The little house in the desert


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………The place ^^’
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On the wuthering heights of Ikaria 305 by Eleni Ikanou on Flickrmount Atheraς in the center of a sandy plateau surrounded by windswept round boulders lies a tiny cube-like building with a chimney on its flat roof. This is «To Spitaki tis Mamis» (the little house of the midwife), or «Saint Panteleimon Mountain Refuge», as the marble plate in the wall next to the door says. Built by a kind woman in 1960 for the benefit of all mountain walkers, Spitaki tis Mamis, despite its miniature size, is a mountain shelter properly speaking, not associated to a church or mountain chapel, as it is usual in Greece, but built hiking-wise at important crossroads in a location where a hiker cannot possibly miss. This makes Spitaki tis Mamis, if not the oldest, undoubtedly one of the oldest mountain shelters in the Aegean islands. With my own ears I have heard about the lives it has saved through the years. On the chimney there was a fog bell to guide lost souls in the mountain and inside, as if by a magic hand, it was always provided with firewood, cooking pots, lamps and lamp oil, coffee, sugar, rice etc.
It was a place that wrote history.
However and in spite of all that, in the course of events and new road building in the 1990s Spitaki tis Mamis was forgotten and fell in oblivion. As a result, today -57 years after it was built- it’s in very bad shape: cracked walls, no door and window and a roof almost ready to fall in.

………The project ^^’
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Last month, answering Announcement by OPS Ikarias on Google+: 'We are in the pleasant position to announce that our request to the Municipality of Ikaria to grant permission to repair on our own expences and volunteer work the derelict mountain shelter to a request made by several local associations, Spitaki tis Mamis was declared by the Town Council as a cultural monument – standing reminder of the times when there were no roads and cars in Ikaria and the only way to travel from one part of the island to another was by walking long hours across uninhabited, mountainous landscapes in rain, snow or fog. Following this desicion, the Town Council granted permission to the interested parts to repair the old shelter and adapt it to modern needs. As they said, that would be done on the own expences and voluntary work without help from either central or local government…
Volunteers going to work in the wilderness on dream project…?
Oops! I know that! I must help!

………My involvement ^^’
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Dear readers, the purpose Eleni high in ikaria, summer 2005 of this article is to advertise the aforementioned project and call for funding and support. To do so I can’t find a better way than to show you a set of 16 photos taken many years ago on a hike along half the length of the mountain ridge. That great, mind and soul filling, two-day trip would not have been possible if Spitaki tis Mamis didn’t exist.
In the middle of that desert of rocks, sands, ferns and srubs, although abandonned and broken, it was still there marking the way, connecting the present with the past. It still said «Hello, I am here for you». I want it to be repaired. If not for any other reason, because of an experience I will never forget. Many years ago when I was single and young, while lying in my sleeping bag on its old cracked concrete roof, still warm from the sun, Nightsky over the mountain shelter in Ammoudia, IkariaI gazed at the biggest and brightest summer night sky I’ve seen in my life!

……… The pictures
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………⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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On the path inside Ranti Forest

On the path inside Ranti Forest

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Walking on the ridge and leaving the forest behind

Walking on the ridge and leaving the old forest behind

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A typical Ikarian rock house on the way to Rahes

A typical Ikarian rock house on the way to Rahes

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Checking the map in the sunset. Got to reach that mountain shelter before nightfall

Checking the map in the sunset. Got to reach that mountain shelter before nightfall

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Unpacking inside the tiny mountain shelter

Unpacking inside the tiny mountain shelter

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The fireplace!

The fireplace!

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Sunrise on Ammoudia plateau, alt 860 m.

Sunrise on Ammoudia plateau, alt. 860 m.

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On the road inside Erifi plateau in the morning

On the road inside Erifi plateau in the morning

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In view of forested uplands

In view of forested uplands

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Hike across barren wastelands

Hike across barren wastelands

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In view of the southern coast at last

In view of the southern coast at last

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Walking down to Karkinagri on a beautiful stone paved lane for a while

Walking down to Karkinagri on a beautiful stone paved lane for a while

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Old houses built on steep ground in the historical part of the village next to a very violent mountain torrent

Old houses built on steep ground in the historical part of the village next to a very violent mountain torrent

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Climbing down along a mountain stream near Karkinagri

Climbing down along a mountain stream near Karkinagri

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source

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That was all from me for now. I hope there will soon be an account for donations, as well as a call for extra volunteers, if needed. When this happens, I will let you know.
Follow me up! ^^’

Eleni Ik ❤

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Saturday, June 6, 2017


A Day at an Exhibition


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Dear readers💗
As things are at my work I sometimes have to stay for hours at nerve-racking standbys. To relax tension the trick is always to turn my mind to Ikaria and then to look for something interesting to blog about my island. In most cases things don’t fall in as I wish. Inspiration is a bird in flight, but sometimes there are exceptions.😋
Parea on Ikaria south coastLast week during one of those standbys I mentionned above, and while I was surfing fruitlessly in Flickr, I looked for new stuff from friends and a wonderful new set of 29 pictures from Ikaria appeared in front of my eyes: «A Day at an Exhibition» – «Hard hiking, wild swimming and admiring rocks scuptured by nature in Cape Papas, Ikaria». What a brilliant title, description and of course, visual content!
These pictures were taken by my friend Angelos, amateur photographer and leading member of the Ikarian hiking club, on a day of March while he and his friends were trying to find a trail through «a jungle of rocks sculptured by nature» (sic) to connect the remote village of Karkinagri with the even remoter westernmost tip of Ikaria and the historical, spectacular lighthouse which stands on it.
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As you could see in this great map above, the trail was found! Therefore, I think we should expect to see more shots from this colorful and naturally artistic, wild coast of Ikaria very soon. But for the time being, these are the best I have seen. I am letting you enjoy them! Move your mouse over the thumbnails to read a few words written by the author about each picture. They are very expressive and enlightening!
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Posing to demonstrate size and proportions of a stone house. In general this is a place as if from neolithic times. Several hollow rocks in this area have served as human shelters through the ages.

All pictures © Mountain Climbing & Hiking Club of Ikaria

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. . .Like 7 years ago, the task of the day was to discover a practicable hiking route across a jungle of naturally sculpted rocks and connect Cape Papas to the village of Karkinagri. The team was great so this time we succeeded! View of the lighthouse from the new hiking trail
. . .Opening out to the vastness of the horizon Colors, reflections, shapes, make the most alive landscape I have ever seen. Hard to adjust the camera and take good pictures though...
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. . .3 pictures to demonstrate how hard it was sometimes for us to go round just one of these rocks! 3 pictures to demonstrate how hard it was sometimes for us to go round just one of these rocks!
. . .3 pictures to demonstrate how hard it was sometimes for us to go round just one of these rocks! If only we had more time to explore, pose and play with these rocks... But the task of the day was to discover a trail which we did! Let the rocks wait for another day.

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'The Scream' by Edvard Munch. It was her idea and that cavity was perfect so we couldn't resist!
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. . .The first one who found the trail is already swimming! Fair prize for good scouting. We are making our way slowly down to the little cove while the scout is sunbathing. The hardest part of the hike is over and the route across that jungle of rocks to connect Cape Papas and the village of Karkinagri is more or less fixed.
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. . .Having done most of the job with the new trail, it was time to try and take one or two good shots of this beautiful wild cove. Naturally sculptured shapes of sandstone make the scenery behind the little wild cove of the previous pictures. The trail runs across these amazing clusters of rocks.

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Having done most of the job with the new trail, it was time to try and take one or two good shots of this beautiful wild cove.
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. . .This round little pool in the rock filled with sea water could be seen from far above. We were very happy to have found a trail that runs through so many natural wonders! Many sea monster shapes sculptured in this rock.
. . .Among the rocks we found this unidentified orchid for Eleni to add to her collection Some of us take time to examine every detail of the sculptured landscape, while the photographer is struggling with the sparkling rocks, the changing light and the saturated color of everything. How happy we were to have found a trail that runs through so many natural wonders!
. . .Everybody insisted on capturing the lines, the texture and especially the shape of this rocky protrusion which by some mystery resists the huge winter waves of the Cape. I don't think it's a success. I should have set the camera differently. I think it's a good tribute though. Everybody insisted on capturing the lines, the texture and especially the shape of this rocky protrusion which by some mystery resists the huge winter waves of the Cape. I don't think it's a success. I should have set the camera differently. I think it's a good tribute though.
. . .Shot taken as were leaving. I like it. Inside this scenery maybe the secret is not to aim at anything special but leave everything to chance. But as I said ... the task of the day was not photography but to discover a trail between a village and a lighthouse. This time we succeeded! The southwesternmost end of Ikaria is generally called
. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .
After taking so many pictures of this unearthly scenery I felt a bit alienated. For a change I took a shot of the warm wet face of one of us. Picture taken somewhere between the lighthouse of Papas and Karkinagri.
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. . .Two of us caught at rest. It's not as thick jungle of sculptured rocks as before but we still had a long way to go untill we reached Karkinagri. It is an exhibition and that's only one of the millions of exhibits! Area highly recommended to photographers, now that the trail is more or less fixed.

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. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ . .A place as if from neolithic times. Several hollow rocks in this area have served as human shelters through the ages. The new trail runs right through this historic neighborhood and of course we are very happy about it!.

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.Besides everything, the photographer kindly cited under each picture two articles from my blog and one article from the blog of my friend Nana, as he thought them related to the material. These articles are:
Côte de Naufragés Sauvés
Wild coves & beaches in southern Ikaria
Thank you very much, Angelos!💗
. . . . .Eleni Ikanou
Sunday, March 26, 2017
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Picture Calendar 2017! 😎


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My Ikarian picture Calendar 2017Dear readers,
in Ikaria almost every village, community or association makes a picture calendar for the new year to raise money for various causes
Ikarian Radio Station Calendar 2017: '12 Ikarian mushrooms, one for every month' and needs. Competition is tough so these calendars are getting better and better in both concept and context every year. Take for example this one by the Ikarian Radio Station on the subject of mushrooms (By the way, do you remember my post about Ikarian mushrooms?)
Anyway, I am not a village, that’s obvious! And my purpose is not to raise money either. I am one of the co-founders and co-administrators of a small photo community about Ikaria on Flickr and there we have the same tradition as on the island itself: every year we produce a Picture Calendar! The idea behind it is not money of course. All I want is to present some pictures which, besides their quality, are worth to be seen by anyone who is interested in our small stripe of land. They are pictures typical of the corresponding months and/or typical of what goes on in Ikaria during these months.
This year too I made a Calendar for the group, but as I said in the forenote, this time the choice of photos would not be mine. They would be either the viewers’ choice through Flickr Flickr Image Searchor merely at random through
Google Image Search Google Image Search. So if you click on a picture below, a new window will open to a Flickr Search or a Google Search page showing all the results, for example, of «Ikaria» and «January«, «Ikaria» and «February» etc.
The only bit of choosing I did was to pick a photo as a sample from the first rows of both websites. The reason was that as we scroll down the pages, the pictures tend to be less and less relevant to the topic, that is «Flickr + location + month».
I hope you will enjoy this. The larger pictures on the left direct to Flickr. The smaller pictures on the right direct to Google. Click and watch our Ikarian monthly panorama!

Happy New Year!

^^’
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January

On Flickr: Ikaria + January, sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + January, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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February

On Flickr: Ikaria + February, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + February, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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March

On Flickr: Ikaria + March, sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + March, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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April

On Flickr: Ikaria + April, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + April, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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May

On Flickr: Ikaria + May, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + May, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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June

On Flickr: Ikaria + June, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + June, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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July

On Flickr: Ikaria + July, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + July, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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August

On Flickr: Ikaria + August, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + August, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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September

On Flickr: Ikaria + September, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + September, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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October

On Flickr: Ikaria + October, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + October, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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November

On Flickr: Ikaria + November, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + November, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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December

On Flickr: Ikaria + December, images sorted by relevance On Google Image Search: Flickr + Ikaria + December, images sorted by date, relevance or in random

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🍁 🍁 🍁 🍁 🍁 🍁


‘The Hiking Trails of Ikaria’ – illustrated interview by OPS Ikarias


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In life it's not where you go but who you you travel withHello readers! 

You know that my blog likes interviews and this one… well, it’s a good one because it’s like a documentary! I mean that you can just stare at the photos (loads of them) streaming over the questions and answers, only that I thought that the context was interesting too, so I got into the trouble to translate the whole thing in English and then I sent it over to be added as subtitles to the video on youtube. Which video is an illustrated version of an interview to my good Ikarian friend, Angelos K., founding member and representative of the Mountain Climbing and Hiking Association of Ikaria (OPS Ikarias), by Babis Kokosis for «The Hiking Trails of Greece» a regular radio show on «The Voice of Greece», the international Greek state Radio (ERA 5). Unlike what you might have expected, the pictures do not show landscapes and trails and maps and stuff like that but people!
As the introduction goes:

«The photos showing in this video made by OPS Ikarias were taken along our various hiking trips and many other activities in the nature of Ikaria from 2008 to 2016. They are a tribute to our older and newer friends and members of the Club who walk and enjoy the island’s fascinating landscapes and take part in the club’s projects and activities. They are our inspiration and our one and only support. This video is dedicated to them!»

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***Find button to turn on "subtitles". Seen best in full screen mode!
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You can read my translation of Angelos’s radio interview by opening this link to OPS Ikarias Google docs. The interviewer introduces the show like this:

«Today we will visit Ikaria, an island that has managed, in spite of the growing tourist development, to maintain a big part of its cultural traditions.
The natural particularities of Ikaria are many. They are shaped by the geographical features and the position of the island in the Aegean Sea. Ikaria consists of a long mountainous mass stretching from east to west forming a ridge with heights over 1000 m. and separating the island in two sides: the northern side with mild slopes, forestlands and abundant waters, and the southern side with stony grounds and steep slopes. Therefore, it displays an impressive variety of landscapes and natural sights which the visitor can discover by following its numerous trails while getting in touch with its history and the legendary particular way of life of its inhabitants.
Let’s find out a bit more about the hiking routes of the island as well as what a hiker may encounter in them through our talk with Mr. Angelos Kalokairinos, representative of the local Hiking Club.»

read more...

And if you are a Greek reader you can check out the original transcript in this link.

The video, seen best in full screen mode, it goes without saying, includes a selection of pictures from the Flickr Album: «Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria».  I have exercised my influence 🙂 and gotten a specially coded link so you can see all the pictures -not only the public ones. So take advantage of this privilege and enjoy an amazing slideshow! But if you just like a quick view, here is the album straight out of Flickr:

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Mountain Climbing & Hiking Club of Ikaria, a set on Flickr

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⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Eleni Ik

https://www.561media.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/heart.png 

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Ikaria, May 14 2016
[BIG DAY!]

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Mushrooms!



Hello friends! 🙂 🙂 🙂
This is a reblog from the OPS Ikarias blog about their recent
 
Parasol mushroom (Lepiota proсеrа)a guided group hike inside a wooded mountain ravine, looking for mushrooms and learning their names, getting to know their qualities and the big part they play in the eco-system. I am sharing this post because, like many Ikarians, I love mushrooms. I like to look for them, I like to pick them, to eat them, to talk about them, to take pictures of them -like for example, that unforgettable x-large «Parasol mushroom» (lat. «Lepiota proсеrа») from 2005 which I have picked as an introductory image. My dear readers, through the following set of pictures I hope that you will get a bit of the taste, if not of mushrooms themselves, of the magical places where mushrooms like to grow, a bit of the taste of the well-known, yet always unexplored, natural places of my island. Enjoy! ^^’
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All pictures open in the source. Move over your mouse to read titles and descrpitions.
Mountain Climbing and Hiking Club of Ikaria
© all rights reserved

 

Amanita vaginata The woods and the river inside the ravine of Myrsonas in Ikaria Large old terraces as we go deeper and deeper in the ravine It's a fine sunny morning in Vathes, Rahes Ikaria

 

Lepista nuda Scleroderma polyrhizum Amanita sp. Hard to identify. Probably Lycoperdon (L. pyriforme) Mother and daughter examining the harvest The teacher is waiting for the students with a mushroom in his hand Laccaria laccata Amanita phalloides - Deadly! Laccaria laccata Marianna, one of the two photographers of the group Rotten and unidentifiable The pine forest on the banks of Myrsonas Crossing the stream of the river Detail of the stonewall inside an old house inside a 'lost village' the teacher is giving a lecture about mushroomsthe inside of an old house inside the 'lost village'Maya, the youngest member of the Club
Tricholoma acerbum - not edible Mushrooms inside the basket: Lepista nuda, Lepista flacida, Lactarius sanguifluus, L. deliciosus, Tricholoma caligatum. Leccnellum lepidum, Suillus collinitus, Suillus bellinii, Cantharellus cibarius, Agaricus sp. Russula delica the 'square' of the 'lost village' in the mountains tiny barn to keep a goat

 

Our baskets, bags and gear on the old stone where the people of the 'lost village' used to crush olives for their oil The teacher and the group talking about old things, nature and... mushrooms! one more of the houses of the 'lost village' in the mountains the place inside the old house where they grinded grain to make bread
One more of the old houses under ancient holm oaks ruins of ancient beehives made of clay The dogs are looking for mushrooms too! The teacher explains something about a mushroom

 

Difficult to identify Russula sp. Amanita Pantherina - Toxic, deadly! Gymnopilus junonius The teacher is taking down notes about a mushroom Teacher and children happy on the way back

Now watch the photos in slideshow!
That’s all from me!

Note: If you like to get in touch with the OPS Ikarians, besides  their blog,
you may join the following facebook groups
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animated mushroom


~ ❤ ~



τοπια των αλλων plus +


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Hello readers!  ❤  ^^’
Erietta’s latest visual commnent in one of my older entries was smashing! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Where do these new young girls come from? 🙄 To be honest, I feel the urge to assemble and post a 2nd part of «Who in The Where» only for their sake! Maybe I will do it later, for example in January or February, when I will have missed summer. Now I have stick to my schedule and to do the last of «Landscapes of others». Only that, to pay respect to the new trend, I have chosen landscapes which are not empty. Ladies and gentlemen, dear readers of my humble blog, please welcome 13 landscape shots celebrating the wild nature of Ikaria, 13 landscape shots which somewhere in their many pixels include beautiful human figures! In one of them I am included too, that was when I was young and wild enough to match the natural surroundings. Let’s see if you can spot me ^^’
Here we go! Go Ikaria! Go little poeple in the landscape! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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P1030315 by Chris Brody, on Flickr

P1030315

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Summer 2011 by Diamantis Seitanidis, on Flickr

Summer 2011

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2potama 2 by angelos ka, on Flickr

2potama 2

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Serendipity by ilush, on Flickr

Serendipity

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You were bored because you have seen these pictures already? I promise, my next post will be more original!

Follow me up! ^^’

Eleni Ik ❤

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


KANGA! ツ ツ ツ ツ ツ


Kanga : a group of friends sticking together, like one body·
(ancient Ikarian word from a story in Nana’s «Ήμεσσαν τρεις ψυχεροί ελόου μας»)
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Hello readers! 😀

I haven’t blogged for long because I waited. I waited because it seems something good always comes up at this time of the year. In 2014 it was «The Day we took over the mountains». This year it was… KANGA! My friends Angelos, Xenia, Lefteris, Lina and Giorgos, all of them well-educated and experienced local guides, joined their forces and formed a collective. They are opening an agency of mountain tour guiding in Ikaria very soon. Hurray! 😀

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Kanga : Ikarian Tour Leaders Collective's Page on Google Plus

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Here they are! Do they look familiar to you? 🙂 When they establish the agency and set headquarters in Armenistis, the main tourist town of the island, there will be a joined e-mail address and phone number. But for the time being, as I am an enthousiastic fan of every one of them, let my blog be their promoter and contact sheet. Everything you need to know is in my comments under each photo. Feel free to add yours if you wish. Until KANGA has a proper website, I will be delighted to put you in touch with these beautiful boys and girls. ^^’
Their e-mail address is [kangaikaria@gmail.com].
Click to be directed to their page in Google Plus ^^’

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38 y.old Lina Tsingerlioti, resident of Ikaria, qualified mountain guide, specialist in environmental issues, keen hiker and mountain climber, founding member of the local Hiking and Mountain Climbing Association (OPS Ikarias), has helped a lot in the opening and marking of the island's hiking trail network. She has been guiding individuals and groups in the mountains, the nature, the villages and the towns of Ikaria since 2008. Lina has also completed various seminars and training programs on herbs, environmental education, beekeeping, rural tourism and processing of agricultural products. 55-year-old Angelos Kalokairinos has lived in Ikaria since 1992 when he moved from Athens where he was born to discover the island of his Ikarian ancestors. Since then he has been the soul of Ikaria's vast hiking project, guiding groups, publishing maps and books and taking and sharing photographs. He was the head of OPS Ikarias from 2008 to 2014. Deep knower of the history of the Aegean islands and a lover of the complicated natural and architectural environment of Ikaria, Angelos likes to share his knowledge both sitting under a tree and while walking. 40-year-old Lefteris Trikiriotis is Kanga's herborist and expert in the island's fauna and flora. Besides farming according to the principles of permaculture. Lefteris is a keen mountain climber and long-distance hiker. He has been leading individuals and groups in Ikaria, sharing his knowledge of plants and local herblore since 2006. Like the other four, 52-year-old Giorgos Vitsaras was also a founding member of the local Mountain Climbing and Hiking Association (OPS Ikarias). One of the oldest members of the Greek Green Party, Giorgos is a journalist in the national and local media, writing and speaking always with an edge on environmental issues. He started leading tourists as a hobby out of love for the environment of his island but later this turned to a profession. Besides nature, he is very interested in social and political issues. A genuine peripatetic he likes to talk and share opinions while walking through the stimulating landscapes of his home-island.

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Eleni

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 I wish them all the luck with all my heart!

     

 

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