guarantee that, after the expiry of the investment (that is, after 25 or 50 years), the natural environment will actually be restored and that the 110 wind turbines, together with their 110 reinforced concrete foundations, ancillary buildings and kilometers of cables will be removed and shipped out of the island at the expense of the investor

We are calling the Municipality of Ikaria to:

  • not accept this colonialist investment plan
  • not accept negotiations for siting in any location within the perimeter of the Forest of Ranti and other protected areas
  • to take action in finding and applying appropriate economic, social and environmental energy solutions compatible with Ikaria, possibly participating in joint-form enterprises by local investors in the fields of e.g. geothermal power and small sized RES

The signatures under this petition do not authorize anybody to accept possible future offers by the investor. Any further discussions on the matter should start from zero basis.

Sign by pressing the SIGN THE PETITION


 .Thursday August 19, 2011 - 10:37pm (EEST)


In the Olives lies the Income


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Agios Polikarpos by cgchryssa


…said the fool of the village…

Είχε δει ένα τρελό καλοκαίρι στο λιμάνι φωτιά, τον ήλιο πάλι να πέφτει...

after the rain.

(Photo of the village and the olive tress by © cgchryssa , 1st photo of the fool by © Elena Lygou), 3rd photo of the fool by © Panos Louk

Mastro Nikos 
Was he right?
«yes» votes: 12
«no» votes: 1
«don’know»: votes: 6
«a fool is a fool»
: votes: 2
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Comments

(11 total)

 

Great entry, stupid poll. But then again who knows? Maybe the answer is not so obvious for everybody. If you had put up an entry and a poll as commonplace as «In ecotourism lies the income», you would have many comments and votes.

in the river 2

But people who are on the net know very little about olive trees, the rain and fools!

Sunday September 28, 2008 – 04:03pm (EEST)

I like to collect olives. My boyfriend and I collected a lot in Ikaria last December. Great days and great nights too by the fireplace!

Sunday September 28, 2008 – 02:24pm (EDT)

I hope you come back this year too collect olives with us again.

Sunday September 28, 2008 – 09:59pm (EEST)

In principle I am very interested the olive, although, apart from consumption, all my knowledge is very distant.

But I am interested…

carob, olive and kerkis  olivehole

 

Are they really collected in December?? That seems very late. They don’t seem like Christmas things, like Satsumas do for instance.

I planted an olive close to the wall (1m) at my shared holiday house in France.
Am I a fool? Will the house fall down?? Can you move an olive tree?

How did Thales know what he knew dendrosophically speaking? He knew that water was important? Is it all-important?

Wednesday October 1, 2008 – 11:18pm (CEST)

ok, we have a full house now!
– The olive crop in the valleys and from terraces on hills is collected December the latest. The olive crop in the plains is collected sooner.
– Water is all important. The correct balance of water, that is.
– Olive trees are easy to transplant. You dig a big hole around the roots and then bring a crane to uproot the tree. It’s a nice tree, tamed and given to the humans by Athena the goddess herself. If the owners are hard working, the tree does whatever they want it to do. Even if you are not a hard worker, it is sufficiant that you talk to the tree every now and then.

(Did you follow the tradition and planted the tree when your son was born?)

– Who voted «no»???? A hawk of the stock market?

Friday October 3, 2008 – 03:56am (PDT)

There is also the sun.

«μέσα στον ήλιο αναγαλλιάζουν οι ελιές» = in the sun the olives rejoice
(The beautiful assonance of 4 «L»s in this verse by Kavadias is lost in the translation.)

Friday October 3, 2008 – 11:06pm (EEST)

I see in wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive

that there are some very long lived olives; they must be good at withstanding the hot and dry, as well as the frosty years. Also that they do best on poor rocky soils.

We planted ours as soon as we got the house. It’s not the mediterranean, but the soil is chalky. I may need to get a crane. And a beatiful tall straw hat.

Monday October 6, 2008 – 04:37pm (CEST)

After a few centuries people might call it: Simon’s Olive tree. The tree which the teller of tales planted and looked after. The tree under which he sat and told his tales. The tree that provided the oil for his salad and for the wheel of his eloquent tongue.

Monday October 6, 2008 – 12:37pm (PDT)

I voted ‘no’ not because I am a «hawk of the stock market» (:lol:), just a small business ordinary accountant. I voted no but because olive trees need A LOT OF WORK!

Tuesday October 7, 2008 – 09:19pm (EEST)

«…it is sufficiant that you talk to the tree every now and then. …»

I like that!

Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 01:26am (EEST)

That’s easy. The hard thing is to talk to the olive press factory man and stop him from polluting the rivers!!!!

Wednesday May 13, 2009 – 12:19pm (PDT)


‘the trail of the elves’ – το μονοπάτι των ξωτικών (again!)


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‘the trail of the elves’  >>:::>> THE MAP (at last)

Angelos made the map of the trail we were talking about the other day .
He also wrote a long long long text (once he starts he can’t stop) which we edited together and we left only a part of it. I hate cuttings on my texts, but I enjoy cutting other’s, so we sort of butchered it. For example, we left out the memories of his father as a school kid, what the first «school bus» looked like, what are his problems when building a new trail e.t.c. Anyway, I hope that what’s left makes sense.

Angelos apologizes for not having made a proper webpage for this. He says that even he had time to do it, he was afraid that there would be a misunderstanding : people might think that this is a «ready hike», while it is only a survey. So he let the map and the description look as sketchy as is the situation «in the field».
As far as I was concerned, it was an experience to witness how trails are actually made (in this case, «retrieved» or should I say, «re-invented»). It’s a *mind* thing. For example I had walked though many parts of that area and I could never have guessed that these «nice spots» were connected and there had been a long hikeway across them. I takes someone with a deep knowledge of the old culture to find this, dig it out and most of all,

GIVE A NEW CONTEXT to it.

elf at the trail

ImageEleni

Image Get the map and Read the description:

Here is an extract (view large) of a map of Ikaria showing the middle northern side of the island. This map was published in the small book under the title “Tourist Guide of the Municipality of Rahes, Ikaria” (Touristikos Odigos Demou Rahon Ikarias), issued in 2004 and distributed for free by the Municipality of Rahes (name of the western part of the island). This booklet was very good if not for anything else, because of the maps it contained. Unfortunately the stock is exhausted and it isn’t likely that there will be a new edition.
This map is in Greek only. It includes too many (very specific and unneeded) place names, which create ‘noise’ and confusion to the reader of a map. On the other hand, there is a good side in this pedantic ‘localism’: this is the only general map of Ikaria which shows the footpaths!!!

Almost forgotten today, the “trail of the two monasteries” (Eleni’s “trail of the elves”) used to be ‘the main road’ from Rahes to Evdilos until the late 1960s when a motor road was built to connect the two towns.
If ever this path was restored, I’d suggest that hikers take it from Rahes. On a long hike like this, it’s always better to head for the sea instead for the mountain.
From Christos in Rahes ((ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΡΑΧΕΣ) to the 1st monastery (Evangelistrias ‘Mounte’ monastery -Μονή Μουντέ), the area is inhabited. The ‘wild part’ of the hike starts after the lake ‘Μικρό Φράγμα’, across deep pine and oak forests, machia and bushlands, over hills and across mountain streams with pools and falls. There are many low tone ‘anonymous’ sights (‘lowlights’ to use one of Eleni’s own terms).
I wasn’t supposed to deal with this path. I’d rather have waited for the authorities to show some interest. Instead of looking for ‘trails of the elves’, I’d rather work to improve the solid paths included in the ‘Round of Rahes on Foot’. But curiosity took the better of me, as it always does.
A first long survey proved that the path was still there (of course many parts were altered, covered in growth, ‘eaten’ by roads- but most of it was there!). Then I took my cutter and cleaned some parts as far as the mountain stream “Chalikias” (Χαλικιάς). It was a comfort for me to find occasional marks in red paint made by hiking parties a long time ago. I added a few stonemarks too. I usually do this when scouting, so that I am able to find my way back!..
After Chalikias I got involved in a very deep forest and if the path was not so well made I would never have found it. Anyway, after quite long I somehow managed to reach Lidi (“Λίδι”), where I came out in a narrow dirt road going the right direction -west!
*(They are about to build a small irrigation dam in Lidi right where the path comes out of the forest. When I made it there, covered in dust and sweat, I so much wished it was ready and I could take a dip!)

From Lidi I followed the road to the 2nd monastery (Theoktistis Monastery, see Eleni’s blog entry:  “highlights»), which is very near the village of Pigi (ΠΗΓΗ). From there I walked to the main road (Evdilos-Pigi) and I waited for a friend to pick me up. There are three  small whitewashed old churches on the eastern side of that road. That’s where the path goes on from Pigi to Kampos (and then Evdilos). These three churches are important landmarks.

Though I didn’t walk any further and I don’t have first hand knowledge, I can assume that the area along the stone paved mule track from Pigi to Kampos is very beautiful. These hillsides under the villages of Pigi (ΠΗΓΗ), Maratho (ΜΑΡΑΘΟ), and Frantato (ΦΡΑΝΤΑΤΟ), have the privilege to face the east and there are many springs, good soil, limestone  and … no goats!  So I’m sure they would be covered with flowers in spring!

NOTES:

1) The green lines on the map are the ‘traditional‘ paths. Some of them have become roads; some have disappeared. The dark purple lines represent the paths of the system of the Round of Rahes of Foot which, unlike the green ‘theoretical’ or traditional paths, is a reliable and well marked network of hiking trails.

2) I’ve drawn the ‘trail of the 2 monasteries’ in pink, because this colour makes a good contrast with the colours of the map. If you are good at Photoshop, you can put my map as ‘layer’ on a scanned image of the Road map (which you should first make smaller to fit the scale). Then you can erase all other info from my map and leave only the pink lines. It would be interesting to see if and how they fit on the Road map.

3) Besides the “trail of the 2 monasteries” (west-east, I’ve also painted pink the path in Myrsonas (Μύρσωνας) river (south-north), though this path is not ‘elfish’ but a reliable hike already included in The Round of Rahes on Foot. I did this because the Trail in Myrsonas is very closely associated with the ‘trail of the 2 monasteries’. The western startpoint of the trail of the 2 monasteries is situated right in it (in a place called “Φυρή Άλωνα”, marked with a pink arrow in the map).

4) The motor road between Rahes and Evdilos is exactly 17 km long. I estimate that the pink path from “Φυρή Άλωνα” to Kampos must be about 10 km long. Good news: a) there are no steep climbs up and downs. More good news: more than half of this hike is on secondary country roads (not shown in this map)!

5) the pink path ends (or begins) in the square of the village of Kampos, near the church of Agia Irini (“Αγ. Ειρήνη”), which is marked in the map with a “church” symbol. For the time being, however, I don’t advise you to hike all the way down there on the trail, because the last part of it goes through the village and gets very confusing. Instead of this, head for the main roads above Kampos. So, as you hike down from Pigi, after “Καλανταρέ” you will meet a narrow dirt road; there leave the path and follow the road to the left; it will lead you to the main motor road to Pigi (I marked this spot with a pink arrow on the map) and then out on the main road Armenistis-Evdilos (I’ve marked  that spot with a pink arrow too).

6) This is a sketch of a map and a sketch of a description. Do not expect from me to give you altitudes, exact distances, e.t.c. Even the pink line I’ve drawn, I’m not at all sure if it fits in a proper geographical map. This is something that I did because I like it and because I very much like to share it with you.

7) Inspite of the beauty of the land, there is no policy whatsoever for the environment or for ecotourism in Greece. My fellow country men are only just now starting to grow an awareness in these issues. So when you hike, do not take things for granted. Take the situation in your hands (or rather, ‘your feet’)and behave like explorers: a) never get sore if you are lost; there is fun in it! b) when you see piles of stones as marks in the paths, repair them if possible and maybe add on some more.

8) I may have made mistakes. Make your comments and ask your questions (preferably in English or Greek, though any language is good) in http://www.facebook.com/groups/hikingIkaria/

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Comments

(4 total)

Sorry, the image of the map I uploaded here, came out very very small. You can see it large HERE.

Thursday February 23, 2006 – 03:32am (PST)

Could only read the unjustified text, had to scroll right-left, right-left, but very nice description. Could have read more Elle, let him rip next time!

Thursday February 23, 2006 – 07:36am (PST)

Sorry people. That was what we say a ‘very rough draft’. I just wanted to make my point: these places exist, can be charted and described.*the mind* says : may the force be with you Elle, you are unbelievable :)) make me get back in this business so soon after…

Thursday February 23, 2006 – 10:47pm (EET)

The trail where you meet no people for 9,5 kilometers! ONLY NATURE!
x x x x

Sweaty Nan in the Trail of the Elves

Saturday February 25, 2006 – 09:18pm (EET)


‘the trail of the elves’ – το μονοπάτι των ξωτικών


ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

anemones on the trail of the elves

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No please don’t think that this is another tale ! On the contrary this going to be quite technical. We call this path «trail of the two monasteries». because it stretches between the monastery of Mounte
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Moundes Monastery on the island of Ikaria Greece by Ray Cunningham
and the monastery of Theoktisti
Ikaría by R A L F
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I had known about it since autumn and I had even given a name : «the trail of the fairies» But then I wasn’t aware than that it was all one long path and that the elf was A. who had been trying to clean it (then he gave up at some point).
Accoring to AKK, ‘the trail of the two monasteries’ (or my ‘trail of the elves’) connects to the mule track I discovered. My mule track makes the last part of ‘the trail of the two monasteries’. It’s the ‘exit to the sea’ and the outer world. 🙂
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trail of the elves
Until we have the map, here is a photo taken from a spot in my mule track. It shows the elevation (about 250-300 m.) and the distance from the sea. The light was very bad so I’m not sure if I’m going to upload it in Flickr. Instead I will surely upload a good take of the conical mountain on the opposite side. By the way, if my memory doesn’t fail me, all of my Flickr photos tagged «trail of the elves»  have been taken from that wonderful hillside.
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Comments

(1 total)

Here is an extract of a map of Ikaria showing the middle northern side of the island. This map was in the small book «Tourist Guide of the Municipality of Rahes, Ikaria» (Touristikos Odigos Demou Rahon Ikarias), issued in 2004 and distributed for free by the Municipality of Rahes (name of the western part of the island). This booklet was very good if not for anything else, because of the maps it contained. Unfortunately the stock is exhausted and it isn’t likely that there will be a new edition.
This map is in Greek only. It includes too many (very specific and unneeded) place names, which create ‘noise’ and confusion to the reader of a map. On the other hand, there is a good side in this pedantic ‘localism’: this is the only general map of Ikaria which shows the footpaths!!!

Almost forgotten today, the «trail of the two monasteries» (Eleni’s «trail of the elves») used to be ‘the main road’ from Rahes to Evdilos until the late 1960s when a motor road was built between the two towns.
If ever this path was restored, I’d suggest that hikers take it from Rahes. On a long hike like this, it’s always better to head for the sea instead for the mountain.
From Christos in Rahes ((ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΡΑΧΕΣ) to the 1st monastery (Evangelistrias ‘Mounte’ monastery -Μονή Μουντέ), the area is inhabited. The ‘wild part’ of the hike starts after the lake ‘Μικρό Φράγμα’, across deep pine and oak forests, machia and bushlands, over hills and across mountain streams with pools and falls. There are many low tone ‘anonymous’ sights (‘lowlights’ to use one of Eleni’s own terms).
I wasn’t supposed to deal with this path. I’d rather have waited for the authorities to show some interest. Instead of looking for ‘trails of the elves’, I’d rather work to improve the solid paths included in the ‘Round of Rahes on Foot’. But curiosity took the better of me, as it always does.
A first long survey proved that the path was still there (of course many parts were altered, covered in growth, ‘eaten’ by roads- but most of it was there!). Then I took my cutter and cleaned some parts as far as the mountain stream «Chalikias» (Χαλικιάς). It was a comfort for me to find occasional marks in red paint made by hiking parties a long time ago. I added a few stonemarks too. I usually do this when scouting, so that I am able to find my way back !..
After Chalikias I got involved in a very deep forest and if the path was not so well made I would never have found it. Anyway, after quite long I somehow managed to reach Lidi («Λίδι»), where I came out in a narrow dirt road going the right direction -west!
*(They are about to build a small irrigation dam in Lidi right where the path comes out of the forest. When I made it there, covered in dust and sweat, I so much wished it was ready and I could take a dip !)

From Lidi I followed the road to the 2nd monastery (Theoktistis – Μονή Θεοκτίστης, see Eleni’s blog, entry:  «highlights’), which is very near the village of Pigi (ΠΗΓΗ). From there I walked to the main road (Evdilos-Pigi) and I waited for a friend to pick me up. There are three  small whitewashed old churches on the eastern side of that road. That’s where the path goes on from Pigi to Kampos (and then Evdilos). These three churches are important landmarks.

Though I didn’t walk any further and I don’t have first hand knowledge, I can assume that the area along the stone paved mule track from Pigi to Kampos is very beautiful. These hillsides under the villages of Pigi (ΠΗΓΗ), Maratho (ΜΑΡΑΘΟ), and Frantato (ΦΡΑΝΤΑΤΟ), have the privilege to face the east and there are many springs, good soil, limestone  and … no goats!  So I’m sure they would be covered with flowers in spring!

NOTES:

1) The green lines on the map are the ‘traditional‘ paths. Some of them have become roads; some have disappeared. The dark purple lines represent the paths of the system of the Round of Rahes of Foot which, unlike the green ‘theoretical’ or traditional paths, is a reliable and well marked network of hiking trails.

2) I’ve drawn the ‘trail of the 2 monasteries’ in pink, because this colour makes a good contrast with the colours of the map. If you are good at Photoshop, you can put my map as ‘layer’ on a scanned image of the Road map (which you should first make smaller to fit the scale). Then you can erase all other info from my map and leave only the pink lines. It would be interesting to see if and how they fit on the Road map.

3) Besides the «trail of the 2 monasteries» (west-east, I’ve also painted pink the path in Myrsonas (Μύρσωνας) river (south-north), though this path is not ‘elfish’ but a reliable hike already included in The Round of Rahes on Foot. I did this because the Trail in Myrsonas is very closely associated with the ‘trail of the 2 monasteries’. The western startpoint of the trail of the 2 monasteries is situated right in it (in a place called «Φυρή Άλωνα», marked with a pink arrow in the map).

4) The motor road between Rahes and Evdilos is exactly 17 km long. I estimate that the pink path from «Φυρή Άλωνα» to Kampos must be about 10 km long. Good news: a) there are no steep climbs up and downs. More good news: more than half of this hike is on secondary country roads (not shown in this map)!

5) the pink path ends (or begins) in the square of the village of Kampos, near the church of Agia Irini («Αγ. Ειρήνη»), which is marked in the map with a «church» symbol. For the time being, however, I don’t advise you to hike all the way down there on the trail, because the last part of it goes through the village and gets very confusing. Instead of this, head for the main roads above Kampos. So, as you hike down from Pigi, after «Καλανταρέ» you will meet a narrow dirt road; there leave the path and follow the road to the left; it will lead you to the main motor road to Pigi (I marked this spot with a pink arrow on the map) and then out on the main road Armenistis-Evdilos (I’ve marked  that spot with a pink arrow too).

6) This is a sketch of a map and a sketch of a description. Do not expect from me to give you altitudes, exact distances, e.t.c. Even the pink line I’ve drawn, I’m not at all sure if it fits in a proper geographical map. This is something that I did because I like it and because I very much like to share it with you.

7) Inspite of the beauty of the land, there is no policy whatsoever for the environment or for ecotourism in Greece. My fellow country men are only just now starting to grow an awareness in these issues. So when you hike, do not take things for granted. Take the situation in your hands (or rather, ‘your feet’)and behave like explorers: a) never get sore if you are lost; there is fun in it! b) when you see piles of stones as marks in the paths, repair them if possible and maybe add on some more.

8) I may have made mistakes. Make your comments and ask your questions (preferably in English or Greek, though any language is good) in http://www.facebook.com/groups/hikingIkaria/

Angelos Kal -21/02/2006

Friday February 17, 2006 – 01:18pm (EET)